What am I worth?
Get a free salary report »
What should I pay?
Pay the right way »

Detective Salary

Nearly three in five of Detectives in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $36K to $95K per year, but median earnings come to around $54K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. There are far more male Detectives survey respondents than women, making up 88 percent. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
Read More
$38,435 - $95,599
(Median)
$38K
$54K
$96K
MEDIAN: $54,382
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$14.25 - $35.02
(Median)
$14
$24
$35
MEDIAN: $23.00
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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
$38,435 - $95,599  
   
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).
)
$35,671 - $95,123  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 165
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
$14.25 - $35.02  
   
Overtime
$23.45 - $66.06  
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).
)
$35,671 - $95,123  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 62

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

- OR -

Log in with LinkedIn

Comp Managers Click Here »

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.

Read More...

Detective Tasks

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

Common Career Paths for Detective


Add this chart to your site:   640px 640px    300px 300px


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. Many Detectives go on to become Police or Sheriff's Patrol Officers or Detective or Criminal Investigators despite the fact that median compensation in those roles is reportedly $9K lower and $3K lower, respectively.

Police Detective Job Listings

Search for more jobs:


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. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $61K. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $59K.

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 9%

Entry-Level
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
12 %
Male
88 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
17%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
37%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

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