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...
The essence of what a detective does is to gather data as evidence that will be used to support a conclusion, proposal, or action to be taken by the employer. A detective employed as part of loss prevention in a retail setting may work undercover, walking around their employer's store and looking for suspicious activity; they may also make recommendations to improve security and suggest ways to eliminate temptation. As an investigator for insurance companies, the detective may gather evidence, as well as conduct limited surveillance and perform interviews; the detective then typically presents the data he or she has gathered to assist the company on how to proceed in a claims settlement. When a detective performs background checks for employers, typically they conduct interviews and verification of prior employment and education through records checks.
To work as a detective, a high school diploma or equivalent is generally required; an associate's or bachelor's degree in criminology or a related field may be required or preferred as well. Prior experience is generally needed as well. Detectives must also be excellent communicators to effectively conduct interviews and create reports as required to summarize gathered evidence.
- 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.
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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 $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
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.