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. 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 a Detective Earns
The basis of a detective’s salary at first will depend on his or her employer. Usually, a state employed investigator has higher earnings compared to a private one. 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. The average salary for a private detective is around $45,000 only. We shall discuss factors affecting a PI’s salary later. For now, let us look at the factors that affect the salary of state employed investigators.
Number of People
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. Similarly, crime rate also plays a major factor in deciding the salary of an investigator. For example, the average salary for someone in the LA police department ranges from $44,000 to $88,000. Compared to someone in Miami Police department, the average salary ranges from $86,000 to $107,000.
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 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. Though this rules sometimes varies with state, most states do not require higher education certificates. 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 may be an associate’s, bachelor’s or even 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. 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. You can earn about $180,000 annually if you reach the post of Police Chief as a promotion.
Woodlawn Private Investigators
The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. 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 investigator will quote the job price after the clients presented their problem.
As you can see, the income of a state-employed detective is steady and can be increased by various means. On the hand, the salary of a private investigator is quite unpredictable and can only be increased by fame (or rather being more discrete). Based on these financial facts, you will be able to decide the path to go.
Woodlawn Detective’s Career Path
First thing first, we will be talking about career growth in this field. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators on record in 2015. 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. 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. 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 increasing population is the reason behind this steady increase in employment. Protection should be done to a lot of people and more criminals should be caught as the population increases. But due to the strict implementation of laws and technology are more advanced, the crime rate is not increasing that much. Hence, there is a balance in each other, which leads to average growth in both careers.
The highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators are found in Texas, California and New York. The employment in western states and Texas are higher that to that of the eastern parts. 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. The annual average salary of criminal investigators is $80,000 while Private investigators get $52,000. Public investigators are paid most in District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey in the aspects of geography and finance. Private detectives receive higher payment in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
Private industries that employ most do not pay the highest in comparison with the different industires. 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. Federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes are paying public investigators most.
Qualifications to Become a Woodlawn Detective
It is important to note that there are two kinds of detectives. There are private investigators that the general public can hire to investigate on certain things. The others are employed by the government and reach this post after being promoted from a police officer. We will explore both avenues here.
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. 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.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree
Usually, you don’t require a bachelor’s degree to get into the police academy. However, some police officers prefer to have one as a means of employment after they retire. However, if you aspire to be a detective or land a job on federal level, you will need a bachelor’s degree.
A bachelor’s degree in either criminal justice or law will be required in most institutions 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.
Professional experience as an investigator is required in order to become a professional detective. You can find several ways to do so. Getting employed by the government is basically the most common method. 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.
Get firearms permits
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. 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.
Obtain Illinois licensure
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. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.
File for Illinois 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. 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.
Simply follow through all steps and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Your steps towards becoming a successful detective is finally within your reach. 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.
Woodlawn Detective Job Description?
Crime Scene Investigation
It will be a detective’s duty to carefully assess a crime scene and come up with the most sensible deduction. The detectives find and bag evidence at the scene of the crime. Supposedly, they should collect anything that looks like an evidence which can be used in court hearings later. In some cases, detectives can receive aid from the forensic investigation department, hence allowing them to come up with more deductions regarding the crime. To collect more clues and evidence, detectives will need to go door to door and ask any possible eye witnesses.
Doing research regarding previous cases is regarded as an important aspect of a detective’s job. They do so to gain more knowledge about criminal behavior and identify patterns that people usually follow. 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. Through the help of general research, it will be a lot easier for detectives to identify the culprit or make any accurate deductions.
Accurately guessing the culprit
The goal of a detective’s job is to bring justice to light and bring the culprit to justice. But to do this, they first need to a list of possible suspects. The list could be long, including up to a hundred people, or short – sometimes none at al. 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. By means of getting statements from suspects, detectives are able to narrow down their list. 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. 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. There are also cases where the one at fault will be escorted by the detective.
Woodlawn Private Detectives
Basically, the above mentioned roles are the responsibilities that detectives carry. 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 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.
Basically, you can see that the television has been portraying detectives properly 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. 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!