Detective or Criminal Investigator Salary

Detective or Criminal Investigators in the United States with more than 10 years of experience in their profession represent about one-half of Detective or Criminal Investigators. Salaries average out to around $55K per year and spread from $32K to $104K per year. Residence and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Detective or Criminal Investigators who answered the questionnnaire. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Detective or Criminal Investigators. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$34,531 - $106,121

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$12.45 - $36.69

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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
$34,531 - $106,121  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,151  
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).
)
$31,876 - $103,830  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 413
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$12.45 - $36.69  
   
Overtime
$17.15 - $66.38  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,151  
   
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).
)
$31,876 - $103,830  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 106
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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

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

Common Career Paths for Detective or Criminal Investigator


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Detective or Criminal Investigators who advance into the role of a Police Chief are fairly uncommon. Police Chiefs on average earn $66K per year. Becoming a Fraud Investigator is, more often than not, the most common role that Detective or Criminal Investigators move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. A median salary for a Fraud Investigator is $48K. Another frequent advance is for Detective or Criminal Investigators to assume a Police Detective role; in this role, workers often take home $59K.

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.


For Detective or Criminal Investigators, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. At career start (within the first five years), average income sits near $46K, and the average for folks who have worked for five to 10 years is only slightly higher at $51K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Detective or Criminal Investigators make a median salary of $58K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $65K.

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Experience Affects Detective or Criminal Investigator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 24%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

National Average
$53,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 4%

Entry-Level
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 106 votes.

Gender

Female
24 %
Male
76 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
25%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
29%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 8%
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