Becoming a detective is a dream for those who grow up watching detective and serial movies. Assuming to be like Sherlock Holmes is normal for us after we have known his character. But this dream seems to be forgotten and we will work to 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. 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 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. 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.
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. Therefore, the salary increases as well. One of the major factors in deciding the salary of an investigator is the crime rate. For example, the average salary for someone who is in the LA police department will range from $44,000 to $88,000. Compared to someone in Miami Police department, the average salary ranges from $86,000 to $107,000.
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. However, cost of living is another factor to consider. Higher the cost of living in a certain location, higher the detective is paid. Private investigators will also have this case. A pay of $116,00 is usually received by employees in District of Columbia, Alaska and New Jersey.
One can have a police job if he or she has a high school degree except at 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. Depending on your degree, you might be paid more.
You will be paid as an investigator if you will be working in the field for a long period of time. For those who are working in the field for 20 years already even if they are not promoted will get up to $15,000 increase. You can earn about $180,000 annually if you reach the post of Police Chief as a promotion.
Philadelphia Private Investigators
The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. 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.
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 Philadelphia Detective
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. On the other hand, there were only about 30,000 private investigators holding a job at the same time. In this industry, the predicted growth of private detectives is about 15%. This means that there will be about 1,500 new jobs open by 2025. 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. Protection should be done to a lot of people and more criminals should be caught as the population increases. However, with stricter laws and more advanced technology being use, the crime rate isn’t increasing that significantly. Because of this, both the phenomena are just the same leading to average growth in each career.
The highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators are found in Texas, California and New York. The employment in western states and Texas are higher that to that of the eastern parts. 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. The Local, State government and the Federal branch are employing a lot 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.
When it comes to finance, criminal investigators are paid more compared to 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. Private detectives were paid most 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. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.
How can You Qualify as a Detective In Philadelphia
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. Hence if you want to become a detective, it is generally necessary to graduate from high school and enlist in the police force. Becoming a private investigator would mean getting a high school degree.
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. 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. 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 enough experience
Professional experience as an investigator is required in order to become a professional detective. Fortunately, you have several options available. 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. However, you can also choose to work as a licensed repossessor or office investigator.
Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. 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 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.
Obtain Pennsylvania licensure
Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you will need to take a state licensing examination. 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 Pennsylvania Insurance
Due to the dangerous nature of the work, you should make sure to get an insurance. This is generally medical insurance of about $10,000. 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. But be careful – as mentioned before, this can be a dangerous line of work. If you are still up for it, find out all the education requirements in detail and get started on them right away!
Philadelphia Detective Job Description?
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. 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.
One of the core aspects of a detective’s duty is doing research and groundwork regarding previous cases. They do so to gain more knowledge about criminal behavior and identify patterns that people usually follow. This involves looking into previous case records to allow them to have an insight regarding the behavior of the criminal. Research is definitely of great help when it comes to tracking down serial killers. It also helps to identify tactics that a drug cartel might be using thus helping the detectives shut them down. 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
The whole objective of everything that a detective does is to serve justice to the person who has committed the crime. 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. 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
As part of their final job, detectives will need to make sure 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.
Philadelphia Private Detectives
Basically, the above mentioned roles are the responsibilities that detectives carry. A private detective’s job description is a bit loose. Supposedly, detectives should meet their client’s needs regardless of how difficult it might seem, especially in terms of 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. 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.
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!