Chicago Illinois Detective Salary And Job Requirements

Becoming a detective is a dream for those who grow up watching detective and serial movies. The thrill of deducing never really leaves us especially after getting to know the character of Sherlock Holmes. However, we turn this dream into a reality along the way. Crime rate continue to increase that is why the need for detectives to solve them rises. This is the reason why some police officers are trying to be like Sherlock Holmes. 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.

Private detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

police detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

Table Of Contents

Salary of a Detective

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 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. A state employed detective earns a national average of $76,000. The average salary for a private detective is around $45,000 only. 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.

Number of People

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. In this case, the salary will increase. The crime rate also affects the salary of an investigator. For instance, someone in the LA police department will get an average salary of $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

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Job location

The location is just the same us with the population of the place and rate of the crime. However, another factor comes into play in such conditions – cost of living. Higher the cost of living in a certain location, higher the detective is paid. 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

A high school degree is sufficient for those who want any police job except for the federal level. States have different rules but a higher education certificate is not necessary in some 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. This can be an associate, bachelor or a master’s degree. Your degree will affect your salary.

Number of years in the field

Like any other job, you will get earn as an investigator if you stay in the field long enough. For those who are working in the field for 20 years already even if they are not promoted will get up to $15,000 increase. But if you are promoted as a Police Chief, you will be paid about $180,000 per year.

Chicago Private Investigators

A private investigator’s salary depends on the number of cases he or she takes and solves. As mentioned before, the location can affect the price along with the many other factors such as the amount of discretion needed, the amount of danger involved, extra equipment required and many other things. The investigator will quote the job price after the clients presented their problem.

Private investigator salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

As you can see, the income of a state-employed detective is steady and can be increased by various means. On the hand, the salary of a private investigator is quite unpredictable and can only be increased by fame (or rather being more discrete). Now that you have the financial facts, you can decide which path to choose.

Career Outlook of a Chicago Detective

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. Meanwhile, private investigators who do the same job were only 30,000. Private detectives have grown for about 5% in the industry. 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 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. Crime rate is not increasing significantly due to stricter laws and more advanced technology being used. Because of this, both the phenomena are just the same leading to average growth in each career.

police detective employment by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

The highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators are found in Texas, California and New York. 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. As clear as day, The Local, State government and the Federal branch employ the most number of criminal investigators. On the other hand, private detectives are usually hired by Security Services, Consulting services and occasionally by the local government for consultation on a few cases.

Financially speaking, criminal investigators do get paid more than private ones. Their annual average salary is $80,000 (Criminal investigators) and that of Private investigators is around $52,000. When you combine the aspects of geography and finance, you see that District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey paid the most (6 figure salaries) for Public investigators. It is in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey were private detectives are paid most.

Compared with the different industries, private industries where they employ most 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. For public investigators, they are paid most by federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes.

Private investigator career outlook by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

How To Become A Chicago Detective

It is important to note that there are two kinds of detectives. Some of them are private investigators who can be hired by the general public 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.

Finish your High School Studies

A detective is known for his deduction skills, and it is due to such that he is promoted to such position. This only means that you will need to complete your high school studies and become a police officer before you can become a detective. To become a private investigator, a high school degree is a must too.

Earn 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.

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. If you have an associate’s degree, you will need at least 5000 hours. On the other hand, someone with a bachelor’s degree needs only 4000 hours of training.

Get enough experience

Professional experience as an investigator is required in order to become a professional detective. There are many ways to get this. However, the most common way is to be employed by the government first. 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.

The experience required might vary from one state to another. Some states require you to have 3 years of experience while others require 5 years.

Own a gun legally

If an investigator doesn’t have a firearms permit, he won’t be allowed to carry his firearm. 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.

Obtain Illinois licensure

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. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. If you managed to pass, you will become a licensed private investigator.

Insure Yourself

Due to the dangerous nature of the work, you should make sure to get an insurance. This is generally medical insurance of about $10,000. However, getting an even higher amount when you bring a firearm is necessary since you need to have some protection with you.

Simply follow through all steps and you’ll have nothing to worry about. You can now start living the detective life you always wanted. However, don’t forget that being a detective would mean exposing yourself to danger. If you want to pursue your dreams, learn all about the requirements and complete them as soon as you can.

Chicago Detective Job Description?

Crime Scene Investigation

It will be a detective’s duty to carefully assess a crime scene and come up with the most sensible deduction. He will then collect any evidence he can find in the crime scene. They are supposed to take anything into custody that may look suspicious and may be used for clues or in the court later. To help them deduce a lot of things more quickly and easily, the forensic department will sometimes offer them assistance. 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. This is so that they can have an insight regarding criminal patterns and behaviors. 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. It also helps to identify tactics that a drug cartel might be using thus helping the detectives shut them down. Research also helps detectives make deductions more efficiently.

Reducing the list of possible suspects

The whole objective of everything that a detective does is to serve justice to the person who has committed the crime. But to do this, they first need to a list of possible suspects. This suspect pool maybe as big as 100 people or as small as none. 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. 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

Lastly, detectives will see to it that justice is served properly. The court will sometimes summon the detective to the court to aid with the process. In some cases, they will describe the evidence and how they are connected to the suspect, as well as narrating the possible crime scene. There are also cases where the one at fault will be escorted by the detective.

Chicago Private Detectives

All the above duties were that of a public detective or a law enforcement detective. The job description of a detective is a bit loose. Supposedly, detectives should meet their client’s needs regardless of how difficult it might seem, especially in terms of research. However, they can only go as far as certain laws will allow them when going on with their job. 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. When carrying out duties as a detective, they should make sure not to look suspicious and act like a normal citizen. They are however, not allowed to arrest anyone.

managed to get a most things right. 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. Supposedly, they should carefully collect any clue and evidence since they carry such heavy responsibility on their shoulders. If you think being a detective is the right job for you, then you should do research about it now!