Taking the detective salary figures and job outlook into consideration before pursuing a career in this field is smart. After all it is good to know what kind of money you’ll be making and if you’ll be able to get hired if you decide to pursue a career in this field.
Detective Job Outlook and Growth
Employment opportunities are expected to grow with the average for this job field, which means right around 10% between the years of 2008-2018 according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The main reason for more job positions being available is the U.S.’s growing population.
Overall job opportunities will be favorable for those individuals who have the best qualifications in regards to education, physical, personal, and psychological requirements. In addition to job openings created from population increase, other job openings will be created through the need to replace employees who are retiring, leaving local & state agencies to move to federal agencies, and others who will move into the private sector. Some of the easier places where jobs can be had will be at the local level in urban areas where crime is high, and salaries may be lower. Because of recent state level budget cuts in 2011 smaller departments may be experiencing an evaporating budget and opportunities in these departments may be limited or non-existent. Candidate’s possessing military experience and/or college educations in related fields of study, and who are bilingual will have the best chances of gaining employment.
At the federal level the salaries will be higher, the requirements more stringent and the competition for jobs tougher. Candidate’s with college degrees, bilingual, with experience in the military or in law enforcement will have the best chances of landing jobs at the federal level.
Keep in mind government spending is what determines the amount of employment that agencies and departments are able to bring on; because of this employment opportunities can vary from year to year, and in different geographic areas. Layoffs are typically rare in this field because a majority of staffing cuts are handled through the attrition of the existing employees. Detectives who lose their positions due to budget cuts typically have little difficulty in locating other jobs with alternative agencies or departments.
Detective Salary Figures
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics detective and police investigators earned a median yearly salary of roughly $73k in 2010. The middle 50% made between $50k to $91k. While the highest 10% earned around $119k. Median yearly federal salaries were around $93k, state government at $54k, and local at around $62k.
It wasn’t uncommon for detectives to exceed these stated detective salary numbers due to money earned for overtime, which can be very significant over the course of each year.
Common benefits include sick leave, medical, dental, vision, life insurance and paid vacation time. Many officers are able to retire after 20 years of service for 50% of their pay, and others are able to retire with 30 years of service or less.
According to other reliable sources the median criminal investigator or detective salary comes in at roughly at $41k annually as of May 2012. This number was prepared by collecting and analyzing the data provided by thousands of Human Resource departments across the United States from various geographic areas and all different sized agencies.
You should now have a better idea of what you can expect regarding job growth, outlook and salary figures in regards to detective work. Having this information in addition to other job information should help you to make an educated decision as to whether this is the kind of work you are looking for. In addition to detective work there are plenty of other criminal justice careers out there. Feel free to look around our website for more information about detective jobs, and more.