Detective or Criminal Investigator Salary
The majority of Detective or Criminal Investigators in the United States — just under three-fifths — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $37K to $110K per year, and the median is $58K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Detective or Criminal Investigators who participated in the survey are largely men, dominating at 65 percent. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
|Salary||$38,166 - $113,005|
|Bonus||$10.00 - $9,000|
|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).)
|$37,708 - $113,149|
|Hourly Rate||$16.70 - $60.00|
|Overtime||$16.96 - $86.29|
|Bonus||$10.00 - $9,000|
|Total Pay (||$37,708 - $113,149|
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...
Typical hours may vary greatly depending on the case. Because criminal investigators may need to go undercover to observe events and conversations without the knowledge of suspects or other witnesses, it is possible to work early, late, and unpredictable hours.
Detective or criminal investigators are usually required to have an associate’s degree in law enforcement, criminal justice, or a related field, as well as two years of previous experience in investigative work or law enforcement. Many criminal investigators are tasked with making physical arrests, which means that people in this role could also be required to be in excellent physical condition. All detective and criminal investigators must pass a drug test prior to beginning work.
(Copyright 2017 PayScale.com)
Detective or Criminal Investigator Tasks
- Compile, examine and assemble evidence to identify culprits.
- Facilitate information and evidence transfer between departments.
- Make arrests and restrain suspects.
- Examine crime sites, interview suspects and witnesses and document findings.
- Document hypotheses, warrants and conclusions, associating evidence and following regulations.
Common Career Paths for Detective or Criminal Investigator
At the upper end, Detective or Criminal Investigators who move into a Police Chief role may earn a little more as the latter position has a median salary of $67K per year. Becoming a Fraud Investigator is, more often than not, the most common role that Detective or Criminal Investigators move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. A median salary for a Fraud Investigator is $49K. Another frequent advance is for Detective or Criminal Investigators to assume a Police Detective role; in this role, workers often take home $59K.
Detective or Criminal Investigator Job Listings
Pay by Experience Level for Detective or Criminal Investigator
Pay by Experience for a Detective or Criminal Investigator has a positive trend. An entry-level Detective or Criminal Investigator with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $50,000 based on 115 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Detective or Criminal Investigator 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 97 salaries. An experienced Detective or Criminal Investigator which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $61,000 based on 130 salaries. A Detective or Criminal Investigator with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $68,000 based on 94 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Detective or Criminal Investigators in Seattle enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 75 percent above the national average. Detective or Criminal Investigators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+63 percent), Los Angeles (+55 percent), Chicago (+31 percent), and Washington (+28 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Detective or Criminal Investigators in Little Rock earning a whopping 42 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Phoenix and Miami (15 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).
Related Job Salaries
Key Stats for Detective or Criminal Investigator
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 50 votes.