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Detective or Criminal Investigator Salary

Pay for Detective or Criminal Investigators in the United States sits in the ballpark of $54K annually. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Making up 76 percent of those who took the survey, male Detective or Criminal Investigators greatly outnumber their female counterparts. Most enjoy medical while a majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just over a half. Work is enjoyable for Detective or Criminal Investigators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$31,978 - $106,539
(Median)
$32K
$54K
$110K
MEDIAN: $53,635
10%
50%
90%

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$12.47 - $37.56
(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
$31,978 - $106,539  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,946  
Profit Sharing
$2,100 - $10,000  
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).
)
$30,897 - $103,233  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 429
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
$12.47 - $37.56  
   
Overtime
$16.97 - $65.86  
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 - $9,946  
   
Profit Sharing
$2,100 - $10,000  
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).
)
$30,897 - $103,233  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 117

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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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For Detective or Criminal Investigators, progressing to a Police Chief role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Police Chief can earn $66K annually. The most common promotion for Detective or Criminal Investigators is a Fraud Investigator position, which usually brings in $47K 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

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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, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Detective or Criminal Investigators in the early stages of their careers take home approximately $45K on average. The average for people in the five-to-10 year group is only a little larger at $50K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $56K in this role. Veterans who have worked for more than two decades do tend to make the most in the end; the median pay for this group is $67K.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Detective or Criminal Investigator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 30%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

National Average
$52,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 4%

Entry-Level
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 128 votes.

Gender

Female
24 %
Male
76 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
25%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 68%
vision benefits Vision: 53% employee benefits None: 11%