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Detective Salary

Just below three-fifths of Detectives in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $35K to $93K per year, but median earnings come to around $53K per year. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. There are far more male Detectives survey respondents than women, making up 85 percent. The majority of Detectives claim high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
$36,992 - $94,043
(Median)
37K
45K
53K
77K
94K
MEDIAN: $53,061
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$14.25 - $34.59
(Median)
14
17
23
31
35
MEDIAN: $22.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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
$36,992 - $94,043  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,081  
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).
)
$34,772 - $93,139  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 137
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 - $34.59  
   
Overtime
$20.13 - $64.79  
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 - $5,081  
   
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).
)
$34,772 - $93,139  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 52
United States (change)

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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Detectives who transition into an upper level Police Detective position will not necessarily make much more than they do in their current role. The average Police Detective makes $59K a year. Detectives most frequently advance into Police or Sheriff's Patrol Officer and Detective or Criminal Investigator roles even though the median salaries are $8K lower and $2K lower, respectively.

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.


People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $47K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $48K. Detectives claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $62K. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $58K.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Detective Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 16%

Late-Career
up arrow 9%

National Average
$53,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 10%

Entry-Level
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 31 votes.

Gender

Female
15 %
Male
85 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
18%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
38%
20 years or more
19%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 74%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 8%