Detective or Criminal Investigator Salary

The majority of Detective or Criminal Investigators in the United States — around half — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $33K to $108K per year, and the median is $55K per year. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Most Detective or Criminal Investigators survey respondents are men (74 percent). Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$34,756 - $109,404
(Median)
$35K
$55K
$110K
MEDIAN: $55,250
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$12.53 - $39.09
(Median)
$13
$22
$39
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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
$34,756 - $109,404  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $11,745  
Profit Sharing
$4,000  
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).
)
$32,539 - $107,560  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 444
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
$12.53 - $39.09  
   
Overtime
$17.02 - $72.74  
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 - $11,745  
   
Profit Sharing
$4,000  
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).
)
$32,539 - $107,560  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 97
United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Comp Managers: Start Here »

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...

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


Add this chart to your site:   640px 640px    300px 300px


Detective or Criminal Investigators who advance into the role of a Police Chief are fairly uncommon. Police Chiefs on average earn $66K per year. The most common promotion for Detective or Criminal Investigators is a Fraud Investigator position, which usually brings in $48K a year. Another standard transition for Detective or Criminal Investigators seeking advancement is to assume a Police Detective role, where pay is often $59K.

Detective or Criminal Investigator Job Listings

Search for more jobs:


Pay by Experience Level for Detective or Criminal Investigator

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


For many Detective or Criminal Investigators, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $46K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $53K. For Detective or Criminal Investigators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $59K. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $70K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $53,719

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

Home to some of the best pay for Detective or Criminal Investigators, Seattle offers exceptional salaries, 85 percent above the national average. Detective or Criminal Investigators will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+54 percent), Houston (+38 percent), Los Angeles (+34 percent), and Boston (+30 percent). Detective or Criminal Investigators' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Detective or Criminal Investigators in Little Rock bring in salaries that are 36 percent lower than the national average. Employers in Phoenix and Atlanta also lean toward paying below-median salaries (12 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

Detective or Criminal Investigator Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Detective or Criminal Investigator in Phoenix:
"Avoid Federal Law Enforcement."
The job pays well, but there is no managerial support or camaraderie as there often time is with local police or sheriff departments. If you are former military and/or appreciate appreciate someone watching your back, avoid federal law enforcement. This is the only place where I've had to watch my back both in the field and while sitting at my desk. Law enforcement is not a popular career right now and the media tends to only show the bad apples to further damage the career reputation, but if you must, go local or state.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Comp Managers: Start Here »

Experience Affects Detective or Criminal Investigator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 30%

Experienced
up arrow 11%

National Average
$54,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

Entry-Level
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 95 votes.

Gender

Female
26 %
Male
74 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
26%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
29%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 73%
medical benefits
Vision: 58%
dental benefits
None: 8%
ADVERTISEMENT