Those who are fond of watching detective serials and movies want to become a detective in the future as well. After knowing the character of Sherlock Holmes, we assume to be like him. 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 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.
Table Of Contents
- Average Detective Salary
- Detective Career Outlook
- How To Become A Detective
- Detective Job Description
How Much a Detective Earns
The employer is the one who will decide regarding the detective’s salary. 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. Here are the factors that affect the salary of investigators that are state employed.
Just like police officers, the income of a detective is dependent on the city’s population. The number of cases to be handled by a detective increases if the city is more populated. In this case, the salary will increase. The crime rate also affects the salary of an investigator. 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.
Location of job
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. 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 has 6-figure salaries and District of Columbia can pay as much as $116,000.
For any police job (except at the federal level), a high school degree is sufficient. This rules do not apply in all states but higher education certificates are not required in most states. 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. An increase of up to $20,000 will be given to those who work in the field for 20 years if they don’t get a promotion. But if you are promoted as a Police Chief, you will be paid about $180,000 per year.
Oklahoma City Private Investigators
The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. As mentioned before, the location can affect the price along with the many other factors such as the amount of discretion needed, the amount of danger involved, extra equipment required and many other things. The price for the job will be quoted by the investigator after the problem is presented by the clients.
You will know here that a state-employed detective’s income is steady and through various means it can be increased. On the hand, the salary of a private investigator is quite unpredictable and can only be increased by fame (or rather being more discrete). Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.
Career Outlook of a Oklahoma City Detective
First thing first, we will be talking about career growth in this field. 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 means that there will be about 1,500 new jobs open by 2025. This is the same growth rate of 5% in different sectors. On the other hand, for public investigators, this figure is at 4%. Meaning to say, in 2025 it is expected that there will be 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator. This too is an average rate of growth.
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. 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.
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. There are a lot of private detectives hired in California, Texas and Florida with the southern states compared in the northern part.
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.
When it comes to finance, criminal investigators are paid more compared to the 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.
Compared with the different industries, private industries where they employ most do not pay the highest. In fact, Electromedical, Navigational, Power generation, Metal Product forming and other such industries paid the most for private detectives since they had the most sensitive information to protect. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.
Qualifications to Become a Oklahoma City Detective
Detectives come in two kinds. 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. We will explore both avenues here.
Finish your High School Studies
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
A bachelor’s degree isn’t really necessary in most cases when becoming a police officer. 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.
A bachelor’s degree in either criminal justice or law will be required in most institutions 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
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. 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.
Own a gun legally
Investigators who don’t have a firearms permit are prohibited from carrying their guns. Some firearms require a full training course after which they are issued with the permits. Hence, to get a permit for your firearm when working as an investigator, you will need to complete the full training course.
Complete a Oklahoma licensure exam
After completing all the education and experience requirements, you are required to undergo a state licensing test. The test will include questions regarded state laws and have multiple choices to choose from. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. If you managed to pass, you will become a licensed private investigator.
Get Oklahoma Insurance
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. Your steps towards becoming a successful detective is finally within your reach. 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.
What Does A Detective Do In Oklahoma City?
Crime Scene Investigation
It will be a detective’s duty to carefully assess a crime scene and come up with the most sensible deduction. The detectives find and bag evidence at the scene of the crime. 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. 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.
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. 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. This also helps detectives take down drug cartels by allowing them to identify any tactics being used. Other general research can help them narrow down a suspect better or deduce the crime scene in a more efficient way.
Reducing the list of possible suspects
A detective’s main objective is to take the one at fault to justice. They will need to have a list of the suspects first before such thing could happen. This suspect pool maybe as big as 100 people or as small as none. 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. The list will then be narrowed down by interrogating suspects one after another. 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). In some cases, they will describe the evidence and how they are connected to the suspect, as well as narrating the possible crime scene. There are also cases where the one at fault will be escorted by the detective.
Oklahoma City Private Detectives
Basically, the above mentioned roles are the responsibilities that detectives carry. A private detective’s job description is a bit loose. They are supposed to carry out their client’s wishes to the best of their abilities as far as reconnaissance is concerned. But there are limits which they shouldn’t go beyond when carrying out 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 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. However, the roles and responsibilities that detectives carry aren’t as easy as they seem. 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!