Detective or Criminal Investigator Salary
Detective or Criminal Investigators in the United States with more than 10 years of experience in their profession represent more than half of Detective or Criminal Investigators. Salaries average out to around $57K per year and spread from $37K to $111K per year. Location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Most Detective or Criminal Investigators like their work and job satisfaction is high. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
|Salary||$37,511 - $110,534|
|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).)
|$37,049 - $111,286|
|Hourly Rate||$16.07 - $63.02|
|Overtime||$17.47 - $89.86|
|Bonus||$0.21 - $7,830|
|Total Pay (||$37,049 - $111,286|
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.Read More...
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.
Common Career Paths for Detective or Criminal Investigator
As Detective or Criminal Investigators make advancements in their career path to positions such as Police Chief, their salaries may climb. Police Chiefs make $67K annually on average. More often than not, a Fraud Investigator role is the next step for Detective or Criminal Investigators moving up in the field. Pay for Fraud Investigators is usually $49K. Many Detective or Criminal Investigators choose to take on a Police Detective role instead, where salaries are typically $59K.
Detective or Criminal Investigator Job Listings
Pay by Experience Level for Detective or Criminal Investigator
Pay by Experience for a Detective or Criminal Investigator has a positive trend. An entry-level Detective or Criminal Investigator with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $50,000 based on 115 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Detective or Criminal Investigator with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000 based on 97 salaries. An experienced Detective or Criminal Investigator which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $61,000 based on 130 salaries. A Detective or Criminal Investigator with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $68,000 based on 94 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
For Detective or Criminal Investigators, Seattle provides a pay rate that is 77 percent greater than the national average. Detective or Criminal Investigators will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+65 percent), Los Angeles (+58 percent), Chicago (+33 percent), and Washington (+29 percent). Detective or Criminal Investigators in Little Rock earn salaries far below the national average by 41 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Employers also pay below the national average in Phoenix (13 percent lower) and Miami (7 percent lower).
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Key Stats for Detective or Criminal Investigator
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