Detective Salary

Detectives in the United States tend to be well-versed in their field, and just below three-fifths have more than 10 years of experience. Average salary is expected to be around $55K annually, but may range from $36K to $94K per year. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. There are far more male Detectives survey respondents than women, making up 89 percent. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$38,067 - $94,302
(Median)
$38K
$55K
$94K
MEDIAN: $54,932
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
$38,067 - $94,302  
   
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).
)
$35,832 - $93,934  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 185
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
$14.46 - $34.88  
   
Overtime
$20.20 - $65.25  
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).
)
$35,832 - $93,934  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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.


People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $49K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $51K. Detectives bring in $61K after working for 10 to 20 years. Survey respondents who have worked for more than 20 years actually report somewhat lower incomes of $59K.

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Experience Affects Detective Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 11%

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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