A Private Detective or Investigator earns an average wage of $20.15 per hour. Experience has a moderate effect on income for this job.
Private Detective or Investigator Total Pay (?
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.
)
$29,835 - $80,537
(Median)
30K
46K
61K
81K
MEDIAN: $46,063
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Private Detective or Investigator Total Pay (?
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.
)
$12.63 - $53.24
(Median)
13
20
31
53
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
75%
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
$29,835 - $80,537  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,967  
Profit Sharing
$983 - $4,578  
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).
)
$29,086 - $105,190  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 24 Apr 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 476
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
$12.63 - $53.24  
   
Overtime
$10.51 - $41.31  
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 - $9,967  
   
Profit Sharing
$983 - $4,578  
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).
)
$29,086 - $105,190  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 24 Apr 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 476
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Job Description for Private Detective or Investigator
Private detectives or investigators find and analyze facts and information, which may range from legal to financial to personal information depending on the needs of their employer (which may be individuals or companies). Their day-to-day tasks may include conducting surveillance on suspects, researching financial and criminal actions against individuals, doing background checks, gathering and reviewing documents, and following an individual's movements to gather information. Other tasks may include assisting in catching sexual predators, helping recover lost assets, and assisting in forensic investigation.
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Private Detective or Investigator Tasks
  • Analyze data and prioritize work to produce results.
  • Document tactics, resulting information and information gaps.
  • Conduct research on the internet and through the phone to identify people and their locations.
  • Investigate potential fraud, for instance, insurance fraud.
Pay by Experience Level for Private Detective or Investigator
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Pay Difference By Location
New York
up arrow 42%
Los Angeles
up arrow 6%
National Average
$47,000
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.

Experience Affects Private Detective or Investigator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 36%
Experienced
up arrow 15%
Mid-Career
up arrow 1%
National Average
$47,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 17%
Job Satisfaction
Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 77 votes.
Gender
Female
26%
female alumni
 
Male
74%
male alumni
Years of Experience
Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
17%
Common Health Benefits
medical benefits Medical: 50% dental benefits Dental: 36%
vision benefits Vision: 27% employee benefits None: 48%
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