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. 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. 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 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 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. 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.
Just like police officers, the income of a detective is dependent on the city’s population. The number of cases to be handled by a detective increases if the city is more populated. Therefore, the salary increases as well. 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, cost of living is another factor to consider. If the place has higher cost of living, the detective’s salary will also be higher. Private investigators will also have this case. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey has 6-figure salaries and District of Columbia can pay 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. This rules do not apply in all states but higher education certificates are not required in most states. 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 can be an associate, bachelor or a master’s degree. Your degree will affect your salary.
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. You can earn about $180,000 annually if you reach the post of Police Chief as a promotion.
Williamstown Private Investigators
A private investigator’s salary depends on the number of cases he or she takes and solves. The factors that affect the salary as mentioned above include the location, amount of discretion needed, amount of danger involved, required extra equipment and other many things. The price for the job will be quoted by the investigator after the problem is presented by the clients.
A state-employed detective has a steady income that will increase by various means as described here. 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. Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.
Career Outlook of a Williamstown Detective
First thing first, we will be talking about career growth in this field. In 2015, the recorded public detectives or criminals investigators are about 106,000. Meanwhile, private investigators who do the same job were only 30,000. Private detectives have grown for about 5% in the industry. This goes to show that by 2025, 1,500 new jobs will be opened. This is the same growth rate of 5% in different 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 too is an average rate of growth.
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. Because of this, both the phenomena are just the same leading to average growth in each career.
Geographically speaking, Texas, California and New York employ the highest number of Criminal / Law Enforcement Investigators. 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.
When it comes to finance, criminal investigators are paid more compared to the private ones. Criminal investigators receive $80,000 as average salary annually while Private investigators earn $52,000 only. 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 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. 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. Federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes are paying public investigators most.
How To Become A Williamstown Detective
It is important to note that there are two kinds of detectives. General public can hire some private investigators to investigate 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.
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. 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 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. Likewise, you will need a bachelor degree if you want to become a detective.
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. 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 enough experience
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. However, the most common way is to be employed by the government first. Landing work as a law enforcement investigator, arson investigator, or criminal investigator will count as being a person with experience. However, you can also choose to work as a licensed repossessor or office investigator.
There might be variations in the required experience in the state you’re applying in. There are some that only require 3 years of experience, but some might need at least five.
Own a gun legally
Investigators that aren’t licensed by the state aren’t allowed to carry firearms without a permit. 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 West Virginia licensure exam
A licensure test is required after you have all the requirements needed. 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.
File for West Virginia insurance
Since investigating can sometimes be a dangerous line of work, it is important to get insurance done. Typically, we’re talking about a $10,000 medical insurance. However, getting an even higher amount when you bring a firearm is necessary since you need to have some protection with you.
By completing these steps, you’ll be good to go. 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 are still up for it, find out all the education requirements in detail and get started on them right away!
What Does A Detective Do In Williamstown?
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. Supposedly, they should collect anything that looks like an evidence which can be used in court hearings later. Sometimes the forensic investigation department lends them a hand in analyzing the evidence and thus helping them deduce more things about the crime. 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.
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. Often, research into the past and previous case files give them an idea or a clue as to how the current culprit might be operating. This is really helpful when it comes to 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.
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. After they narrow it down as much as possible, they collect hard evidence or get the suspect to confess to the 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. 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. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.
Williamstown Private Detectives
The above duties are what a detective is expected to do. A private detective’s job description 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. 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. Moreover, arresting someone is out of their jurisdiction.
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. They are never displayed on portrayed on the media 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’re really interested with the job, you should start knowing what it takes to be a detective now!