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. Crime rate continue to increase that is why the need for detectives to solve them rises. Thus, some police officers step up and exhibiting what Sherlock Holmes does. If becoming a detective someday is a burning desire of yours, the information listed below is a great help.
Table Of Contents
- Average Detective Salary
- Detective Career Outlook
- How To Become A Detective
- Detective Job Description
How Much Does A Detective Make
The basis of a detective’s salary at first will depend 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 for a state-employed detective is $76,000. For a private detective, he or she can earn about $45,000. Later, you will know about what affects a PI’s salary. Here are the factors that affect the salary of investigators that are state employed.
Like police officers, the population of a city decides the income of a detective. A more populated city will mean more cases to be handled. In this case, the salary will increase. 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. In contrast, for someone in Miami Police department, the average salary tends to be around $86,000 to $107,000.
Place assigned or working
The location is just the same us with the population of the place and rate of the crime. However, cost of living is another factor to consider. Higher the cost of living in a certain location, higher the detective is paid. This logic agrees with the case of private investigators too. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey all pay 6-figure salaries with District of Columbia paying 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. 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. You will be paid more depending on your degree.
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. You can earn about $180,000 annually if you reach the post of Police Chief as a promotion.
Wise 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. Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.
Wise Detective Career Outlook
First, let’s talk about the growth in the fields. 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. There is a predicted growth of 5% in the industry of private detectives. 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 goes to show that 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator is expected in 2025. This too is an average rate of growth.
The increasing population is the reason behind this steady increase in employment. 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. 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. 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.
Financially speaking, criminal investigators do get paid more than private ones. Criminal investigators receive $80,000 as average salary annually while Private investigators earn $52,000 only. 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. 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.
Qualifications to Become a Wise Detective
Keep in mind that there are two kinds of detectives. General public can hire some private investigators to investigate certain things. There are those who are government employees and after being promoted as a police officer gets the post. Here we shall explore both the avenues.
Complete High School
A detective is known for his deduction skills, and it is due to such that he is promoted to such position. 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. Likewise, you will need a bachelor degree if you want to become a detective.
A bachelor’s degree in either criminal justice or law will be required in most institutions to become a detective. If you have an associate’s degree, you will need at least 5000 hours. However, the time required is reduced to 4000 hours if you have a bachelor’s degree.
You need to experience working as an investigator first before you can become a professional detective. 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. However, you can also choose to work as a licensed repossessor or office investigator.
Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. There are some that only require 3 years of experience, but some might need at least five.
Own a gun legally
If an investigator doesn’t have a firearms permit, he won’t be allowed to carry his firearm. Some firearms will need you to undertake a full training course in order to get your permit. Hence, to get a permit for your firearm when working as an investigator, you will need to complete the full training course.
Obtain Virginia licensure
After completing all the education and experience requirements, you are required to undergo a state licensing test. During the exam, you will need to answer questions in multiple choice, usually regarding about state laws and several other procedures. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.
File for 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.
Complete all these steps and then voila! You can finally fulfill your dream and become a detective! But be careful – as mentioned before, this can be a dangerous line of work. If you are still up for it, find out all the education requirements in detail and get started on them right away!
Wise Detective Job Description?
Crime Scene Investigation
One of the main duties of a detective is to analyze a crime scene and deduce certain assumptions from it. He will then collect any evidence he can find in the crime scene. 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.
Doing research regarding previous cases is regarded as an important aspect of a detective’s job. Through this, they can get to the mind of a criminal and discover any hidden clues and patterns. 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. 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 whole objective of everything that a detective does is to serve justice to the person who has committed the crime. But to do this, they first need to a list of possible suspects. 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. 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
As part of their final job, detectives will need to make sure justice is served. The court will sometimes summon the detective to the court to aid with the process. They will often describe the scenario of the crime, and present evidences that will prove the crimes of the criminal. There are also cases where the one at fault will be escorted by the detective.
Wise Private Detectives
The above duties are what a detective is expected to do. 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 can only go as far as certain laws will allow them when going on with their job. 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. They should never act in a way that they can be easily recognized as a detective in public. 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. Such things aren’t even shown on the TV. 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 the job still has you intrigued, then find out how long it takes to become a detective now!