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. In recent years, due to the increased rate of crime, there is a greater need for detectives to solve them. 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.
Table Of Contents
- Average Detective Salary
- Detective Career Outlook
- How To Become A Detective
- Detective Job Description
How Much a Detective Earns
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. 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.
Size of population
Like police officers, the population of a city decides the income of a detective. A more populated city will mean more cases to be handled. Thus, the increase in salary. The crime rate also affects the salary of an investigator. For example, the average salary for someone in the LA police department ranges 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.
Place assigned or working
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. But there is another factor, which is the cost of living. If the place has higher cost of living, the detective’s salary will also be higher. This is true with the case of private investigators as well. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey all pay 6-figure salaries with District of Columbia paying as much as $116,000.
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 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.
Gainesville 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. Clients usually present their problem to the investigator and then it is up to them to quote a price for the job.
You will know here that a state-employed detective’s income is steady and through various means it can be increased. The salary of a private investigator cannot be determined and by being famous it can be increased. Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.
Gainesville Detective Career Outlook
First, let’s talk about 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. In this industry, the predicted growth of private detectives is about 15%. This means that there will be about 1,500 new jobs open by 2025. This growth rate is following the average growth rate of 5% across all other sectors. On the other hand, for public investigators, this figure is at 4%. This goes to show that 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator is expected in 2025. This can be considered as an average rate of growth as well.
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. 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.
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. 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.
When it comes to finance, criminal investigators are paid more compared to 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. It is in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey were private detectives are paid most.
Comparing with different industries again, we see that for private industries, the most employing industries 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. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.
Qualifications to Become a Gainesville Detective
Keep in mind that there are two kinds of detectives. General public can hire some private investigators to investigate 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.
Be a High School Graduate
A detective is generally a police officer who has been promoted to that position because of his or her skills of deduction. Hence if you want to become a detective, it is generally necessary to graduate from high school and enlist in the police force. To become a private investigator, a high school degree is a must too.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree
A bachelor’s degree isn’t really necessary in most cases when becoming a police officer. However, some police officers prefer to have one as a means of employment after they retire. Likewise, you will need a bachelor degree if you want to become a detective.
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. Landing work as a law enforcement investigator, arson investigator, or criminal investigator will count as being a person with experience. However, you can also choose to work as a licensed repossessor or office investigator.
Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. There are some that only require 3 years of experience, but some might need at least five.
Acquire a license for your guns
Investigators who don’t have a firearms permit are prohibited from carrying their guns. 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 Florida 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. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. If you managed to pass, you will become a licensed private investigator.
File for Florida insurance
Since investigating can sometimes be a dangerous line of work, it is important to get insurance done. 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.
By completing these steps, you’ll be good to go. 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 Gainesville?
Crime Scene Investigation
One of the main duties of a detective is to analyze a crime scene and deduce certain assumptions from it. 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. Sometimes the forensic investigation department lends them a hand in analyzing the evidence and thus helping them deduce more things about the crime. 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.
An important aspect of a detective’s duties is to research previous case files in their free time. 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. Research is definitely of great help when it comes to tracking down serial killers. This also helps detectives take down drug cartels by allowing them to identify any tactics being used. Other general research can help them narrow down a suspect better or deduce the crime scene in a more efficient way.
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. This suspect pool maybe as big as 100 people or as small as none. 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. 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. To help with the process, they are sometimes summoned to the court to testify against the suspect(s). 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. There are also cases where the one at fault will be escorted by the detective.
Gainesville Private Detectives
The above duties are what a detective is expected to do. Keep in mind that the job of a private detective isn’t as easy as it seems. 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. Private detectives are often hired for tasks such as gathering evidence from someone, monitoring certain individuals, or even tracking finances. 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.
You see, the “Idiot Box However, the roles and responsibilities that detectives carry aren’t as easy as they seem. That is never shown properly on television 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!