Detective or Criminal Investigator Average Salary

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 24 Detective or Criminal Investigator votes.
national salary data
National Employer Data
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.
$37,252 - $109,960  
$-0.50 - $7,757  
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).
$36,308 - $111,937  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 Feb 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 376

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Job Description for Detective or Criminal Investigator

Detectives or criminal investigators typically investigate violations of the law using all resources necessary (such as witnesses, written records, video surveillance, and numerical data). Throughout the investigation, detectives or criminal investigators interpret information, prepare reports, and provide a final evaluation of the evidence. Additionally, these individuals may be called on to testify in court. Detectives or criminal investigators often assess the evidence in an office setting, but much of the data is collected through on-site visits to witnesses and the crime scene. Research and analytical skills must be highly advanced, as much of the job involves synthesizing information and making conclusions.

Typical hours may vary greatly depending on the case. Because criminal investigators may need to go undercover to observe events and conversations without the knowledge of suspects or other witnesses, it is possible to work early, late, and unpredictable hours.

Detective or criminal investigators are usually required to have an associate’s degree in law enforcement, criminal justice, or a related field, as well as two years of previous experience in investigative work or law enforcement. Many criminal investigators are tasked with making physical arrests, which means that people in this role could also be required to be in excellent physical condition. All detective and criminal investigators must pass a drug test prior to beginning work.

Detective or Criminal Investigator Tasks
  • Compile, examine and assemble evidence to identify culprits.
  • Facilitate information and evidence transfer between departments.
  • Make arrests and restrain suspects.
  • Examine crime sites, interview suspects and witnesses and document findings.
  • Document hypotheses, warrants and conclusions, associating evidence and following regulations.

Key Stats


32 %
68 %
$35,235 - $76,653
$36,503 - $104,995

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 28 votes.
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

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