Private Detectives and Investigators jobs information
pros and cons of being a Private Detective and Investigator

Private Detectives and Investigators

Other names for this job might include Alarm Investigator, Asset Protection Detective, Background Investigator, Bonding Agent, Cash Shortage Investigator, Certified Legal Investigator, Detective, Detective Investigator, District Agent, Field Investigator

  • $52840
  • 73%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Private Detectives: Know It All In 1 Minute

In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Private Detective is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.

Job description

Private Detectives and Investigators gather, analyze, compile and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment.

    Read more about what does A Private Detective really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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    Average salary
    $52840 per year
    Hourly wage
    $25.41 an hour

    Private Detectives with little to no experience tend to make between $26920 and $35070 while the more experienced ones make over $62820 per year.

    Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual

    1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Private Detective is to move to a higher paying state like AL. Right now, the highest paying states for Private Detectives are AL, NE, NJ, NY and CT.

    However a higher pay at AL doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at AL might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

    3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Private Detective is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

    Find out how much do successful Private Detectives make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


    Recommended degree level
    Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)

    We asked other Private Detectives what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelors degree followed by High School Diploma.

    Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

    Criminal Justice/Police Science
    Law Enforcement Record-Keeping and Evidence Management
    Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism
    Financial Forensics and Fraud Investigation
    Protective Services Operations

    Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Private Detective successful or would they be good in this career.

    Well, we found that most successful Private Detectives have these 5 skillsets.

    Active Listening
    Reading Comprehension
    Critical Thinking
    Complex Problem Solving

    In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Private Detectives is they are good at Integrity. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

    Attention to Detail
    = Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

    Read more about what it really takes to become A Private Detective and the degree, training and education you need

    Pros and Cons

    Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Private Detective as your career.

    Suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
    Suitable for people who values achievements and are resultsoriented
    This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
    It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
    Demand for this career is growing fast
    Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
    Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

    There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

    A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.

    What is the job like

    Job satisfaction
    Is this job meaningful

    Working hours
    More than 40 hours per week
    Working schedule
    Regular (Set schedule and routine)

    On a normal working week Private Detectives and Investigators work More than 40 hours per week.

    73% of Private Detectives said they were satisfied with their job and 60% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

    Is this right for me

    Best personality for this career
    The Persuaders and The Organizers

    You can read more about these career personality types here.

    People who are suitable for this job tends to like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

    They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

    How we can help

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    Career type

    Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Security and Protective Services

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    Additional resources [schema type=”review” url=”” name=”” description=” is a career and college finder site. We help students to find a career and college that is right for them.” rev_name=”Private Detectives and Investigators” rev_body=”Private Detectives gather, analyze, compile and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment.” author=”Stanley Tan” user_review=”4.5″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”5″ ]