San Jose California Detective Salary And Job Requirements

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. 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. You will find some information about being a detective if you still want to become one.

Private detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

police detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

Table Of Contents

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 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. We shall discuss factors affecting a PI’s salary later. Here are the factors that affect the salary of investigators that are state employed.

Population Size

The income of a detective depends on the population of a city the same to that of the police officers. If the city is more populated, then the number of cases that need to be handled also rises. Therefore, the salary increases as well. The crime rate also affects the salary of an investigator. For example, the average salary for someone in the LA police department ranges from $44,000 to $88,000. Compared to someone in Miami Police department, the average salary ranges from $86,000 to $107,000.

police detective salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

Place assigned or working

The location is just the same us with the population of the place and rate of the crime. 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. Private investigators will also have this case. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey has 6-figure salaries and District of Columbia can pay as much as $116,000.

Educational degree

One can have a police job if he or she has a high school degree except at the federal level. 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. This may be an associate’s, bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. Your degree will affect your salary.

Work Experience

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. However, with promotions, if you reach the post of Police Chief, you can earn about $180,000 annually.

San Jose Private Investigators

The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. 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.

Private investigator salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

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.

Career Outlook of a San Jose Detective

First thing first, we will be talking about career growth in this field. In 2015, the recorded public detectives or criminals investigators are about 106,000. Meanwhile, private investigators who do the same job were only 30,000. In this industry, the predicted growth of private detectives is about 15%. Meaning to say, in 2025 the new jobs open will reach 1,500. 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%. Meaning to say, in 2025 it is expected that there will be 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator. 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. However, with stricter laws and more advanced technology being use, the crime rate isn’t increasing that significantly. Thus, both the phenomena almost balance each other out leading to an average growth in both these careers.

police detective employment by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

In terms of location, Texas, California and New York have 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 see what are the industries that hire these professionals most. As clear as day, The Local, State government and the Federal branch employ the most number 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.

Criminal investigators get higher payments than the 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. It is in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey were private detectives are paid most.

Private industries that employ most do not pay the highest in comparison with the different industires. 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.

Private investigator career outlook by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

How can You Qualify as a Detective In San Jose

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. There are those who are government employees and after being promoted as a police officer gets the post. We will explore both avenues here.

Complete High School

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. 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. Although some officers would like to have other means of employment right after retirement. 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. On the other hand, someone with a bachelor’s degree needs only 4000 hours of training.

Get the right amount of experience

Professional experience as an investigator is required in order to become a professional detective. There are many ways to get this. But in most cases, it will require you to be employed by the government. 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.

Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. A state might require at least 3 years of experience, but in some it could be as long as 5 years.

Acquire a license for your guns

Investigators who don’t have a firearms permit are prohibited from carrying their guns. There are several firearms with strict requirements such as completing a full training course before the permits are issued. Hence, to get a permit for your firearm when working as an investigator, you will need to complete the full training course.

Complete a California licensure exam

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. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. Once you pass, you will officially become a licensed private detective.

Get California 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.

Simply follow through all steps and you’ll have nothing to worry about. You can finally fulfill your dream and become a detective! 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.

San Jose Detective Job Description?

Crime Scene Investigation

One of the main duties of a detective is to analyze a crime scene and deduce certain assumptions from it. The detectives find and bag evidence at the scene of the crime. Supposedly, they should collect anything that looks like an evidence which can be used in court hearings later. To help them deduce a lot of things more quickly and easily, the forensic department will sometimes offer them assistance. Detectives should gather as many clues and evidences as possible by analyzing cameras and gathering information from eye witnesses.

Criminal Research

An important aspect of a detective’s duties is to research previous case files in their free time. 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. This is really helpful when it comes to 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.

Narrowing down 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. 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

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. 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. There are also cases where the one at fault will be escorted by the detective.

San Jose 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 will need to fulfill the needs of their clients especially when it comes to 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. They are however, not allowed to arrest anyone.

As you can see, the “Idiot Box” was right for the most part. The thing is, the duties and roles detectives undertake every single day are very stressful. 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 the job still has you intrigued, then find out how long it takes to become a detective now!