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Detective Salary

Detectives in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with just under three-fifths bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $54K annually on average but can range from $35K to $94K per year. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Men make up the vast majority of Detectives (88 percent) who took the survey. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Detectives. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the greater part collect dental insurance. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$37,909 - $94,726
(Median)
$38K
$54K
$95K
MEDIAN: $54,229
10%
50%
90%

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$14.25 - $35.02
(Median)
$14
$24
$35
MEDIAN: $24.00
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
$37,909 - $94,726  
   
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).
)
$35,153 - $94,477  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 172
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$22$44$66
Hourly Rate
$14.25 - $35.02  
   
Overtime
$20.61 - $65.88  
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).
)
$35,153 - $94,477  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 62

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United States (change)


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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.

Common Career Paths for Detective


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For Detectives, career advancements do not tend to correlate with a rise in salary. On average, lower-level Detectives earn similar salaries to those in higher-end positions like Police Detective.

Police Detective Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Detective

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


Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $48K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $50K on average. Detectives see a median salary of $61K after reaching one to two decades on the job. People who have worked for 20 years or more actually report earning less than people who are in the middle of their careers; the veterans take home a mere $59K by contrast.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Detective Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 12%

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
12 %
Male
88 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
18%
5-9 years
21%
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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