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, somewhere along the way, we forget this dream of ours and work towards more “realistic” goals. 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.
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 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. 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.
Like police officers, the population of a city decides the income of a detective. The number of cases to be handled by a detective increases if the city is more populated. In this case, the salary will increase. One of the major factors in deciding the salary of an investigator is the crime rate. For instance, someone in the LA police department will get an average salary of $44,000 to $88,000. Compared to someone in Miami Police department, the average salary ranges from $86,000 to $107,000.
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. 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.
A high school degree is sufficient for those who want any police job except for the federal level. States have different rules but a higher education certificate is not necessary in some 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. Your degree will affect your salary.
You will be paid as an investigator if you will be working in the field for a long period of time. 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.
Huntsville Private Investigators
A private investigator’s salary depends on the number of cases he or she takes and solves. The factors that affect the salary as mentioned above include the location, amount of discretion needed, amount of danger involved, required extra equipment and other many things. The price for the job will be quoted by the investigator after the problem is presented by the clients.
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. The path to choose will be determined based in the financial facts you have.
Huntsville 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 goes to show that by 2025, 1,500 new jobs will be opened. This growth rate is following the average growth rate of 5% across all other sectors. This figure is only 4% for public investigators. This means there is going to be around 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator by 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. As the population increases, more people need to be protected and more criminals need to be caught. Crime rate is not increasing significantly due to stricter laws and more advanced technology being used. Thus, both the phenomena almost balance each other out leading to an average growth in both these careers.
Geographically speaking, Texas, California and New York employ the highest number of Criminal / Law Enforcement Investigators. Western states and Texas show more employment here than the eastern ones. There are a lot of private detectives hired in California, Texas and Florida with the southern states compared in the northern part.
Let’s move on to the industries that hire most of these two professionals. 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.
Financially speaking, criminal investigators do get paid more than private ones. The annual average salary of criminal investigators is $80,000 while Private investigators get $52,000. When combining the aspects of geography and finance, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey is paying most the Public investigators. Private detectives receive higher payment in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
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. For public investigators, they are paid most by federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes.
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. The others are employed by the government and reach this post after being promoted from a police officer. We are going to explore here the different avenues.
Finish your High School Studies
A detective is known for his deduction skills, and it is due to such that he is promoted to such 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. A high school degree is likewise necessary if you want to be a private investigator.
Get your 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.
A bachelor’s degree in either criminal justice or law will be required in most institutions to become a detective. Anyone with an associate’s degree is given training up to 5000 hours. However, the time required is reduced to 4000 hours if you have a bachelor’s degree.
Get the right amount of experience
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.
The experience required might vary from one state to another. There are some that only require 3 years of experience, but some might need at least five.
Get firearms permits
Investigators that aren’t licensed by the state aren’t allowed to carry firearms without a permit. 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.
Obtain Missouri licensure
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. Once you pass, you will officially become a licensed private detective.
Get Missouri Insurance
Being a detective is dangerous, hence it is a good idea to get your insurance. 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! You can finally fulfill your dream and become a detective! 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.
Responsibilities of Being a Detective in Huntsville
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. 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. 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. 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. Research also helps detectives make deductions more efficiently.
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. They create this suspect list by drawing conclusions from the evidence gathered at the crime, eyewitnesses, research and a bit of criminal/forensic psychology. The list will then be narrowed down by interrogating suspects one after another. 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). 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. 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. 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. However, they are allowed to only bend certain laws to a minimalistic extent to help them complete their duties. Private detectives are often hired for tasks such as gathering evidence from someone, monitoring certain individuals, or even tracking finances. They should never act in a way that they can be easily recognized as a detective in public. Detectives are also prohibited from arresting an individual.
As you can see, the “Idiot Box” was right for the most part. The thing is, the duties and roles detectives undertake every single day are very stressful. 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 the job still has you intrigued, then find out how long it takes to become a detective now!