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. Crime rate continue to increase that is why the need for detectives to solve them rises. Thus, some police officers step up and exhibiting what Sherlock Holmes does. For those of you who still haven’t given up on your detective dreams, here is some information on the exciting career of being a detective.
Table Of Contents
- Average Detective Salary
- Detective Career Outlook
- How To Become A Detective
- Detective Job Description
How Much Does A Detective Make
The basis of a detective’s salary at first will depend on his or her employer. An investigator who is employed by the state earns more than a private one in most cases. This is because a private detective has intermittent work while the state employed has a steady work. The national average for a state-employed detective 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. Let’s take a look at the factors affecting a state employed investigators’ salary at the moment.
Like police officers, the population of a city decides the income of a detective. If the city is more populated, then the number of cases that need to be handled also rises. Therefore, the salary increases as well. Similarly, crime rate also plays a major factor in deciding the salary of an investigator. For instance, someone in the LA police department will get an average salary of $44,000 to $88,000. Compared to someone in Miami Police department, the average salary ranges from $86,000 to $107,000.
The location is just the same us with the population of the place and rate of the crime. However, cost of living is another factor to consider. If the place has higher cost of living, the detective’s salary will also be higher. Private investigators will also have this case. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey has 6-figure salaries and District of Columbia can pay as much as $116,000.
Level of education attained
For any police job (except at the federal level), a high school degree is sufficient. This rules do not apply in all states but higher education certificates are not required in most states. But, the importance of higher education is considered by some states and departments that is why a degree after high school is a factor that affects the salary of the officers and detectives. The degree could be associate, bachelor or master’s. Depending on your degree, you might be paid more.
Like any other job, you will get earn as an investigator if you stay in the field long enough. Usually, people see an increase of up to $15,000 with 20 years of experience if they do not get promoted. But if you are promoted as a Police Chief, you will be paid about $180,000 per year.
Carnegie Private Investigators
The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. The factors that affect the salary as mentioned above include the location, amount of discretion needed, amount of danger involved, required extra equipment and other many things. The price for the job will be quoted by the investigator after the problem is presented by the clients.
You will know here that a state-employed detective’s income is steady and through various means it can be increased. 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. Now that you have the financial facts, you can decide which path to choose.
Carnegie Detective’s Career Path
What we are going to talk about first is the growth in the fields. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators recorded in 2015. On the other hand, there were only about 30,000 private investigators holding a job at the same time. There is a predicted growth of 5% in the industry of private detectives. This goes to show that by 2025, 1,500 new jobs will be opened. Such growth rate follows the 5% average growth rate in all other sectors. This figure is only 4% for public investigators. This means there is going to be around 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator by 2025. This is also considered as the average growth rate.
The steady increase in employment is mainly due to the increase in population. As the population increases, more people need to be protected and more criminals need to be caught. However, with stricter laws and more advanced technology being use, the crime rate isn’t increasing that significantly. Because of this, both the phenomena are just the same leading to average growth in each career.
Geographically speaking, Texas, California and New York employ the highest number of Criminal / Law Enforcement Investigators. There are more employments in Western states and Texas compared to the eastern part. Private detectives are prominent in California, Texas and Florida with the southern states tending to employ more compared to the northern ones.
Let’s move on to the industries that hire most of these two professionals. As clear as day, The Local, State government and the Federal branch employ the most number 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.
When it comes to finance, criminal investigators are paid more compared to the private ones. Their annual average salary is $80,000 (Criminal investigators) and that of Private investigators is around $52,000. Public investigators are paid most in District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey in the aspects of geography and finance. Private detectives were paid most in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
Private industries that employ most do not pay the highest in comparison with the different industires. SinceElectromedical, Navigational, Power generation, Metal Product forming and other such industries have to protect sensitive information that is why pirvate detective are paid most by them. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.
Qualifications to Become a Carnegie Detective
It is important to note 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 will explore both avenues here.
Complete High School
Due to excellent deduction skills, a deductive is able to take a leap from a police officer to a detective position. Thus, a general way in becoming a detective is to first complete high school and get into the police academy to become a police officer. Becoming a private investigator would mean getting a high school degree.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree
A bachelor’s degree isn’t really necessary in most cases when becoming a police officer. Although some officers would like to have other means of employment right after retirement. However, if you aspire to be a detective or land a job on federal level, you will need a bachelor’s degree.
In most institutions, you will need a bachelor’s degree in psychology, law, or criminal justice to be able to land a job as a detective. A total of 5000 hours of training is given to anyone with an associate’s degree. However, the time required is reduced to 4000 hours if you have a bachelor’s degree.
Get enough experience
Professional experience as an investigator is required in order to 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. Other than these, you can also choose to Public defender’s office investigator or a licensed repossessor.
Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. Some states require you to have 3 years of experience while others require 5 years.
Acquire a license for your guns
If an investigator doesn’t have a firearms permit, he won’t be allowed to carry his firearm. There are several firearms with strict requirements such as completing a full training course before the permits are issued. 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 Oklahoma licensure exam
Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you will need to take a state licensing examination. The test will include questions regarded state laws and have multiple choices to choose from. Those who are looking to be a private detective will need to take this test. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.
Being a detective is dangerous, hence it is a good idea to get your insurance. Basically, this is a medical insurance worth $10,000. However, it is important to also get a higher amount if you carry a firearm since you need to protect yourself from greater dangers and insure the gun itself.
Complete all these steps and then voila! You can finally fulfill your dream and become a detective! But be careful – as mentioned before, this can be a dangerous 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 Carnegie
Crime Scene Investigation
It will be a detective’s duty to carefully assess a crime scene and come up with the most sensible deduction. It will also include searching for clues and collecting evidences. 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.
Doing research regarding previous cases is regarded as an important aspect of a detective’s job. Through this, they can get to the mind of a criminal and discover any hidden clues and patterns. In most cases, this will mean researching into previous records for them to know how the culprit might operate. In cases of serial killers or ‘copycats’, research helps a lot. This is also applicable when it comes to knowing what tactics a drug cartel is up to. Research also helps detectives make deductions more efficiently.
Narrowing down suspects
A detective’s main objective is to take the one at fault to justice. 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. They are able to come up with such list by piecing evidences, statements from eye witnesses, results from research, and a bit of forensics altogether. By means of getting statements from suspects, detectives are able to narrow down their list. With a narrowed down list, they will then have the suspects admit to their crimes.
Testifying In Court
As part of their final job, detectives will need to make sure justice is served. To help with the process, they are sometimes summoned to the court to testify against the suspect(s). In some cases, they will describe the evidence and how they are connected to the suspect, as well as narrating the possible crime scene. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.
Carnegie Private Detectives
Basically, the above mentioned roles are the responsibilities that detectives carry. 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. Moreover, arresting someone is out of their jurisdiction.
As you can see, the “Idiot Box” was right for the most part. However, the roles and responsibilities that detectives carry aren’t as easy as they seem. They are never displayed on portrayed on the media or anywhere else. Detectives should make sure to find any clue they could get since a lot of people’s lives lie on them. If the job still has you intrigued, then find out how long it takes to become a detective now!