Lake Forest California Detective Salary And Job Requirements

Those who are fond of watching detective serials and movies want to become a detective in the future as well. Assuming to be like Sherlock Holmes is normal for us after we have known his character. However, somewhere along the way, we forget this dream of ours and work towards more “realistic” goals. Since crime rate is increasing these days, more detectives are needed in order to solve them. This is where some police officers step up and exhibit the Sherlock Holmes in them. 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.

Private detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

police detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

Table Of Contents

How Much Does A Detective Make

The basis of a detective’s salary at first will depend on his or her employer. Usually, a state employed investigator has higher earnings compared to a private one. This is because a private detective has intermittent work while the state employed has a steady work. The national average that is earned by a detective who is employed by the state 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.

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. Similarly, crime rate also plays a major factor in deciding the salary of an investigator. For example, the average salary for someone in the LA police department ranges from $44,000 to $88,000. Compared to someone in Miami Police department, the average salary ranges from $86,000 to $107,000.

police detective salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

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. 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.

Level of education attained

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 can be an associate, bachelor or a master’s degree. You will be paid more depending on your degree.

Number of years in the field

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.

Lake Forest 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 investigator will quote the job price after the clients presented their problem.

Private investigator salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

You will know here that a state-employed detective’s income is steady and through various means it can be increased. 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.

Lake Forest Detective’s Career Path

First, let’s talk about the growth in the fields. In 2015, the recorded public detectives or criminals investigators are about 106,000. Meanwhile, private investigators who do the same job were only 30,000. There is a predicted growth of 5% in the industry of private detectives. Meaning to say, in 2025 the new jobs open will reach 1,500. 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 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. 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.

police detective employment by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

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. The Local, State government and the Federal branch are employing a lot of criminal investigators. On the other hand, private detectives are usually hired by Security Services, Consulting services and occasionally by the local government for consultation on a few cases.

Criminal investigators get higher payments than the private ones. Their annual average salary is $80,000 (Criminal investigators) and that of Private investigators is around $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. 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. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.

Private investigator career outlook by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

Qualifications to Become a Lake Forest Detective

Detectives come in two kinds. There are private investigators that the general public can hire to investigate on certain things. Some of them are employed by the government and get this post after their promotion as 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. Becoming a private investigator would mean getting a high school degree.

Get Yourself a Bachelor’s Degree

Usually, you don’t require a bachelor’s degree to get into the police academy. Although some officers would like to have other means of employment right after retirement. However, if you aspire to be a detective or land a job on federal level, you will need a bachelor’s degree.

Many institutions require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in law, criminal justice or psychology to become 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.

Get the right amount of experience

You need to experience working as an investigator first before you can become a professional detective. There are many ways to get this. But in most cases, it will require you to be employed by the government. If you have any experience as an arson investigator, criminal investigator or a law enforcement investigator, you are qualified as a person with experience. Other than these, you can also choose to Public defender’s office investigator or a licensed repossessor.

The experience required might vary from one state to another. 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. Therefore if you want to own a firearm while working as an investigator, completing the training course is necessary to get your own permit.

Undergo a California 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. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.

Insure Yourself

Due to the dangerous nature of the work, you should make sure to get an insurance. Typically, we’re talking about a $10,000 medical insurance. But since you’re carrying a gun with you for extra protection, and you will have to insure the gun as well, getting a higher amount will be an ideal choice.

By completing these steps, you’ll be good to go. You can now start living the detective life you always wanted. But be careful – as mentioned before, this can be a dangerous line of work. If that doesn’t scare you away, then you should fulfill all the requirements as soon as possible.

What Does A Detective Do In Lake Forest?

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. 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.

Criminal Research

Doing research regarding previous cases is regarded as an important aspect of a detective’s job. Through this, they can get to the mind of a criminal and discover any hidden clues and patterns. This involves looking into previous case records to allow them to have an insight regarding the behavior of the criminal. In cases of serial killers or ‘copycats’, research helps a lot. It also helps to identify tactics that a drug cartel might be using thus helping the detectives shut them down. Through the help of general research, it will be a lot easier for detectives to identify the culprit or make any accurate deductions.

Reducing the list of possible suspects

The goal of a detective’s job is to bring justice to light and bring the culprit to justice. They will need to have a list of the suspects first before such thing could happen. 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. This suspect pool is then narrowed down by getting alibis from some suspects and interrogating others. 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

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. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.

Lake Forest 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 will need to fulfill the needs of their clients especially when it comes to research. 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. Detectives are also prohibited from arresting an individual.

Basically, you can see that the television has been portraying detectives properly for the most part. 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 you’re really interested with the job, you should start knowing what it takes to be a detective now!

Pursuing A Career As A Detective?

I Am! Not At The Moment...

Perfect! Let's get you matched with college programs in your area.

Let's Do It!

Law Enforcement is a rewarding and lucrative career option.

It doesn't cost anything to check out local programs!

OK, Let's Check It Out