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, 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 the reason why some police officers are trying to be like Sherlock Holmes. For those of you who still haven’t given up on your detective dreams, here is some information on the exciting career of being a detective.
Table Of Contents
- Average Detective Salary
- Detective Career Outlook
- How To Become A Detective
- Detective Job Description
How Much a Detective Earns
The employer is the one who will decide regarding the detective’s salary. 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. For a private detective, he or she can earn about $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. 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. In contrast, for someone in Miami Police department, the average salary tends to be around $86,000 to $107,000.
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 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.
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, some states and departments have started to realize the importance of higher education and thus are paying officers and detectives a percentage higher above the base pay if they have a degree after high school. This may be an associate’s, bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. You will be paid more depending on your degree.
Number of years in the field
You will be paid as an investigator if you will be working in the field for a long period of time. 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.
Ventura 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. Clients usually present their problem to the investigator and then it is up to them to quote a price for the job.
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. The path to choose will be determined based in the financial facts you have.
Ventura Detective’s Career Path
First thing first, we will be talking about career growth in this field. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators on record in 2015. Meanwhile, private investigators who do the same job were only 30,000. Private detectives have grown for about 5% in the industry. 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. For public investigators, this is only 4% of the figure. 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 steady increase in employment is mainly due to the increase in population. As the population increases, more people need to be protected and more criminals need to be caught. But due to the strict implementation of laws and technology are more advanced, the crime rate is not increasing that much. Hence, there is a balance in each other, which leads to average growth in both careers.
The highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators are found in Texas, California and New York. There are more employments in Western states and Texas compared to the eastern part. Private detectives in California, Texas and Florida with the southern part are higher in number compared to the northern ones.
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. 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.
How can You Qualify as a Detective In Ventura
Detectives come in two kinds. There are private investigators that the general public can hire 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 generally a police officer who has been promoted to that position because of his or her skills of deduction. Hence if you want to become a detective, it is generally necessary to graduate from high school and enlist in the police force. Becoming a private investigator would mean getting a high school degree.
Get Yourself a Bachelor’s Degree
Usually, you don’t require a bachelor’s degree to get into the police academy. Although some officers would like to have other means of employment right after retirement. However, if you aspire to be a detective or land a job on federal level, you will need a bachelor’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree in either criminal justice or law will be required in most institutions to become a detective. Anyone with an associate’s degree is given training up to 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. Fortunately, you have several options available. But in most cases, it will require you to be employed by the government. Landing work as a law enforcement investigator, arson investigator, or criminal investigator will count as being 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
If an investigator doesn’t have a firearms permit, he won’t be allowed to carry his firearm. There are several firearms with strict requirements such as completing a full training course before the permits are issued. So, if you are planning to become an armed investigator, you will need to go through weapons training course and then get the permit for the required weapons.
Complete a California licensure exam
Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you will need to take a state licensing examination. The test will include questions regarded state laws and have multiple choices to choose from. 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.
Get California Insurance
Since investigating can sometimes be a dangerous line of work, it is important to get insurance done. 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.
Simply follow through all steps and you’ll have nothing to worry about. 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.
Responsibilities of Being a Detective in Ventura
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. 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. 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. It also helps to identify tactics that a drug cartel might be using thus helping the detectives shut them down. Research also helps detectives make deductions more efficiently.
Reducing the list of possible suspects
A detective’s main objective is to take the one at fault to justice. 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 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
One of the final jobs of a detective on a case is to ensure that justice is served. The court will sometimes summon the detective to the court to aid with the process. 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.
Ventura Private Detectives
Basically, the above mentioned roles are the responsibilities that detectives carry. The job description of a detective is a bit loose. Supposedly, detectives should meet their client’s needs regardless of how difficult it might seem, especially in terms of research. But there are limits which they shouldn’t go beyond when carrying out their duties. Private detectives are often hired for tasks such as gathering evidence from someone, monitoring certain individuals, or even tracking finances. 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.
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. That is never shown properly on television 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!