Detective Salary

Detectives who are practiced in their profession and carry more than 10 years of experience make up just below three-fifths of Detectives. Pay fluctuates from $36K to $94K per year, but expected earnings average $55K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Job satisfaction for Detectives is high. Nearly all enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. Men account for the majority of Detectives who responded to the questionnaire — 89 percent to be exact. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$38,155 - $94,043
(Median)
$38K
$55K
$94K
MEDIAN: $55,242
10%
50%
90%

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$14.46 - $34.88
(Median)
$14
$24
$35
MEDIAN: $23.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Salary
$38,155 - $94,043  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,095  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$35,913 - $93,756  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 187
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$23$46$69
Hourly Rate
$14.46 - $34.88  
   
Overtime
$20.27 - $66.86  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,095  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$35,913 - $93,756  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 65
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Job Description for Detective

Typically, detectives are employed by companies to assist in loss and theft prevention. Examples of prospective employers for detectives include insurance companies, which use detectives when determining settlement shares; organizations that require background checks and security clearances, which use detectives as a part of the hiring process; and retail companies, where they may assist with loss prevention.

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Detective Tasks

  • Interview suspects, witnesses and victims.
  • May testify in court.
  • Compile, examine, and secure case evidence.

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Pay by Experience Level for Detective

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


The average inexperienced worker earns $49K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $51K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Detectives make a median salary of $61K. Detectives who have racked up more than two decades of experience report lower incomes overall; the average sum for this crowd comes out to only $60K.

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Experience Affects Detective Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 10%

Late-Career
up arrow 8%

National Average
$55,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 8%

Entry-Level
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 32 votes.

Gender

Female
11 %
Male
89 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
19%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
37%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 8%
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