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. Since crime rate is increasing these days, more detectives are needed in order to solve them. This is where some police officers step up and exhibit the Sherlock Holmes in them. If becoming a detective someday is a burning desire of yours, the information listed below is a great help.
Table Of Contents
- Average Detective Salary
- Detective Career Outlook
- How To Become A Detective
- Detective Job Description
Salary of a Detective
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 for a state-employed detective 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.
Number of People
Like police officers, the population of a city decides the income of a detective. The number of cases to be handled by a detective increases if the city is more populated. Therefore, the salary increases as well. 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. Whereas, a member of the Miami Police department usually get $86,000 to $107,000 salary.
Location of job
The location is just the same us with the population of the place and rate of the crime. However, another factor comes into play in such conditions – cost of living. A detective will be paid higher if the cost of living in that certain location is higher. 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
For any police job (except at the federal level), a high school degree is sufficient. This rules do not apply in all states but higher education certificates are not required in most states. 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. 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. 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.
Scranton Private Investigators
A private investigator’s salary depends on the number of cases he or she takes and solves. 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. The investigator will quote the job price after the clients presented their problem.
A state-employed detective has a steady income that will increase by various means as described here. 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. Now that you have the financial facts, you can decide which path to choose.
Career Outlook of a Scranton 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%. This means that there will be about 1,500 new jobs open by 2025. This is the same growth rate of 5% in different sectors. On the other hand, for public investigators, this figure is at 4%. This goes to show that 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator is expected in 2025. 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. Crime rate is not increasing significantly due to stricter laws and more advanced technology being used. Thus, both the phenomena almost balance each other out leading to an average growth in both these careers.
Geographically speaking, Texas, California and New York employ the highest number of Criminal / Law Enforcement Investigators. The employment in western states and Texas are higher that to that of the eastern parts. 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. Criminalinvestigaors are being hired mostly by The Local, State government and the Federal branch. 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.
When it comes to finance, criminal investigators are paid more compared to the private ones. The annual average salary of criminal investigators is $80,000 while Private investigators get $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.
Compared with the different industries, private industries where they employ most 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. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.
Qualifications to Become a Scranton Detective
Detectives come in two kinds. 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 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. A high school degree is likewise necessary if you want to be a private investigator.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree
In most cases, enlisting in the police force won’t require a bachelor’s degree. However, some police officers prefer to have one as a means of employment after they retire. 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. A total of 5000 hours of training is given to anyone with an associate’s degree. 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. If you have any experience as an arson investigator, criminal investigator or a law enforcement investigator, you are qualified as a person with experience. 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. Some states require you to have 3 years of experience while others require 5 years.
Get firearms permits
Investigators that aren’t licensed by the state aren’t allowed to carry firearms without a permit. Some firearms will need you to undertake a full training course in order to get your permit. Therefore if you want to own a firearm while working as an investigator, completing the training course is necessary to get your own permit.
Obtain Pennsylvania licensure
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. Those who are looking to be a private detective will need to take this test. If you managed to pass, you will become a licensed private investigator.
Due to the dangerous nature of the work, you should make sure to get an insurance. Basically, this is a medical insurance worth $10,000. However, getting an even higher amount when you bring a firearm is necessary since you need to have some protection with you.
By completing these steps, you’ll be good to go. Your steps towards becoming a successful detective is finally within your reach. 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.
Responsibilities of Being a Detective in Scranton
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. They are supposed to take anything into custody that may look suspicious and may be used for clues or in the court 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. 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 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.
Accurately guessing the culprit
The whole objective of everything that a detective does is to serve justice to the person who has committed the crime. But to do this, they first need to a list of possible suspects. This suspect pool maybe as big as 100 people or as small as 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. 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. The court will sometimes summon the detective to the court to aid with the process. 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. In some cases, they will even accompany the culprit to the jail.
Scranton 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. Private detectives are often hired for tasks such as gathering evidence from someone, monitoring certain individuals, or even tracking finances. When carrying out duties as a detective, they should make sure not to look suspicious and act like a normal citizen. Detectives are also prohibited from arresting an individual.
You see, the “Idiot Box The thing is, the duties and roles detectives undertake every single day are very stressful. Such things aren’t even shown on the TV. Supposedly, they should carefully collect any clue and evidence since they carry such heavy responsibility on their shoulders. If you’re really interested with the job, you should start knowing what it takes to be a detective now!