Private Investigator Salary

Private investigators are paid hourly when on contract work or a salary when they work for a firm. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 21% of private detectives are self employed and perform a variety of contract work for both private parties and commercial interests. The median annual Private Detective Salary is between $30,870 to $59,060 with the higher range of earners making $76,640 or more.

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It should be noted that private detectives and investigators’ salary may vary greatly depending on the employer, specialization, and geographic area of the work. Job prospects are expected to be best for entry level private investigator positions in detective agencies where you may start by assisting companies confirming information or insurance firms to investigate questionable claims, for example. Self employed private detectives charge an hourly rate determined by their qualifications, the type of job, and competition.

Private Investigator Salary at a Glance:

Private Investigator SalaryAnnual Average Salary
Entry Level$30,870 – 41,760
Mid Career Level$41,760 – 59,060
Senior – Seasoned Level$76,640 +

Private Investigation Salary Compared to Related Professions:

PositionAnnual Average Salary
Private Investigator$41,760 – 76,640
Police Officer$38,850 – 64,940
Police Detective$59,320 – 92,700

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Women In Law Enforcement

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According to The National Center for Women and Policing (NCWP), the first women police officer was hired by the Portland, Oregon Police Department in 1905.

Women In Law Enforcement


Federal Data:

The latest information (2004) from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, reports that women account for 16% of the 105,000 federal law enforcement officers surveyed

Local Data:

Local law enforcement (town, city, county) show that women comprised 11.3% of officers in 2003, up from 7.6% in 1987.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics