Police Detective Salary
Police Detectives in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with more than half bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $59K per year on average but can range from $37K to $100K per year. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Men make up the vast majority of Police Detectives (81 percent) who took the survey. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Most Police Detectives like their work and job satisfaction is high. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
|Salary||$36,853 - $99,697|
|Total Pay (||$36,748 - $99,815|
|Hourly Rate||$15.34 - $36.18|
|Overtime||$24.36 - $69.74|
|Total Pay (||$36,748 - $99,815|
Job Description for Police Detective
A police detective is a law enforcement official who is tasked with proceeding with investigations of particularly serious crimes, which may include serious property crimes or crimes involving the injury or murder of a citizen. The detective helps gather and analyze evidence, interviews witnesses and potential suspects, and attempts to create a case that can be prosecuted by a district attorney's office.Read More...
Television and movies have created plenty of misconception around police detectives' actual job duties. Much of their typical work involves writing extensive reports and cataloging and analyzing potential evidence; because of the precise work required for criminal cases, police detectives must carefully document all parts of their investigations while also filling out extensive paperwork regarding items such as chain of custody forms for evidence. Additionally, if a police detective wants to conduct a search or interview certain individuals, a warrant or judgment from the court may be required, and these requests are more forms for the detective to fill out.
Still, police detectives do engage in field work, which is vital to helping to preserve a crime scene. In major crimes cases in large departments, the detective's job at a crime scene may mostly involve holding the situation while forensic investigators gather evidence that the detective can refer to at a later time. From the point of initially arriving at a scene, the detective will typically work a case through a routine series of steps to attempt to find suspects and motives.
Police detectives are typically promoted from the ranks of officers, though most detectives distinguish themselves by supplementing their experience and academy training with university or community college coursework in criminal justice disciplines. Most police detectives work in shifts that can require daytime, evening, or overnight schedules. Detectives spend much of their time in an office environment, but field work is a regular part of the job, as well.
Police Detective Tasks
- Compile, examine, and secure case evidence.
- May testify in court.
- Interview suspects, witnesses and victims.
Pay by Experience Level for Police Detective
Pay by Experience for a Police Detective has a positive trend. An entry-level Police Detective with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000 based on 55 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Police Detective with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000 based on 40 salaries. An experienced Police Detective which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $65,000 based on 66 salaries. A Police Detective with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $69,000 based on 36 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
For Police Detectives, working in the bustling city of Los Angeles has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Police Detectives will also find cushy salaries in New York (+22 percent).
Police Detective Advice
Key Stats for Police Detective
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