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, we turn this dream into a reality along the way. 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 employer is the one who will decide regarding the detective’s salary. Usually, a state employed investigator has higher earnings compared to 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. Here are the factors that affect the salary of investigators that are state employed.
Size of population
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 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, 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. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey has 6-figure salaries and District of Columbia can pay as much as $116,000.
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. 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.
You will be paid as an investigator if you will be working in the field for a long period of time. 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.
Pittsburgh 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 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. 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.
Pittsburgh Detective Career Outlook
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. Meanwhile, private investigators who do the same job were only 30,000. 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. Such growth rate follows the 5% average growth rate in all other 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 can be considered as an average rate of growth as well.
The employment increases steadily because the population increases. As the population increases, more people need to be protected and more criminals need to be caught. However, with stricter laws and more advanced technology being use, the crime rate isn’t increasing that significantly. Hence, there is a balance in each other, which leads to average growth in both careers.
The highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators are found in Texas, California and New York. There are more employments in Western states and Texas compared to the eastern part. Private detectives in California, Texas and Florida with the southern part are higher in number compared to the northern ones.
Let’s now find out where these two professionals are hired most by industires. Criminalinvestigaors are being hired mostly by The Local, State government and the Federal branch. Whereas private detectives are being hired by Security Services, Consulting services and the local government for consultation purposes 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. Public investigators are paid most in District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey in the aspects of geography and finance. Private detectives receive higher payment 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. 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.
How can You Qualify as a Detective In Pittsburgh
Keep in mind 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. There are those who are government employees and after being promoted as a police officer gets the post. Here we shall explore both the 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. To become a private investigator, a high school degree is a must too.
Get your Bachelor’s Degree
Usually, you don’t require a bachelor’s degree to get into the police academy. Some officers however want to have another source of income right after they retire from their job. A bachelor’s degree is also required to pursue any jobs at the federal level or become a detective.
A bachelor’s degree in either criminal justice or law will be required in most institutions 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 enough experience
Professional experience as an investigator is required in order to become a professional detective. There are many ways to get this. However, the most common way is to be employed by the government first. Landing work as a law enforcement investigator, arson investigator, or criminal investigator will count as being a person with experience. 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 that aren’t licensed by the state aren’t allowed to carry firearms without a permit. There are several firearms with strict requirements such as completing a full training course before the permits are issued. So, if you are planning to become an armed investigator, you will need to go through weapons training course and then get the permit for the required weapons.
Undergo a Pennsylvania licensing test
Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you will need to take a state licensing examination. This test usually contains some multiple choice questions about state laws and some procedures that often need to be carried out. 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
Being a detective is dangerous, hence it is a good idea to get your insurance. Typically, we’re talking about a $10,000 medical insurance. 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 finally fulfill your dream and become a detective! However, don’t forget that being a detective would mean exposing yourself to danger. If you want to pursue your dreams, learn all about the requirements and complete them as soon as you can.
Pittsburgh 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. He will then collect any evidence he can find in the crime scene. 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. Detectives should gather as many clues and evidences as possible by analyzing cameras and gathering information from eye witnesses.
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. 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 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. 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
As part of their final job, detectives will need to make sure 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. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.
Pittsburgh Private Detectives
The above duties are what a detective is expected to do. The job description of a detective is a bit loose. They will need to fulfill the needs of their clients especially when it comes to research. 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 have to be subtle in their ways and act as a normal citizen in carrying out the duties of a detective. 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. 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’re really interested with the job, you should start knowing what it takes to be a detective now!