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, we turn this dream into a reality along the way. In recent years, due to the increased rate of crime, there is a greater need for detectives to solve them. This is where some police officers step up and exhibit the Sherlock Holmes in them. 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 employer is the one who will decide regarding the detective’s salary. 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. For a private detective, he or she can earn about $45,000. Later, you will know about what affects a PI’s salary. Let’s take a look at the factors affecting a state employed investigators’ salary at the moment.
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. In this case, the salary will increase. 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.
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. But there is another factor, which is the cost of living. Higher the cost of living in a certain location, higher the detective is paid. This is true with the case of private investigators as well. A pay of $116,00 is usually received by employees in District of Columbia, Alaska and New Jersey.
For any police job (except at the federal level), a high school degree is sufficient. States have different rules but a higher education certificate is not necessary in some states. However, some states and departments have started to realize the importance of higher education and thus are paying officers and detectives a percentage higher above the base pay if they have a degree after high school. This can be an associate, bachelor or a master’s degree. You will be paid more depending on your degree.
You will be paid as an investigator if you will be working in the field for a long period of time. 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.
Houston Private Investigators
The number of cases and solving them are the bases of a private investigator’s salary. 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.
As you can see, the income of a state-employed detective is steady and can be increased by various means. The salary of a private investigator cannot be determined and by being famous it can be increased. Now that you have the financial facts, you can decide which path to choose.
Houston Detective Career Outlook
First, let’s talk about the growth in the fields. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators on record in 2015. 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 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 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. As the population increases, 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. 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. Security Services, Consulting services are the ones who usually hire private detectives and the local government need them for consultation 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. 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. 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. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.
How can You Qualify as a Detective In Houston
Detectives come in two kinds. 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.
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. Becoming a private investigator would mean getting a high school degree.
Get Yourself a Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree isn’t really necessary in most cases when becoming a police officer. Although some officers would like to have other means of employment right after retirement. A bachelor’s degree is also required to pursue any jobs at the federal level or 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. 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. You can find several ways to do so. However, the most common way is to be employed by the government first. Landing work as a law enforcement investigator, arson investigator, or criminal investigator will count as being a person with experience. Working as an office investigator or as a licensed repossessor will count as well.
There might be variations in the required experience in the state you’re applying in. Some states require you to have 3 years of experience while others require 5 years.
Get firearms permits
If an investigator doesn’t have a firearms permit, he won’t be allowed to carry his firearm. 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.
Undergo a Delaware licensing test
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.
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. 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 Houston
Crime Scene Investigation
It will be a detective’s duty to carefully assess a crime scene and come up with the most sensible deduction. 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. 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.
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. This is really helpful when it comes to 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. 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 create this suspect list by drawing conclusions from the evidence gathered at the crime, eyewitnesses, research and a bit of criminal/forensic psychology. This suspect pool is then narrowed down by getting alibis from some suspects and interrogating others. 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 help with the process, they are sometimes summoned to the court to testify against the suspect(s). 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.
Houston Private Detectives
Basically, the above mentioned roles are the responsibilities that detectives carry. 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. 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. They should never act in a way that they can be easily recognized as a detective in public. They are however, not allowed to arrest anyone.
You see, the “Idiot Box The thing is, the duties and roles detectives undertake every single day are very stressful. That is never shown properly on television 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!