Detectives in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with a little more than half bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $61K annually on average but can range from $39K to $100K per year. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Read More
$38,742 - $99,346
(Median)
$39K
$61K
$99K
MEDIAN: $60,518
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$18.36 - $43.60
(Median)
$18
$25
$44
MEDIAN: $25.00
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$38,742 - $99,346  
   
Bonus
$3,052  
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).
)
$39,020 - $100,039  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 198
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$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$18.36 - $43.60  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.44  
Overtime
$22.23 - $87.38  
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$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$3,052  
   
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).
)
$39,020 - $100,039  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 58
United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Employers: Start 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 sources.
  • Respond to incidents and complaints, document interactions, and collect evidence.
  • File reports, documents, and other paperwork.
  • Collect, store, protect, and analyze physical evidence from crime scenes to aid investigation.
  • Work closely with team members and other departments.

Common Career Paths for Detective


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


Detectives tend not to experience significant pay changes as they move up the career ladder to roles like Police Sergeant. The two jobs pay about the same on average.

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.


People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $56K on average. It is reported that median compensation in the five-to-10 year group declines to approximately $55K. Detectives with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $66K. Detectives who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $74K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $59,971

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the three largest American cities, are home to some of the highest salaries for Detectives; they all offer salaries above the field's national average. Detectives in Miami earn salaries far below the national average by 33 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field.

Detective Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Detective in Eagan:
"Don't be a load."
Step up and do your job. Then look around and see what else you can tackle. Make yourself a value to your agency, rather than someone just getting by. Your job satisfaction will be much higher.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Employers: Start Here »

Experience Affects Detective Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 23%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

National Average
$60,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 7%

Mid-Career
up arrow 8%

Skills That Affect Detective Salaries

Investigation
up arrow 32%

National Average
$60,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 14 votes.

Gender

Female
10 %
Male
90 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
19%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
29%
20 years or more
25%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 93%
dental benefits
Dental: 71%
medical benefits
Vision: 56%
dental benefits
None: 6%
ADVERTISEMENT