Growing up watching detective serials and movies, everyone wants to become a detective. Assuming to be like Sherlock Holmes is normal for us after we have known his character. But this dream seems to be forgotten and we will work to 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 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. A state employed detective earns a national average of $76,000. The average salary for a private detective is around $45,000 only. The factors that affect a PI’s salary will be discussed later. For now, let us look at the factors that affect the salary of state employed investigators.
Size of population
The income of a detective depends on the population of a city the same to that of the police officers. The number of cases to be handled by a detective increases if the city is more populated. Thus, the increase in salary. Similarly, crime rate also plays a major factor in deciding 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. Compared to someone in Miami Police department, the average salary ranges from $86,000 to $107,000.
Place assigned or working
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. 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.
For any police job (except at the federal level), a high school degree is sufficient. Though this rules sometimes varies with state, most states do not require higher education certificates. 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 can be an associate, bachelor or a master’s degree. You will be paid more depending on your degree.
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. 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
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 price for the job will be quoted by the investigator after the problem is presented by the clients.
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.
Career Outlook of a West Point 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. 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. This figure is only 4% for public investigators. Meaning to say, in 2025 it is expected that there will be 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator. This too is an average rate of growth.
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. However, with stricter laws and more advanced technology being use, the crime rate isn’t increasing that significantly. Because of this, both the phenomena are just the same leading to average growth in each career.
In terms of location, Texas, California and New York have the highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators. There are more employments in Western states and Texas compared to the eastern part. There are a lot of private detectives hired in California, Texas and Florida with the southern states compared in the northern part.
Let’s move on to the industries that hire most of these two professionals. Criminalinvestigaors are being hired mostly by The Local, State government and the Federal branch. 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. 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. It is in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey were private detectives are paid most.
Private industries that employ most do not pay the highest in comparison with the different industires. Private detectives are paid most in Electromedical, Navigational, Power generation, Metal Product forming and other such industries because of the most sensitive information that needs to be protected. For public investigators, they are paid most by federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes.
How can You Qualify as a Detective In West Point
Detectives come in two kinds. There are private investigators that the general public can hire to investigate on certain things. Some of them are employed by the government and get this post after their promotion as a police officer. Here we shall explore both the avenues.
Be a High School Graduate
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. Becoming a private investigator would mean getting a high school degree.
Get Yourself a Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree isn’t really necessary in most cases when becoming a police officer. However, some police officers prefer to have one as a means of employment after they retire. 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. 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. 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.
Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. A state might require at least 3 years of experience, but in some it could be as long as 5 years.
Acquire a license for your guns
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. Hence, to get a permit for your firearm when working as an investigator, you will need to complete the full training course.
Obtain Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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.
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 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 West Point
Crime Scene Investigation
It will be a detective’s duty to carefully assess a crime scene and come up with the most sensible deduction. It will also include searching for clues and collecting evidences. They will need to keep anything suspicious that might lead to solving the case. Sometimes the forensic investigation department lends them a hand in analyzing the evidence and thus helping them deduce more things about the crime. Detectives should gather as many clues and evidences as possible by analyzing cameras and gathering information from 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. It also helps to identify tactics that a drug cartel might be using thus helping the detectives shut them down. 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 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. 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. This suspect pool is then narrowed down by getting alibis from some suspects and interrogating others. With a narrowed down list, they will then have the suspects admit to their 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. In some cases, they will describe the evidence and how they are connected to the suspect, as well as narrating the possible crime scene. In some cases, they will even accompany the culprit to the jail.
West Point 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. 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. Detectives are also prohibited from arresting an individual.
As you can see, the “Idiot Box” was right 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 the job still has you intrigued, then find out how long it takes to become a detective now!