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. Thus, some police officers step up and exhibiting what Sherlock Holmes does. 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
How Much Does A Detective Make
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. 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. A more populated city will mean more cases to be handled. In this case, the salary will increase. 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. Higher the cost of living in a certain location, higher the detective is paid. Private investigators will also have this case. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey all pay 6-figure salaries with District of Columbia paying as much as $116,000.
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. 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. Usually, people see an increase of up to $15,000 with 20 years of experience if they do not get promoted. But if you are promoted as a Police Chief, you will be paid about $180,000 per year.
Virginia Beach Private Investigators
The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. 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.
You will know here that a state-employed detective’s income is steady and through various means it can be increased. The salary of a private investigator cannot be determined and by being famous it can be increased. Now that you have the financial facts, you can decide which path to choose.
Career Outlook of a Virginia Beach Detective
What we are going to talk about first is the growth in the fields. In 2015, the recorded public detectives or criminals investigators are about 106,000. There were about 30,000 private investigators who do the same job on record. Private detectives have grown for about 5% in the industry. Meaning to say, in 2025 the new jobs open will reach 1,500. This growth rate is following the average growth rate of 5% across all other sectors. For public investigators, this is only 4% of the figure. 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 increasing population is the reason behind this steady increase in employment. Because of the increase in population, 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. 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. Western states and Texas show more employment here than the eastern ones. Private detectives are prominent in California, Texas and Florida with the southern states tending to employ more compared to the northern ones.
Let’s now find out where these two professionals are hired most by industires. The Local, State government and the Federal branch are employing a lot of criminal investigators. 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.
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.
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. For public investigators, they are paid most by federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes.
How To Become A Virginia Beach Detective
It is important to note 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.
Finish your High School Studies
A detective is generally a police officer who has been promoted to that position because of his or her skills of deduction. This only means that you will need to complete your high school studies and become a police officer before you can become a detective. A high school degree is likewise necessary if you want to be a private investigator.
Earn 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. Likewise, you will need a bachelor degree if you want to 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.
To become a professional detective (not employed by the state), you need to have some professional experience as an investigator. You can find several ways to do so. 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.
There might be variations in the required experience in the state you’re applying in. A state might require at least 3 years of experience, but in some it could be as long as 5 years.
Get firearms permits
Investigators that aren’t licensed by the state aren’t allowed to carry firearms without a permit. 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.
Undergo a Virginia licensing test
Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you will need to take a state licensing examination. This test usually contains some multiple choice questions about state laws and some procedures that often need to be carried out. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. Once you pass, you will officially become a licensed private detective.
Get Virginia Insurance
Due to the dangerous nature of the work, you should make sure to get an insurance. Typically, we’re talking about a $10,000 medical insurance. But since you’re carrying a gun with you for extra protection, and you will have to insure the gun as well, getting a higher amount will be an ideal choice.
By completing these steps, you’ll be good to go. Your steps towards becoming a successful detective is finally within your reach. Keep in mind however that there are dangers associated with this line of work. 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 Virginia Beach
Crime Scene Investigation
One main role of a detective is to take a look at a crime scene and make certain deductions. It will also include searching for clues and collecting evidences. They are supposed to take anything into custody that may look suspicious and may be used for clues or in the court later. Sometimes the forensic investigation department lends them a hand in analyzing the evidence and thus helping them deduce more things about the crime. To collect more clues and evidence, detectives will need to go door to door and ask any possible eye witnesses.
An important aspect of a detective’s duties is to research previous case files in their free time. This is so that they can have an insight regarding criminal patterns and behaviors. 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. 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. Once the list is narrowed down, they will then proceed to gathering evidence or having the suspect admit to his crimes.
Testifying In Court
Lastly, detectives will see to it that justice is served properly. To hasten the process, the court will sometimes summon them. In some cases, they will describe the evidence and how they are connected to the suspect, as well as narrating the possible crime scene. There are also cases where the one at fault will be escorted by the detective.
Virginia Beach 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 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. Some of the reasons why private detectives are hired include doing background checks, tracking finances, and even collecting clues and evidence to be used against a certain person. 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.
Basically, you can see that the television has been portraying detectives properly for the most part. However, the roles and responsibilities that detectives carry aren’t as easy as they seem. That is never shown properly on television 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!