Los Angeles California 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, somewhere along the way, we forget this dream of ours and work towards more “realistic” goals. In recent years, due to the increased rate of crime, there is a greater need for detectives to solve them. This is the reason why some police officers are trying to be like Sherlock Holmes. If becoming a detective someday is a burning desire of yours, the information listed below is a great help.

Private detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

police detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

Table Of Contents

How Much a Detective Earns

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. 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. Here are the factors that affect the salary of investigators that are state employed.

Number of People

The income of a detective depends on the population of a city the same to that of the police officers. If the city is more populated, then the number of cases that need to be handled also rises. 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. 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 just the same us with the population of the place and rate of the crime. However, another factor comes into play in such conditions – cost of living. 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. A pay of $116,00 is usually received by employees in District of Columbia, Alaska and New Jersey.

Education background

A high school degree is sufficient for those who want any police job except for the federal level. 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.

Experience

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.

Los Angeles Private Investigators

A private investigator’s salary depends on the number of cases he or she takes and solves. 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. Clients usually present their problem to the investigator and then it is up to them to quote a price for the job.

Private investigator salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

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. Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.

Los Angeles Detective Career Outlook

What we are going to talk about first is the growth in the fields. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators on record in 2015. There were about 30,000 private investigators who do the same job on record. 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 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 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. Because of this, both the phenomena are just the same leading to average growth in each career.

police detective employment by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

In terms of location, Texas, California and New York have 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 now find out where these two professionals are hired most by industires. 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 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.

Compared with the different industries, private industries where they employ most do not pay the highest. 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. Federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes are paying public investigators most.

Private investigator career outlook by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

How can You Qualify as a Detective In Los Angeles

It is important to note that there are two kinds of detectives. 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 will explore both avenues here.

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. 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.

Get your Bachelor’s Degree

In most cases, enlisting in the police force won’t require a bachelor’s degree. 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. But for someone with a bachelor’s degree, the required training is only 4000 hours.

Gain experience

Professional experience as an investigator is required in order to 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. 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. A state might require at least 3 years of experience, but in some it could be as long as 5 years.

Acquire a license for your guns

Investigators who don’t have a firearms permit are prohibited from carrying their guns. Some firearms will need you to undertake a full training course in order to get your permit. Hence, to get a permit for your firearm when working as an investigator, you will need to complete the full training course.

Undergo a California licensing test

After completing all the education and experience requirements, you are required to undergo a state licensing test. During the exam, you will need to answer questions in multiple choice, usually regarding about state laws and several other procedures. The test is only available for those who want to be private detectives. If you managed to pass, you will become a licensed private investigator.

Get California Insurance

Since investigating can sometimes be a dangerous line of work, it is important to get insurance done. Basically, this is a medical insurance worth $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. 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.

Los Angeles Detective Job Description?

Crime Scene Investigation

One of the main duties of a detective is to analyze a crime scene and deduce certain assumptions from it. It will also include searching for clues and collecting evidences. They will need to keep anything suspicious that might lead to solving the case. To help them deduce a lot of things more quickly and easily, the forensic department will sometimes offer them assistance. To collect more clues and evidence, detectives will need to go door to door and ask any possible eye witnesses.

Criminal Research

One of the core aspects of a detective’s duty is doing research and groundwork regarding previous cases. 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 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. By means of getting statements from suspects, detectives are able to narrow down their list. 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. 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.

Los Angeles Private Detectives

All the above duties were that of a public detective or a law enforcement detective. A private detective’s job description 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. When carrying out duties as a detective, they should make sure not to look suspicious and act like a normal citizen. They are however, not allowed to arrest anyone.

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. 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 think being a detective is the right job for you, then you should do research about it now!