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. 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.
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. In most circumstances, a state employed investigator earns more than a private one. This is mostly due to steady work that they receive compared to the intermittent work of a private detective.The reason behind this is they always have work to do compared to a private detective. The national average that is earned by a detective who is employed by the state is $76,000. The average salary for a private detective is around $45,000 only. The factors that affect a PI’s salary will be discussed later. Let’s take a look at the factors affecting a state employed investigators’ salary at the moment.
Number of People
Just like police officers, the income of a detective is dependent on the city’s population. A more populated city will mean more cases to be handled. Therefore, the salary increases as well. Similarly, crime rate also plays a major factor in deciding 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. Whereas, a member of the Miami Police department usually get $86,000 to $107,000 salary.
Location of job
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. However, another factor comes into play in such conditions – cost of living. Higher the cost of living in a certain location, higher the detective is paid. 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. Though this rules sometimes varies with state, most states do not require higher education certificates. However, officers and detectives are paid more if they have a degree after high school as there are states and departments who consider higher education important. The degree could be associate, bachelor or master’s. Your degree will affect your salary.
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. However, with promotions, if you reach the post of Police Chief, you can earn about $180,000 annually.
New York 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. Clients usually present their problem to the investigator and then it is up to them to quote a price for the job.
A state-employed detective has a steady income that will increase by various means as described here. 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.
New York Detective’s Career Path
What we are going to talk about first is the growth in the fields. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators recorded in 2015. There were about 30,000 private investigators who do the same job on record. Private detectives have grown for about 5% in the industry. 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. 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 is also considered as the average growth rate.
The increasing population is the reason behind this steady increase in employment. 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. Hence, there is a balance in each other, which leads to average growth in both 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. 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. The Local, State government and the Federal branch are employing a lot 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.
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 were paid most in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
Comparing with different industries again, we see that for private industries, the most employing industries 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. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.
Qualifications to Become a New York Detective
It is important to note that there are two kinds of detectives. Some of them are private investigators who can be hired by the general public 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.
Be a High School Graduate
Due to excellent deduction skills, a deductive is able to take a leap from a police officer to a detective 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 Yourself 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. Likewise, you will need a bachelor degree if you want to become a detective.
Many institutions require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in law, criminal justice or psychology to become a detective. If you have an associate’s degree, you will need at least 5000 hours. However, the time required is reduced to 4000 hours if you have a bachelor’s degree.
Get enough experience
You need to experience working as an investigator first before you can become a professional detective. There are many ways to get this. Getting employed by the government is basically the most common method. 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.
There might be variations in the required experience in the state you’re applying in. 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. Some firearms will need you to undertake a full training course in order to get your permit. Therefore if you want to own a firearm while working as an investigator, completing the training course is necessary to get your own permit.
Obtain New York licensure
A licensure test is required after you have all the requirements needed. During the exam, you will need to answer questions in multiple choice, usually regarding about state laws and several other procedures. Those who are looking to be a private detective will need to take this test. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.
File for New York insurance
Due to the dangerous nature of the work, you should make sure to get an insurance. 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.
Complete all these steps and then voila! 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 you want to pursue your dreams, learn all about the requirements and complete them as soon as you can.
Responsibilities of Being a Detective in New York
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. In some cases, detectives can receive aid from the forensic investigation department, hence allowing them to come up with more deductions regarding the crime. To collect more clues and evidence, detectives will need to go door to door and ask any possible 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. 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. 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.
Accurately guessing the culprit
The goal of a detective’s job is to bring justice to light and bring the culprit to justice. However, they will need to come up with a list of suspects first. 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. 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
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.
New York 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 are supposed to carry out their client’s wishes to the best of their abilities as far as reconnaissance is concerned. However, they are allowed to only bend certain laws to a minimalistic extent to help them complete their duties. A private detective is usually hired to perform background checks, keep a check on the actions of certain people, track finances, collect evidence against someone or work of similar nature. They have to be subtle in their ways and act as a normal citizen in carrying out the duties of a detective. Detectives are also prohibited from arresting an individual.
Basically, you can see that the television has been portraying detectives properly for the most part. The thing is, the duties and roles detectives undertake every single day are very stressful. Such things aren’t even shown on the TV. 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!