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. 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 where some police officers step up and exhibit the Sherlock Holmes in them. 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 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. Whereas the average salary for a private detective can be around $45,000. 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.
Number of People
The income of a detective depends on the population of a city the same to that of the police officers. The number of cases to be handled by a detective increases if the city is more populated. Thus, the increase in salary. 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. Whereas, a member of the Miami Police department usually get $86,000 to $107,000 salary.
Location of job
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 logic agrees with the case of private investigators too. A pay of $116,00 is usually received by employees in District of Columbia, Alaska and New Jersey.
One can have a police job if he or she has a high school degree except at 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 may be an associate’s, bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. 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. 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.
Fairfax Private Investigators
The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. 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.
As you can see, the income of a state-employed detective is steady and can be increased by various means. 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. The path to choose will be determined based in the financial facts you have.
Fairfax Detective Career Outlook
What we are going to talk about first is the growth in the fields. 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. This goes to show that by 2025, 1,500 new jobs will be opened. This is the same growth rate of 5% in different sectors. This figure is only 4% for public investigators. This goes to show that 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator is expected in 2025. This too is an average rate of growth.
The employment increases steadily because the population increases. 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. 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. Private detectives are prominent in California, Texas and Florida with the southern states tending to employ more 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.
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. 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. Federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes are paying public investigators most.
Qualifications to Become a Fairfax Detective
Keep in mind 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. 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.
Finish your High School Studies
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.
Get your 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.
Many institutions require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in law, criminal justice or psychology to become 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.
To become a professional detective (not employed by the state), you need to have some professional experience as an investigator. You can find several ways to do so. 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.
There might be variations in the required experience in the state you’re applying in. 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 who don’t have a firearms permit are prohibited from carrying their guns. 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 South Carolina licensure
A licensure test is required after you have all the requirements needed. This test usually contains some multiple choice questions about state laws and some procedures that often need to be carried out. The test is only available for those who want to be private detectives. Once you pass, you will officially become a licensed private detective.
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, 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 now start living the detective life you always wanted. Keep in mind however that there are dangers associated with this line of work. If that doesn’t scare you away, then you should fulfill all the requirements as soon as possible.
What Does A Detective Do In Fairfax?
Crime Scene Investigation
One of the main duties of a detective is to analyze a crime scene and deduce certain assumptions from it. He will then collect any evidence he can find in the crime scene. They will need to keep anything suspicious that might lead to solving the case. To help them deduce a lot of things more quickly and easily, the forensic department will sometimes offer them assistance. They are also supposed to go door to door and gather more evidence from eye witnesses or search for cameras wherever they might be installed.
Doing research regarding previous cases is regarded as an important aspect of a detective’s job. They do so to gain more knowledge about criminal behavior and identify patterns that people usually follow. 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.
Accurately guessing the culprit
A detective’s main objective is to take the one at fault to justice. They will need to have a list of the suspects first before such thing could happen. 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. 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. 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. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.
Fairfax 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. They will need to fulfill the needs of their clients especially when it comes to research. But there are limits which they shouldn’t go beyond when carrying out their duties. Some of the reasons why private detectives are hired include doing background checks, tracking finances, and even collecting clues and evidence to be used against a certain person. When carrying out duties as a detective, they should make sure not to look suspicious and act like a normal citizen. Moreover, arresting someone is out of their jurisdiction.
Basically, you can see that the television has been portraying detectives properly 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. 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’re really interested with the job, you should start knowing what it takes to be a detective now!