Detective Salary

Just under three-fifths of Detectives in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $37K to $94K per year, but median earnings come to around $55K per year. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The vast majority of Detectives (89 percent) who took the survey are men. Almost all enjoy medical while a majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$38,395 - $94,440

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$14.89 - $34.92

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Salary
$38,395 - $94,440  
   
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).
)
$36,612 - $94,118  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 194
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$23$46$69
Hourly Rate
$14.89 - $34.92  
   
Overtime
$20.27 - $66.86  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$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).
)
$36,612 - $94,118  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 64
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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's salary is approximately $49K, and people with five to 10 years of experience bring in more at around $52K on average. Detectives see a median salary of $61K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $59K.

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Experience Affects Detective Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 11%

Late-Career
up arrow 7%

National Average
$55,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 6%

Entry-Level
up arrow 11%

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
19%
10-19 years
37%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 91% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 9%
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