Cambridge Massachusetts Detective Salary And Job Requirements

Those who are fond of watching detective serials and movies want to become a detective in the future as well. The thrill of deducing never really leaves us especially after getting to know the character of Sherlock Holmes. However, somewhere along the way, we forget this dream of ours and work towards more “realistic” goals. Since crime rate is increasing these days, more detectives are needed in order to solve them. This is where some police officers step up and exhibit the Sherlock Holmes in them. If becoming a detective someday is a burning desire of yours, the information listed below is a great help.

Private detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

police detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

Table Of Contents

How Much a Detective Earns

The basis of a detective’s salary at first will depend on his or her employer. In most circumstances, a state employed investigator earns more than a private one. This is mostly due to steady work that they receive compared to the intermittent work of a private detective.The reason behind this is they always have work to do compared to a private detective. The national average that is earned by a detective who is employed by the state is $76,000. For a private detective, he or she can earn about $45,000. We shall discuss factors affecting a PI’s salary later. For now, let us look at the factors that affect the salary of state employed investigators.

Population Size

The income of a detective depends on the population of a city the same to that of the police officers. A more populated city will mean more cases to be handled. Therefore, the salary increases as well. Similarly, crime rate also plays a major factor in deciding the salary of an investigator. For example, the average salary for someone in the LA police department ranges from $44,000 to $88,000. Whereas, a member of the Miami Police department usually get $86,000 to $107,000 salary.

police detective salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

Place assigned or working

Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. However, another factor comes into play in such conditions – cost of living. If the place has higher cost of living, the detective’s salary will also be higher. This is true with the case of private investigators as well. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey all pay 6-figure salaries with District of Columbia paying as much as $116,000.

Educational degree

A high school degree is sufficient for those who want any police job except for the federal level. This rules do not apply in all states but higher education certificates are not required in most states. However, officers and detectives are paid more if they have a degree after high school as there are states and departments who consider higher education important. This can be an associate, bachelor or a master’s degree. You will be paid more depending on your degree.

Number of years in the field

You will be paid as an investigator if you will be working in the field for a long period of time. Usually, people see an increase of up to $15,000 with 20 years of experience if they do not get promoted. You can earn about $180,000 annually if you reach the post of Police Chief as a promotion.

Cambridge Private Investigators

The number of cases and solving them are the bases of a private investigator’s salary. The location, amount of discretion needed, amount of danger involved, required extra equipment and other many things are the factors mentioned above that can affect the price. Clients usually present their problem to the investigator and then it is up to them to quote a price for the job.

Private investigator salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

A state-employed detective has a steady income that will increase by various means as described here. On the other hand, a private investigator’s salary is quite unpredictable and will only increase if he or she is already popular or known. Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.

Cambridge Detective Career Outlook

First, let’s talk about the growth in the fields. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators on record in 2015. On the other hand, there were only about 30,000 private investigators holding a job at the same time. Private detectives have grown for about 5% in the industry. Meaning to say, in 2025 the new jobs open will reach 1,500. This is the same growth rate of 5% in different sectors. For public investigators, this is only 4% of the figure. This means there is going to be around 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator by 2025. This too is an average rate of growth.

The increasing population is the reason behind this steady increase in employment. Protection should be done to a lot of people and more criminals should be caught as the population increases. But due to the strict implementation of laws and technology are more advanced, the crime rate is not increasing that much. Thus, both the phenomena almost balance each other out leading to an average growth in both these careers.

police detective employment by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

In terms of location, Texas, California and New York have the highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators. The employment in western states and Texas are higher that to that of the eastern parts. Private detectives in California, Texas and Florida with the southern part are higher in number compared to the northern ones.

Let’s see what are the industries that hire these professionals most. The Local, State government and the Federal branch are employing a lot of criminal investigators. Security Services, Consulting services are the ones who usually hire private detectives and the local government need them for consultation on a few cases.

Financially speaking, criminal investigators do get paid more than private ones. The annual average salary of criminal investigators is $80,000 while Private investigators get $52,000. Public investigators are paid most in District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey in the aspects of geography and finance. It is in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey were private detectives are paid most.

Comparing with different industries again, we see that for private industries, the most employing industries do not pay the highest. In fact, Electromedical, Navigational, Power generation, Metal Product forming and other such industries paid the most for private detectives since they had the most sensitive information to protect. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.

Private investigator career outlook by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

How can You Qualify as a Detective In Cambridge

Keep in mind that there are two kinds of detectives. There are private investigators that the general public can hire to investigate on certain things. The others are employed by the government and reach this post after being promoted from a police officer. We are going to explore here the different avenues.

Finish your High School Studies

A detective is generally a police officer who has been promoted to that position because of his or her skills of deduction. Hence if you want to become a detective, it is generally necessary to graduate from high school and enlist in the police force. A high school degree is likewise necessary if you want to be a private investigator.

Get Yourself a Bachelor’s Degree

In most cases, enlisting in the police force won’t require a bachelor’s degree. However, some police officers prefer to have one as a means of employment after they retire. However, if you aspire to be a detective or land a job on federal level, you will need a bachelor’s degree.

Many institutions require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in law, criminal justice or psychology to become a detective. Anyone with an associate’s degree is given training up to 5000 hours. However, the time required is reduced to 4000 hours if you have a bachelor’s degree.

Get enough experience

You need to experience working as an investigator first before you can become a professional detective. Fortunately, you have several options available. Getting employed by the government is basically the most common method. You will be regarded as a person with experience if you worked as a criminal investigator or an arson investigator. However, you can also choose to work as a licensed repossessor or office investigator.

Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. A state might require at least 3 years of experience, but in some it could be as long as 5 years.

Get firearms permits

Investigators that aren’t licensed by the state aren’t allowed to carry firearms without a permit. Some firearms require a full training course after which they are issued with the permits. So, if you are planning to become an armed investigator, you will need to go through weapons training course and then get the permit for the required weapons.

Complete a Massachusetts licensure exam

A licensure test is required after you have all the requirements needed. The test will include questions regarded state laws and have multiple choices to choose from. The test is only available for those who want to be private detectives. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.

File for Massachusetts insurance

Since investigating can sometimes be a dangerous line of work, it is important to get insurance done. This is generally medical insurance of about $10,000. But since you’re carrying a gun with you for extra protection, and you will have to insure the gun as well, getting a higher amount will be an ideal choice.

Simply follow through all steps and you’ll have nothing to worry about. You can finally fulfill your dream and become a detective! Keep in mind however that there are dangers associated with this line of work. If you are still up for it, find out all the education requirements in detail and get started on them right away!

Responsibilities of Being a Detective in Cambridge

Crime Scene Investigation

One of the main duties of a detective is to analyze a crime scene and deduce certain assumptions from it. The detectives find and bag evidence at the scene of the crime. They are supposed to take anything into custody that may look suspicious and may be used for clues or in the court later. In some cases, detectives can receive aid from the forensic investigation department, hence allowing them to come up with more deductions regarding the crime. Detectives should gather as many clues and evidences as possible by analyzing cameras and gathering information from eye witnesses.

Criminal Research

An important aspect of a detective’s duties is to research previous case files in their free time. Through this, they can get to the mind of a criminal and discover any hidden clues and patterns. This involves looking into previous case records to allow them to have an insight regarding the behavior of the criminal. Research is definitely of great help when it comes to tracking down serial killers. This also helps detectives take down drug cartels by allowing them to identify any tactics being used. Research also helps detectives make deductions more efficiently.

Accurately guessing the culprit

The whole objective of everything that a detective does is to serve justice to the person who has committed the crime. However, they will need to come up with a list of suspects first. The list could be long, including up to a hundred people, or short – sometimes none at al. With the help of evidence, research, statements, and forensic studies, they are able to come up with such list. This suspect pool is then narrowed down by getting alibis from some suspects and interrogating others. After they narrow it down as much as possible, they collect hard evidence or get the suspect to confess to the crimes.

Testifying In Court

As part of their final job, detectives will need to make sure justice is served. To hasten the process, the court will sometimes summon them. They will often describe the scenario of the crime, and present evidences that will prove the crimes of the criminal. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.

Cambridge Private Detectives

The above duties are what a detective is expected to do. Keep in mind that the job of a private detective isn’t as easy as it seems. Supposedly, detectives should meet their client’s needs regardless of how difficult it might seem, especially in terms of research. But there are limits which they shouldn’t go beyond when carrying out their duties. A private detective is usually hired to perform background checks, keep a check on the actions of certain people, track finances, collect evidence against someone or work of similar nature. They should never act in a way that they can be easily recognized as a detective in public. Detectives are also prohibited from arresting an individual.

You see, the “Idiot Box But the jobs that these detectives (private and public) must undergo daily are stressful beyond comparison. Such things aren’t even shown on the TV. They are always supposed to look over their shoulder and ensure they do not miss any single clue since lives literally depend on them. If the job still has you intrigued, then find out how long it takes to become a detective now!