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.
Table Of Contents
- Average Detective Salary
- Detective Career Outlook
- How To Become A Detective
- Detective Job Description
Salary of a Detective
The base salary of a detective first depends on his or her employer. An investigator who is employed by the state earns more than a private one in most cases. 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. Whereas the average salary for a private detective can be around $45,000. Later, you will know about what affects a PI’s salary. Here are the factors that affect the salary of investigators that are state employed.
Size of population
Like police officers, the population of a city decides the income of a detective. 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 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.
Location of job
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. However, another factor comes into play in such conditions – cost of living. 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 all pay 6-figure salaries with District of Columbia paying as much as $116,000.
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. 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 may be an associate’s, bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. Depending on your degree, you might be paid more.
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. But if you are promoted as a Police Chief, you will be paid about $180,000 per year.
Truth Or Consequences Private Investigators
A private investigator’s salary depends on the number of cases he or she takes and solves. 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 investigator will quote the job price after the clients presented their problem.
You will know here that a state-employed detective’s income is steady and through various means it can be increased. 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 Truth Or Consequences 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. 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 growth rate is following the average growth rate of 5% across all other 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 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.
In terms of location, Texas, California and New York have 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. The Local, State government and the Federal branch are employing a lot 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.
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 combining the aspects of geography and finance, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey is paying most the Public investigators. Private detectives receive higher payment in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
Comparing with different industries again, we see that for private industries, the most employing industries do not pay the highest. 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.
How To Become A Truth Or Consequences Detective
Detectives come in two kinds. There are private investigators that the general public can hire to investigate on certain things. The others are employed by the government and reach this post after being promoted from a police officer. Here we shall explore both the 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. 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.
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. However, if you aspire to be a detective or land a job on federal level, you will need a bachelor’s degree.
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. A total of 5000 hours of training is given to anyone with an associate’s degree. However, the time required is reduced to 4000 hours if you have a bachelor’s degree.
Get the right amount of experience
Professional experience as an investigator is required in order to become a professional detective. Fortunately, you have several options available. 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. However, you can also choose to work as a licensed repossessor or office investigator.
The experience required might vary from one state to another. 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. There are several firearms with strict requirements such as completing a full training course before the permits are issued. Therefore if you want to own a firearm while working as an investigator, completing the training course is necessary to get your own permit.
Undergo a New Mexico licensing test
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. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.
File for New Mexico 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, getting an even higher amount when you bring a firearm is necessary since you need to have some protection with you.
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.
Responsibilities of Being a Detective in Truth Or Consequences
Crime Scene Investigation
One of the main duties of a detective is to analyze a crime scene and deduce certain assumptions from it. He will then collect any evidence he can find in the crime scene. They will need to keep anything suspicious that might lead to solving the case. 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.
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. Research is definitely of great help when it comes to tracking down serial killers. This also helps detectives take down drug cartels by allowing them to identify any tactics being used. Research also helps detectives make deductions more efficiently.
Accurately guessing the culprit
The goal of a detective’s job is to bring justice to light and bring the culprit to justice. They will need to have a list of the suspects first before such thing could happen. The list could be long, including up to a hundred people, or short – sometimes none at al. 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. 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 help with the process, they are sometimes summoned to the court to testify against the suspect(s). 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.
Truth Or Consequences 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. 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. 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. 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 think being a detective is the right job for you, then you should do research about it now!