Police Detective Salary

Police Detectives in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with nearly three-fifths bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $57K per year on average but can range from $36K to $97K per year. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Police Detectives. The vast majority (86 percent) of Police Detectives who answered the questionnaire are male. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$35,926 - $99,928
(Median)
$36K
$57K
$100K
MEDIAN: $56,699
10%
50%
90%

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$15.10 - $37.75
(Median)
$15
$26
$38
MEDIAN: $26.00
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$34K$68K$102K
Salary
$35,926 - $99,928  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,171  
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).
)
$35,732 - $97,264  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 158
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$23$46$69
Hourly Rate
$15.10 - $37.75  
   
Overtime
$29.08 - $67.24  
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 - $5,171  
   
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).
)
$35,732 - $97,264  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 52
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Job Description for Police Detective

A police detective is a person who has had training and education in investigation techniques. A detective has no uniform, there typically is no police car, a detective will not have many of the duties that a regular patrol officer may have. A detective's job is to gather information to try to conclude how a crime was committed. Detectives will interview witnesses and victims. The job also requires that they work closely with those who will assist in the forensic part of the case, the CSI Unit. A detective must use the knowledge and the experience they have gained in their years as police officers. A police detective has the responsibility of searching and researching as much evidence as possible so that a case can get solved. Detectives will work until a case is closed or until they have exhausted all possible leads and can no longer continue with what they have. The job duties that come with being a detective are to arrive first at a crime scene and gather as much evidence as possible. The detective must then decide if what was found is sufficient to begin an investigation. A police detective will then spend time writing reports and filling out forms. A person must have a complete dedication for his or her work to be successful as a detective. He or she must be aware of the risk that comes with the job. A more effective detective will be someone with the most experience and training and who is in top physical condition.


Police Detective Tasks

  • Interview suspects, witnesses and victims.
  • May testify in court.
  • Compile, examine, and secure case evidence.

Police Detective Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Police Detective

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


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Police Detectives — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. In this position, someone who has worked for fewer than five years can expect a median salary of $49K. The median for people with five to 10 years of experience is only a little bit higher at $53K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $64K in this role. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $70K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Police Detective Advice

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

Police Detective in Lexington:
"Always Give Your Best Effort."
Never cut corners. Always give every task you perform your utmost effort. Remember, if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

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Experience Affects Police Detective Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 21%

Experienced
up arrow 10%

National Average
$58,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 10%

Entry-Level
up arrow 15%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 36 votes.

Gender

Female
14 %
Male
86 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
19%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 96% dental benefits Dental: 74%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 3%
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