Costa Mesa California 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. After knowing the character of Sherlock Holmes, we assume to be like him. But this dream seems to be forgotten and we will work to more realistic goals. 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. You will find some information about being a detective if you still want to become one.

Private detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

police detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

Table Of Contents

How Much Does A Detective Make

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. A state employed detective earns a national average of $76,000. The average salary for a private detective is around $45,000 only. The factors that affect a PI’s salary will be discussed later. For now, let us look at the factors that affect the salary of state employed investigators.

Size of population

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. One of the major factors in deciding the salary of an investigator is the crime rate. For example, the average salary for someone who is in the LA police department will range from $44,000 to $88,000. In contrast, for someone in Miami Police department, the average salary tends to be around $86,000 to $107,000.

police detective salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

Job location

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. This is true with the case of private investigators as well. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey has 6-figure salaries and District of Columbia can pay as much as $116,000.

Educational degree

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. This may be an associate’s, bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. You will be paid more depending on your degree.

Work Experience

Like any other job, you will get earn as an investigator if you stay in the field long enough. An increase of up to $20,000 will be given to those who work in the field for 20 years if they don’t get a promotion. But if you are promoted as a Police Chief, you will be paid about $180,000 per year.

Costa Mesa 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

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. Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.

Costa Mesa Detective’s Career Path

First thing first, we will be talking about career growth in this field. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators on record in 2015. There were about 30,000 private investigators who do the same job on record. 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. 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 is also considered as the average growth rate.

The employment increases steadily because the population increases. Because of the increase in population, 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. 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

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. There are a lot of private detectives hired in California, Texas and Florida with the southern states compared in the northern part.

Let’s move on to the industries that hire most of these two professionals. Criminalinvestigaors are being hired mostly by The Local, State government and the Federal branch. 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.

When it comes to finance, criminal investigators are paid more compared to the private ones. Criminal investigators receive $80,000 as average salary annually while Private investigators earn $52,000 only. When combining the aspects of geography and finance, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey is paying most the Public investigators. It is in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey were private detectives are paid most.

Private industries that employ most do not pay the highest in comparison with the different industires. Private detectives are paid most in Electromedical, Navigational, Power generation, Metal Product forming and other such industries because of the most sensitive information that needs to be protected. 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 can You Qualify as a Detective In Costa Mesa

Detectives come in two kinds. General public can hire some private investigators to investigate certain things. Some of them are employed by the government and get this post after their promotion as a police officer. Here we shall explore both the 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. 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. 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.

A bachelor’s degree in either criminal justice or law will be required in most institutions to become a detective. If you have an associate’s degree, you will need at least 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. However, the most common way is to be employed by the government first. If you have any experience as an arson investigator, criminal investigator or a law enforcement investigator, you are qualified as a person with experience. Working as an office investigator or as a licensed repossessor will count as well.

The experience required might vary from one state to another. A state might require at least 3 years of experience, but in some it could be as long as 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 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.

Undergo a California licensing test

Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you will need to take a state licensing examination. This test usually contains some multiple choice questions about state laws and some procedures that often need to be carried out. Those who are looking to be a private detective will need to take this test. If you managed to pass, you will become a licensed private investigator.

Insure Yourself

Being a detective is dangerous, hence it is a good idea to get your insurance. 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.

Complete all these steps and then voila! Your steps towards becoming a successful detective is finally within your reach. Keep in mind however that there are dangers associated with this line of work. If you want to pursue your dreams, learn all about the requirements and complete them as soon as you can.

Responsibilities of Being a Detective in Costa Mesa

Crime Scene Investigation

It will be a detective’s duty to carefully assess a crime scene and come up with the most sensible deduction. 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. To collect more clues and evidence, detectives will need to go door to door and ask any possible 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. Research is definitely of great help when it comes to tracking down serial killers. 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.

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. In some cases, it could include over a hundred people, but there are also cases where there is 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. The list will then be narrowed down by interrogating suspects one after another. Once the list is narrowed down, they will then proceed to gathering evidence or having the suspect admit to his 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.

Costa Mesa Private Detectives

All the above duties were that of a public detective or a law enforcement detective. Keep in mind that the job of a private detective isn’t as easy as it seems. They are supposed to carry out their client’s wishes to the best of their abilities as far as reconnaissance is concerned. However, they can only go as far as certain laws will allow them when going on with their job. Private detectives are often hired for tasks such as gathering evidence from someone, monitoring certain individuals, or even tracking finances. 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.

Basically, you can see that the television has been portraying detectives properly for the most part. But the jobs that these detectives (private and public) must undergo daily are stressful beyond comparison. They are never displayed on portrayed on the media or anywhere else. Supposedly, they should carefully collect any clue and evidence since they carry such heavy responsibility on their shoulders. If the job still has you intrigued, then find out how long it takes to become a detective now!