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. Thus, some police officers step up and exhibiting what Sherlock Holmes does. If becoming a detective someday is a burning desire of yours, the information listed below is a great help.
Table Of Contents
- Average Detective Salary
- Detective Career Outlook
- How To Become A Detective
- Detective Job Description
How Much a Detective Earns
The base salary of a detective first depends 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. The average salary for a private detective is around $45,000 only. 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.
The income of a detective depends on the population of a city the same to that of the police officers. 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. Whereas, a member of the Miami Police department usually get $86,000 to $107,000 salary.
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. But there is another factor, which is the cost of living. A detective will be paid higher if the cost of living in that certain location is 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.
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. 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. You will be paid more depending on your degree.
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. However, with promotions, if you reach the post of Police Chief, you can earn about $180,000 annually.
Columbia Private Investigators
The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. 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 price for the job will be quoted by the investigator after the problem is presented by the clients.
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.
Columbia Detective’s Career Path
First thing first, we will be talking about career growth in this field. In 2015, the recorded public detectives or criminals investigators are about 106,000. 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 steady increase in employment is mainly due to the increase in population. Because of the increase in population, more people need to be protected and more criminals need to be caught. But due to the strict implementation of laws and technology are more advanced, the crime rate is not increasing that much. Hence, there is a balance in each other, which leads to average growth in both careers.
The highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators are found in Texas, California and New York. Western states and Texas show more employment here than the eastern ones. There are a lot of private detectives hired in California, Texas and Florida with the southern states compared in the northern part.
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. Whereas private detectives are being hired by Security Services, Consulting services and the local government for consultation purposes on a few cases.
Criminal investigators get higher payments than the private ones. The annual average salary of criminal investigators is $80,000 while Private investigators get $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. Private detectives receive higher payment in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
Compared with the different industries, private industries where they employ most do not pay the highest. 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. Federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes are paying public investigators most.
Qualifications to Become a Columbia Detective
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.
Be a High School Graduate
A detective is known for his deduction skills, and it is due to such that he is promoted to such 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. 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. Although some officers would like to have other means of employment right after retirement. Likewise, you will need a bachelor degree if you want to become a detective.
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.
To become a professional detective (not employed by the state), you need to have some professional experience as an investigator. There are many ways to get this. 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. Working as an office investigator or as a licensed repossessor will count as well.
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
Investigators that aren’t licensed by the state aren’t allowed to carry firearms without a permit. Some firearms will need you to undertake a full training course in order to get your permit. 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 Missouri licensure
A licensure test is required after you have all the requirements needed. During the exam, you will need to answer questions in multiple choice, usually regarding about state laws and several other procedures. The test is only available for those who want to be private detectives. Once you pass, you will officially become a licensed private detective.
File for Missouri insurance
Due to the dangerous nature of the work, you should make sure to get an insurance. Basically, this is a medical insurance worth $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.
Complete all these steps and then voila! Your steps towards becoming a successful detective is finally within your reach. However, don’t forget that being a detective would mean exposing yourself to danger. If that doesn’t scare you away, then you should fulfill all the requirements as soon as possible.
What Does A Detective Do In Columbia?
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. In some cases, detectives can receive aid from the forensic investigation department, hence allowing them to come up with more deductions regarding the crime. To collect more clues and evidence, detectives will need to go door to door and ask any possible eye witnesses.
One of the core aspects of a detective’s duty is doing research and groundwork regarding previous cases. 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. Other general research can help them narrow down a suspect better or deduce the crime scene in a more efficient way.
Narrowing down suspects
The goal of a detective’s job is to bring justice to light and bring the culprit 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. With the help of evidence, research, statements, and forensic studies, they are able to come up with such list. 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
One of the final jobs of a detective on a case is to ensure that justice is served. To hasten the process, the court will sometimes summon them. They either narrate a possible scenario of how the crime was committed, describe how the evidence incriminates the suspect or provide their expert views on certain topics. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.
Columbia Private Detectives
The above duties are what a detective is expected to do. The job description of a detective is a bit loose. They will need to fulfill the needs of their clients especially when it comes to research. However, they are allowed to only bend certain laws to a minimalistic extent to help them complete their duties. Private detectives are often hired for tasks such as gathering evidence from someone, monitoring certain individuals, or even tracking finances. They have to be subtle in their ways and act as a normal citizen in carrying out the duties of a detective. Detectives are also prohibited from arresting an individual.
As you can see, the “Idiot Box” was right for the most part. 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 you think being a detective is the right job for you, then you should do research about it now!