Growing up watching detective serials and movies, everyone wants to become a detective. 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. A state employed detective earns a national average of $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 in the LA police department ranges from $44,000 to $88,000. Whereas, a member of the Miami Police department usually get $86,000 to $107,000 salary.
Place assigned or working
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. However, cost of living is another factor to consider. A detective will be paid higher if the cost of living in that certain location is higher. This logic agrees with the case of private investigators too. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey has 6-figure salaries and District of Columbia can pay as much as $116,000.
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.
Your length of stay in the field will be a consideration on how much you will earn as an investigator. Usually, people see an increase of up to $15,000 with 20 years of experience if they do not get promoted. You can earn about $180,000 annually if you reach the post of Police Chief as a promotion.
Houston 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 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 hand, the salary of a private investigator is quite unpredictable and can only be increased by fame (or rather being more discrete). Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.
Houston Detective’s Career Path
First, let’s talk about the growth in the fields. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators on record 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. Such growth rate follows the 5% average growth rate in 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. Protection should be done to a lot of people and more criminals should be caught as the population increases. But due to the strict implementation of laws and technology are more advanced, the crime rate is not increasing that much. Thus, both the phenomena almost balance each other out leading to an average growth in both these careers.
In terms of location, Texas, California and New York have the highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators. There are more employments in Western states and Texas compared to the eastern part. 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. 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. Criminal investigators receive $80,000 as average salary annually while Private investigators earn $52,000 only. 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. For public investigators, they are paid most by federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes.
How To Become A Houston Detective
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.
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. This only means that you will need to complete your high school studies and become a police officer before you can become a detective. A high school degree is likewise necessary if you want to be a private investigator.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree
In most cases, enlisting in the police force won’t require a bachelor’s degree. However, some police officers prefer to have one as a means of employment after they retire. 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. Anyone with an associate’s degree is given training up to 5000 hours. But for someone with a bachelor’s degree, the required training is only 4000 hours.
Professional experience as an investigator is required in order to become a professional detective. You can find several ways to do so. But in most cases, it will require you to be employed by the government. 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.
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. There are several firearms with strict requirements such as completing a full training course before the permits are issued. Hence, to get a permit for your firearm when working as an investigator, you will need to complete the full training course.
Undergo a Texas licensing test
After completing all the education and experience requirements, you are required to undergo a state licensing test. 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. Once you pass, you will officially become a licensed private detective.
File for Texas insurance
Being a detective is dangerous, hence it is a good idea to get your 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.
By completing these steps, you’ll be good to go. 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 are still up for it, find out all the education requirements in detail and get started on them right away!
Responsibilities of Being a Detective in Houston
Crime Scene Investigation
One main role of a detective is to take a look at a crime scene and make certain deductions. It will also include searching for clues and collecting evidences. They will need to keep anything suspicious that might lead to solving the case. In some cases, detectives can receive aid from the forensic investigation department, hence allowing them to come up with more deductions regarding 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. They do so to gain more knowledge about criminal behavior and identify patterns that people usually follow. Often, research into the past and previous case files give them an idea or a clue as to how the current culprit might be operating. This is really helpful when it comes to serial killers. This is also applicable when it comes to knowing what tactics a drug cartel is up to. Through the help of general research, it will be a lot easier for detectives to identify the culprit or make any accurate deductions.
Narrowing down suspects
The whole objective of everything that a detective does is to serve justice to the person who has committed the crime. They will need to have a list of the suspects first before such thing could happen. The list could be long, including up to a hundred people, or short – sometimes none at al. 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. 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.
Houston 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. Supposedly, detectives should meet their client’s needs regardless of how difficult it might seem, especially in terms of research. 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 have to be subtle in their ways and act as a normal citizen in carrying out the duties of a detective. They are however, not allowed to arrest anyone.
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. 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!