Becoming a detective is a dream for those who grow up watching detective and serial movies. The thrill of deducing never really leaves us especially after getting to know the character of Sherlock Holmes. 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. 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 Does A Detective Make
The employer is the one who will decide regarding the detective’s salary. An investigator who is employed by the state earns more than a private one in most cases. 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. Whereas the average salary for a private detective can be around $45,000. The factors that affect a PI’s salary will be discussed later. Here are the factors that affect the salary of investigators that are state employed.
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. In this case, the salary will increase. The crime rate also affects the salary of an investigator. 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.
The location is closely related to the population of the place and the crime rate. However, cost of living is another factor to consider. A detective will be paid higher if the cost of living in that certain location is 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.
Level of education attained
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. Your degree will affect your salary.
You will be paid as an investigator if you will be working in the field for a long period of time. An increase of up to $20,000 will be given to those who work in the field for 20 years if they don’t get a promotion. But if you are promoted as a Police Chief, you will be paid about $180,000 per year.
West Point 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 hand, the salary of a private investigator is quite unpredictable and can only be increased by fame (or rather being more discrete). The path to choose will be determined based in the financial facts you have.
West Point Detective Career Outlook
First, let’s talk about the growth in the fields. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators on record in 2015. There were about 30,000 private investigators who do the same job on record. 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 means there is going to be around 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator by 2025. This can be considered as an average rate of growth as well.
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. Private detectives in California, Texas and Florida with the southern part are higher in number compared to the northern ones.
Let’s now find out where these two professionals are hired most by industires. Criminalinvestigaors are being hired mostly by The Local, State government and the Federal branch. 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. 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.
Compared with the different industries, private industries where they employ most 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.
Qualifications to Become a West Point Detective
Keep in mind that there are two kinds of detectives. General public can hire some private investigators to investigate 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.
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. 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. A high school degree is likewise necessary if you want to be a private investigator.
Get your Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree isn’t really necessary in most cases when becoming a police officer. Although some officers would like to have other means of employment right after retirement. A bachelor’s degree is also required to pursue any jobs at the federal level or 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. 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. Fortunately, you have several options available. 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.
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.
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. Therefore if you want to own a firearm while working as an investigator, completing the training course is necessary to get your own permit.
Obtain Georgia licensure
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. If you managed to pass, you will become a licensed private investigator.
File for Georgia 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.
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 West Point
Crime Scene Investigation
One of the main duties of a detective is to analyze a crime scene and deduce certain assumptions from it. It will also include searching for clues and collecting evidences. They will need to keep anything suspicious that might lead to solving the case. In some cases, detectives can receive aid from the forensic investigation department, hence allowing them to come up with more deductions regarding the crime. Detectives should gather as many clues and evidences as possible by analyzing cameras and gathering information from eye witnesses.
Doing research regarding previous cases is regarded as an important aspect of a detective’s job. 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. In cases of serial killers or ‘copycats’, research helps a lot. This is also applicable when it comes to knowing what tactics a drug cartel is up to. 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. With the help of evidence, research, statements, and forensic studies, they are able to come up with such list. 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 help with the process, they are sometimes summoned to the court to testify against the suspect(s). They will often describe the scenario of the crime, and present evidences that will prove the crimes of the criminal. In some cases, they will even accompany the culprit to the jail.
West Point Private Detectives
The above duties are what a detective is expected to do. 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 should never act in a way that they can be easily recognized as a detective in public. They are however, not allowed to arrest anyone.
You see, the “Idiot Box The thing is, the duties and roles detectives undertake every single day are very stressful. That is never shown properly on television or anywhere else. Supposedly, they should carefully collect any clue and evidence since they carry such heavy responsibility on their shoulders. If you’re really interested with the job, you should start knowing what it takes to be a detective now!