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Detective or Criminal Investigator Salary

Median pay for Detective or Criminal Investigators in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $53K annually. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and more than half collect dental insurance. Most Detective or Criminal Investigators survey respondents are men (75 percent). Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$32,627 - $106,083
(Median)
$33K
$53K
$110K
MEDIAN: $53,448
10%
50%
90%

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$12.43 - $37.82
(Median)
$12
$21
$38
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$32,627 - $106,083  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,027  
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).
)
$31,055 - $103,396  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 424
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$12.43 - $37.82  
   
Overtime
$16.90 - $68.89  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $10,027  
   
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).
)
$31,055 - $103,396  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 115

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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

  • 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 go on to become Police Chiefs may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Police Chiefs is $66K annually. A Fraud Investigator role is the most prevalent career advancement for Detective or Criminal Investigators. Paychecks for that role are $47K 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 more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Someone who has worked for fewer than five years earns around $45K on average. Individuals with five to 10 years of experience don't get much more, though; the average income in this group is $49K. For Detective or Criminal Investigators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $56K. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Detective or Criminal Investigator with more than 20 years of experience can earn $67K on average.

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Detective or Criminal Investigator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 29%

Experienced
up arrow 8%

National Average
$52,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

Entry-Level
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 120 votes.

Gender

Female
25 %
Male
75 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
26%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 54% employee benefits None: 10%
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