Those who are fond of watching detective serials and movies want to become a detective in the future as well. 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. Since crime rate is increasing these days, more detectives are needed in order 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
Salary of a Detective
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. Let’s take a look at the factors affecting a state employed investigators’ salary at the moment.
Just like police officers, the income of a detective is dependent on the city’s population. A more populated city will mean more cases to be handled. Thus, the increase in salary. 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. In contrast, for someone in Miami Police department, the average salary tends to be around $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 all pay 6-figure salaries with District of Columbia paying as much as $116,000.
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. You will be paid more depending on your degree.
Like any other job, you will get earn as an investigator if you stay in the field long enough. 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. But if you are promoted as a Police Chief, you will be paid about $180,000 per year.
Young America Private Investigators
The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. As mentioned before, the location can affect the price along with the many other factors such as the amount of discretion needed, the amount of danger involved, extra equipment required and many other things. 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.
Career Outlook of a Young America Detective
First, let’s talk about the growth in the fields. 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. 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. Such growth rate follows the 5% average growth rate in all other 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 is also considered as the average growth rate.
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. 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. Private detectives in California, Texas and Florida with the southern part are higher in number compared to the northern ones.
Let’s see what are the industries that hire these professionals most. The Local, State government and the Federal branch are employing a lot 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.
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. Private detectives were paid most in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
Private industries that employ most do not pay the highest in comparison with the different industires. 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. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.
How To Become A Young America Detective
Detectives come in two kinds. There are private investigators that the general public can hire to investigate on 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.
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. 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 your Bachelor’s Degree
In most cases, enlisting in the police force won’t require a bachelor’s degree. Some officers however want to have another source of income right after they retire from their job. 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. 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.
Get enough experience
You need to experience working as an investigator first before you can become a professional detective. Fortunately, you have several options available. Getting employed by the government is basically the most common method. If you have any experience as an arson investigator, criminal investigator or a law enforcement investigator, you are qualified as a person with experience. Working as an office investigator or as a licensed repossessor will count as well.
Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. Some states require you to have 3 years of experience while others require 5 years.
Acquire a license for your guns
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. 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.
Undergo a Minnesota licensing test
A licensure test is required after you have all the requirements needed. During the exam, you will need to answer questions in multiple choice, usually regarding about state laws and several other procedures. The test is only available for those who want to be private detectives. Once you pass, you will officially become a licensed private detective.
Since investigating can sometimes be a dangerous line of work, it is important to get insurance done. 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.
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 want to pursue your dreams, learn all about the requirements and complete them as soon as you can.
What Does A Detective Do In Young America?
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. 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. Through this, they can get to the mind of a criminal and discover any hidden clues and patterns. In most cases, this will mean researching into previous records for them to know how the culprit might operate. 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. Through the help of general research, it will be a lot easier for detectives to identify the culprit or make any accurate deductions.
Reducing the list of possible suspects
A detective’s main objective is to take the one at fault to justice. 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. 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. 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 help with the process, they are sometimes summoned to the court to testify against the suspect(s). In some cases, they will describe the evidence and how they are connected to the suspect, as well as narrating the possible crime scene. There are also cases where the one at fault will be escorted by the detective.
Young America Private Detectives
All the above duties were that of a public detective or a law enforcement detective. 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 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. 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 you’re really interested with the job, you should start knowing what it takes to be a detective now!