Huntsville Alabama Detective Salary And Job Requirements

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. 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

Salary of a Detective

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. A state employed detective earns a national average of $76,000. For a private detective, he or she can earn about $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.

Population Size

Like police officers, the population of a city decides the income of a detective. If the city is more populated, then the number of cases that need to be handled also rises. Thus, the increase in salary. The crime rate also affects the salary of an investigator. 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

Place assigned or working

The location is closely related to the population of the place and the crime rate. However, cost of living is another factor to consider. 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. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey has 6-figure salaries and District of Columbia can pay as much as $116,000.

Education background

For any police job (except at the federal level), a high school degree is sufficient. Though this rules sometimes varies with state, most states do not require higher education certificates. 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 may be an associate’s, bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. Depending on your degree, you might be paid more.

Work Experience

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. You can earn about $180,000 annually if you reach the post of Police Chief as a promotion.

Huntsville Private Investigators

The number of cases and solving them are the bases of a private investigator’s salary. 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. The price for the job will be quoted by the investigator after the problem is presented by the clients.

Private investigator salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

A state-employed detective has a steady income that will increase by various means as described here. 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. Now that you have the financial facts, you can decide which path to choose.

Career Outlook of a Huntsville Detective

First, let’s talk about 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. 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. This is the same growth rate of 5% in different 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 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.

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. 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. Criminalinvestigaors are being hired mostly by The Local, State government and the Federal branch. Security Services, Consulting services are the ones who usually hire private detectives and the local government need them for consultation on a few cases.

Financially speaking, criminal investigators do get paid more than private ones. Criminal investigators receive $80,000 as average salary annually while Private investigators earn $52,000 only. 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. Private detectives receive higher payment in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.

Compared with the different industries, private industries where they employ most do not pay the highest. 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 To Become A Huntsville Detective

It is important to note that there are two kinds of detectives. General public can hire some private investigators to investigate certain things. There are those who are government employees and after being promoted as a police officer gets the post. Here we shall explore both the avenues.

Complete High School

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

Usually, you don’t require a bachelor’s degree to get into the police academy. Some officers however want to have another source of income right after they retire from their job. Likewise, you will need a bachelor degree if you want to 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. A total of 5000 hours of training is given to anyone with an associate’s degree. However, the time required is reduced to 4000 hours if you have a bachelor’s degree.

Gain experience

To become a professional detective (not employed by the state), you need to have some professional experience as an investigator. Fortunately, you have several options available. However, the most common way is to be employed by the government first. You will be regarded as a person with experience if you worked as a criminal investigator or an arson investigator. Working as an office investigator or as a licensed repossessor will count as well.

Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. Some states require you to have 3 years of experience while others require 5 years.

Get firearms permits

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 Alabama licensing test

Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you will need to take a state licensing examination. The test will include questions regarded state laws and have multiple choices to choose from. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.

Insure Yourself

Since investigating can sometimes be a dangerous line of work, it is important to get insurance done. Typically, we’re talking about a $10,000 medical insurance. However, getting an even higher amount when you bring a firearm is necessary since you need to have some protection with you.

Complete all these steps and then voila! 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.

Responsibilities of Being a Detective in Huntsville

Crime Scene Investigation

It will be a detective’s duty to carefully assess a crime scene and come up with the most sensible deduction. He will then collect any evidence he can find in the crime scene. Supposedly, they should collect anything that looks like an evidence which can be used in court hearings later. 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.

Criminal Research

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. It also helps to identify tactics that a drug cartel might be using thus helping the detectives shut them down. 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. But to do this, they first need to a list of possible suspects. In some cases, it could include over a hundred people, but there are also cases where there is 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. By means of getting statements from suspects, detectives are able to narrow down their list. Once the list is narrowed down, they will then proceed to gathering evidence or having the suspect admit to his crimes.

Testifying In Court

Lastly, detectives will see to it that justice is served properly. To hasten the process, the court will sometimes summon them. In some cases, they will describe the evidence and how they are connected to the suspect, as well as narrating the possible crime scene. In some cases, they will even accompany the culprit to the jail.

Huntsville Private Detectives

Basically, the above mentioned roles are the responsibilities that detectives carry. A private detective’s job description 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 are allowed to only bend certain laws to a minimalistic extent to help them complete 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.

managed to get a most things right. 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. Detectives should make sure to find any clue they could get since a lot of people’s lives lie on them. If the job still has you intrigued, then find out how long it takes to become a detective now!