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. Crime rate continue to increase that is why the need for detectives to solve them rises. Thus, some police officers step up and exhibiting what Sherlock Holmes does. 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 a Detective Earns
The base salary of a detective first depends on his or her employer. An investigator who is employed by the state earns more than a private one in most cases. 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. The average salary for a private detective is around $45,000 only. We shall discuss factors affecting a PI’s salary later. Let’s take a look at the factors affecting a state employed investigators’ salary at the moment.
Size of population
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. Thus, the increase in salary. One of the major factors in deciding the salary of an investigator is the crime rate. For example, the average salary for someone in the LA police department ranges from $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.
Place assigned or working
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. But there is another factor, which is the cost of living. Higher the cost of living in a certain location, higher the detective is paid. This is true with the case of private investigators as well. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey all pay 6-figure salaries with District of Columbia paying 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. This rules do not apply in all states but higher education certificates are not required in most states. 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. The degree could be associate, bachelor or master’s. Depending on your degree, you might be paid more.
Number of years in the field
Like any other job, you will get earn as an investigator if you stay in the field long enough. 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. However, with promotions, if you reach the post of Police Chief, you can earn about $180,000 annually.
Richmond 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 other hand, a private investigator’s salary is quite unpredictable and will only increase if he or she is already popular or known. Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.
Career Outlook of a Richmond Detective
First thing first, we will be talking about career growth in this field. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators recorded in 2015. Meanwhile, private investigators who do the same job were only 30,000. 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 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 can be considered as an average rate of growth as well.
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. Because of this, both the phenomena are just the same leading to average growth in each career.
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. 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. As clear as day, The Local, State government and the Federal branch employ the most number of criminal investigators. On the other hand, private detectives are usually hired by Security Services, Consulting services and occasionally by the local government for consultation 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. When combining the aspects of geography and finance, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey is paying most the 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. Federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes are paying public investigators most.
How To Become A Richmond Detective
It is important to note that there are two kinds of detectives. 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 are going to explore here the different avenues.
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. This only means that you will need to complete your high school studies and become a police officer before you can become a detective. To become a private investigator, a high school degree is a must too.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree
Usually, you don’t require a bachelor’s degree to get into the police academy. 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. But for someone with a bachelor’s degree, the required training is only 4000 hours.
Get the right amount of 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. However, you can also choose to work as a licensed repossessor or office investigator.
The experience required might vary from one state to another. There are some that only require 3 years of experience, but some might need at least five.
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.
Obtain California licensure
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. Those who are looking to be a private detective will need to take this test. Once you pass, you will officially become a licensed private detective.
Get California Insurance
Since investigating can sometimes be a dangerous line of work, it is important to get insurance done. This is generally medical insurance of about $10,000. However, getting an even higher amount when you bring a firearm is necessary since you need to have some protection with you.
Simply follow through all steps and you’ll have nothing to worry about. 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.
Responsibilities of Being a Detective in Richmond
Crime Scene Investigation
One of the main duties of a detective is to analyze a crime scene and deduce certain assumptions from it. He will then collect any evidence he can find in the crime scene. They will need to keep anything suspicious that might lead to solving the case. In some cases, detectives can receive aid from the forensic investigation department, hence allowing them to come up with more deductions regarding the crime. Detectives should gather as many clues and evidences as possible by analyzing cameras and gathering information from eye witnesses.
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. 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.
Accurately guessing the culprit
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. By means of getting statements from suspects, detectives are able to narrow down their list. Once the list is narrowed down, they will then proceed to gathering evidence or having the suspect admit to his crimes.
Testifying In Court
Lastly, detectives will see to it that justice is served properly. The court will sometimes summon the detective to the court to aid with the process. 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.
Richmond Private Detectives
The above duties are what a detective is expected to do. The job description of a detective 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. 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.
As you can see, the “Idiot Box” was right for the most part. But the jobs that these detectives (private and public) must undergo daily are stressful beyond comparison. They are never displayed on portrayed on the media 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!