More than half of Detective or Criminal Investigators in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $36K to $111K per year, but median earnings come to around $57K annually. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$37,431 - $109,518
$37K
$57K
$110K
MEDIAN: $56,510
10%
50%
90%

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$14.98 - $62.40
$15
$23
$62
MEDIAN: $23.49
10%
50%
90%

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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
$37,431 - $109,518  
   
Bonus
$0.21 - $7,830  
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).
)
$36,312 - $110,932  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 336
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$31$62$93
Hourly Rate
$14.98 - $62.40  
   
Overtime
$17.11 - $91.23  
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$70K$140K$210K
Bonus
$0.21 - $7,830  
   
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).
)
$36,312 - $110,932  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 54

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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.

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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.

Common Career Paths for Detective or Criminal Investigator


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Detective or Criminal Investigators may enjoy a small increase in earnings as they climb the career ladder to roles like Police Chief, which pays $66K on average annually. A Fraud Investigator role is the most prevalent career advancement for Detective or Criminal Investigators. Paychecks for that role are $49K on average. The Police Detective position is another common transition for Detective or Criminal Investigators; in this role, salaries are typically at the $59K mark.

Detective or Criminal Investigator Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Detective or Criminal Investigator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Detective or Criminal Investigators with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Survey participants with less than five years' experience report a median income of $50K, and earnings aren't much higher for respondents who have five to 10 years under their belts; respondents in the latter group report a median of just $53K. Detective or Criminal Investigators see a median salary of $59K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $67K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $55,797

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

Detective or Criminal Investigators will find that Seattle offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 79 percent. Detective or Criminal Investigators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+66 percent), Los Angeles (+64 percent), Chicago (+34 percent), and Washington (+27 percent). The lowest-paying market is Little Rock, which sits 41 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Phoenix (13 percent lower) and Miami (7 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Detective or Criminal Investigator

Gender

Female
30 %
Male
70 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 29 votes.
029
Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
19%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
29%
20 years or more
24%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Detective or Criminal Investigator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 19%


National Average
$56,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 29 votes.

Gender

Female
30 %
Male
70 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
19%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
29%
20 years or more
24%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 75%
vision benefits
Vision: 66%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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