Seattle Washington Detective Salary And Job Requirements

Growing up watching detective serials and movies, everyone wants to become a detective. After knowing the character of Sherlock Holmes, we assume to be like him. However, we turn this dream into a reality along the way. 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. If becoming a detective someday is a burning desire of yours, the information listed below is a great help.

Private detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

police detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

Table Of Contents

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 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 for a state-employed detective is $76,000. The average salary for a private detective is around $45,000 only. Later, you will know about what affects a PI’s salary. Let’s take a look at the factors affecting a state employed investigators’ salary at the moment.

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. Similarly, crime rate also plays a major factor in deciding the salary of an investigator. For example, the average salary for someone in the LA police department ranges 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. A pay of $116,00 is usually received by employees in District of Columbia, Alaska and New Jersey.

Education background

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. 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. Depending on your degree, you might be paid more.

Number of years in the field

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

Seattle 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. 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

As you can see, the income of a state-employed detective is steady and can be increased by various means. On the hand, the salary of a private investigator is quite unpredictable and can only be increased by fame (or rather being more discrete). Now that you have the financial facts, you can decide which path to choose.

Seattle Detective’s Career Path

First, let’s talk about the growth in the fields. 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 goes to show that by 2025, 1,500 new jobs will be opened. This is the same growth rate of 5% in different sectors. This figure is only 4% for public investigators. This means there is going to be around 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator by 2025. This too is an average rate of growth.

The steady increase in employment is mainly due to the increase in population. Protection should be done to a lot of people and more criminals should be caught as the population increases. 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

The highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators are found in Texas, California and New York. 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 move on to the industries that hire most of these two professionals. As clear as day, The Local, State government and the Federal branch employ the most number of criminal investigators. Security Services, Consulting services are the ones who usually hire private detectives and the local government need them for consultation on a few cases.

Financially speaking, criminal investigators do get paid more than 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. It is in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey were private detectives are paid most.

Comparing with different industries again, we see that for private industries, the most employing industries do not pay the highest. Private detectives are paid most in Electromedical, Navigational, Power generation, Metal Product forming and other such industries because of the most sensitive information that needs to be protected. For public investigators, they are paid most by federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes.

Private investigator career outlook by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

Qualifications to Become a Seattle Detective

Detectives come in two kinds. Some of them are private investigators who can be hired by the general public to investigate on certain things. Some of them are employed by the government and get this post after their promotion as a police officer. Here we shall explore both the avenues.

Finish your High School Studies

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. Becoming a private investigator would mean getting a high school degree.

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. However, if you aspire to be a detective or land a job on federal level, you will need a bachelor’s degree.

Many institutions require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in law, criminal justice or psychology to become a detective. If you have an associate’s degree, you will need at least 5000 hours. However, the time required is reduced to 4000 hours if you have a bachelor’s degree.

Get the right amount of experience

To become a professional detective (not employed by the state), you need to have some professional experience as an investigator. 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. Other than these, you can also choose to Public defender’s office investigator or a licensed repossessor.

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.

Own a gun legally

Investigators who don’t have a firearms permit are prohibited from carrying their guns. Some firearms require a full training course after which they are issued with the permits. Hence, to get a permit for your firearm when working as an investigator, you will need to complete the full training course.

Complete a Washington licensure exam

Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you will need to take a state licensing examination. 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. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.

File for Washington insurance

Being a detective is dangerous, hence it is a good idea to get your 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 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.

Seattle 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. 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. 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 also helps detectives take down drug cartels by allowing them to identify any tactics being used. Through the help of general research, it will be a lot easier for detectives to identify the culprit or make any accurate deductions.

Reducing the list of possible 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. 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. To hasten the process, the court will sometimes summon them. They will often describe the scenario of the crime, and present evidences that will prove the crimes of the criminal. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.

Seattle Private Detectives

All the above duties were that of a public detective or a law enforcement detective. The job description of a detective is a bit loose. They are supposed to carry out their client’s wishes to the best of their abilities as far as reconnaissance is concerned. However, they are allowed to only bend certain laws to a minimalistic extent to help them complete 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.

managed to get a most things right. However, the roles and responsibilities that detectives carry aren’t as easy as they seem. They are never displayed on portrayed on the media or anywhere else. Detectives should make sure to find any clue they could get since a lot of people’s lives lie on them. If you’re really interested with the job, you should start knowing what it takes to be a detective now!