Tacoma Washington 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. 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

How Much a Detective Earns

The base salary of a detective first depends 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. A state employed detective earns a national average of $76,000. Whereas the average salary for a private detective can be around $45,000. 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. The crime rate also affects the salary of an investigator. For instance, someone in the LA police department will get an average salary of $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.

police detective salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

Job location

The location is closely related to the population of the place and the crime rate. However, cost of living is another factor to consider. If the place has higher cost of living, the detective’s salary will also be higher. This logic agrees with the case of private investigators too. 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. States have different rules but a higher education certificate is not necessary in some 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. Depending on your degree, you might be paid more.

Experience

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

Tacoma 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. 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. On the hand, the salary of a private investigator is quite unpredictable and can only be increased by fame (or rather being more discrete). Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.

Career Outlook of a Tacoma Detective

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%. Meaning to say, in 2025 the new jobs open will reach 1,500. 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 is also considered as the average growth rate.

The employment increases steadily because the population increases. Protection should be done to a lot of people and more criminals should be caught as the population increases. Crime rate is not increasing significantly due to stricter laws and more advanced technology being used. 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

The highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators are found in Texas, California and New York. The employment in western states and Texas are higher that to that of the eastern parts. Private detectives are prominent in California, Texas and Florida with the southern states tending to employ more compared to the northern ones.

Let’s see what are the industries that hire these professionals most. The Local, State government and the Federal branch are employing a lot 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.

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. 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.

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 To Become A Tacoma Detective

Keep in mind 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 are going to explore here the different avenues.

Complete High School

A detective is known for his deduction skills, and it is due to such that he is promoted to such position. Hence if you want to become a detective, it is generally necessary to graduate from high school and enlist in the police force. A high school degree is likewise necessary if you want to be a private investigator.

Get your Bachelor’s Degree

In most cases, enlisting in the police force won’t require a bachelor’s degree. 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.

In most institutions, you will need a bachelor’s degree in psychology, law, or criminal justice to be able to land a job as a detective. If you have an associate’s degree, you will need at least 5000 hours. On the other hand, someone with a bachelor’s degree needs only 4000 hours of training.

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. 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. 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. There are some that only require 3 years of experience, but some might need at least five.

Get firearms permits

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.

Obtain Washington licensure

After completing all the education and experience requirements, you are required to undergo a state licensing test. The test will include questions regarded state laws and have multiple choices to choose from. The test is only available for those who want to be private detectives. Once you pass, you will officially become a licensed private detective.

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, 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. You can now start living the detective life you always wanted. But be careful – as mentioned before, this can be a dangerous line of work. If that doesn’t scare you away, then you should fulfill all the requirements as soon as possible.

What Does A Detective Do In Tacoma?

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. 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. To collect more clues and evidence, detectives will need to go door to door and ask any possible eye witnesses.

Criminal Research

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. 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. 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. 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. With the help of evidence, research, statements, and forensic studies, they are able to come up with such list. 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. In some cases, they will even accompany the culprit to the jail.

Tacoma Private Detectives

Basically, the above mentioned roles are the responsibilities that detectives carry. A private detective’s job description 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 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. Moreover, arresting someone is out of their jurisdiction.

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. 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 think being a detective is the right job for you, then you should do research about it now!