Santa Clara California Detective Salary And Job Requirements

Becoming a detective is a dream for those who grow up watching detective and serial movies. The thrill of deducing never really leaves us especially after getting to know the character of Sherlock Holmes. But this dream seems to be forgotten and we will work to more realistic goals. Since crime rate is increasing these days, more detectives are needed in order to solve them. 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.

Private detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

police detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

Table Of Contents

Salary of a Detective

The base salary of a detective first depends on his or her employer. In most circumstances, a state employed investigator earns more than 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. A state employed detective earns a national average of $76,000. For a private detective, he or she can earn about $45,000. 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.

Size of population

Just like police officers, the income of a detective is dependent on the city’s population. If the city is more populated, then the number of cases that need to be handled also rises. 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 who is in the LA police department will range from $44,000 to $88,000. Whereas, a member of the Miami Police department usually get $86,000 to $107,000 salary.

police detective salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

Location of job

The location is closely related to the population of the place and the crime rate. But there is another factor, which is the cost of living. A detective will be paid higher if the cost of living in that certain location is higher. 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. 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. This can be an associate, bachelor or a master’s degree. You will be paid more depending on your degree.

Work Experience

Your length of stay in the field will be a consideration on how much you will earn as an investigator. 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.

Santa Clara Private Investigators

The number of cases and solving them are the bases of a private investigator’s salary. 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. Clients usually present their problem to the investigator and then it is up to them to quote a price for the job.

Private investigator salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

As you can see, the income of a state-employed detective is steady and can be increased by various means. 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 Santa Clara 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. On the other hand, there were only about 30,000 private investigators holding a job at the same time. 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. 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 is also considered as the average growth rate.

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.

police detective employment by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

Geographically speaking, Texas, California and New York employ the highest number of Criminal / Law Enforcement Investigators. Western states and Texas show more employment here than the eastern ones. 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. 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. Criminal investigators receive $80,000 as average salary annually while Private investigators earn $52,000 only. 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.

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.

Private investigator career outlook by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

How can You Qualify as a Detective In Santa Clara

Detectives come in two kinds. General public can hire some private investigators to investigate certain things. Some of them are employed by the government and get this post after their promotion as a police officer. We are going to explore here the different avenues.

Be a High School Graduate

A detective is generally a police officer who has been promoted to that position because of his or her skills of deduction. 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 Yourself a Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree isn’t really necessary in most cases when becoming a police officer. 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.

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.

Gain experience

To become a professional detective (not employed by the state), you need to have some professional experience as an investigator. Fortunately, you have several options available. Getting employed by the government is basically the most common method. 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.

The experience required might vary from one state to another. A state might require at least 3 years of experience, but in some it could be as long as 5 years.

Get firearms permits

If an investigator doesn’t have a firearms permit, he won’t be allowed to carry his firearm. 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

A licensure test is required after you have all the requirements needed. This test usually contains some multiple choice questions about state laws and some procedures that often need to be carried out. 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.

File for California 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. However, it is important to also get a higher amount if you carry a firearm since you need to protect yourself from greater dangers and insure the gun itself.

Complete all these steps and then voila! You can now start living the detective life you always wanted. 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.

What Does A Detective Do In Santa Clara?

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 are supposed to take anything into custody that may look suspicious and may be used for clues or in the court later. 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.

Criminal Research

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. Often, research into the past and previous case files give them an idea or a clue as to how the current culprit might be operating. Research is definitely of great help when it comes to tracking down serial killers. This is also applicable when it comes to knowing what tactics a drug cartel is up to. 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. They will need to have a list of the suspects first before such thing could happen. In some cases, it could include over a hundred people, but there are also cases where there is 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. 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

Lastly, detectives will see to it that justice is served properly. 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. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.

Santa Clara 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. 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. Private detectives are often hired for tasks such as gathering evidence from someone, monitoring certain individuals, or even tracking finances. They should never act in a way that they can be easily recognized as a detective in public. They are however, not allowed to arrest anyone.

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. Such things aren’t even shown on the TV. 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!