How Much Do Private Detectives Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

2021 Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

Private Detectives and Investigators

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.

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Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$60100 per year
Hourly wage
$29 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$31,440 to $38,400 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$15 to $18 per hour

Entry-level Private Detectives and Investigators with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $31,440 to $38,400 per year or $15 to $18 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

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Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Private Detectives and Investigators to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $47 $96,950
Senior (Top 25%) $35 $73,190
Middle (Mid 50%) $26 $53,320
Junior (Bottom 25%) $18 $38,400
No experience (Bottom 10%) $15 $31,440

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
AR $37 $77,980
AK $35 $72,150
CA $34 $70,350
DE $33 $68,620
TX $32 $67,420
AL $32 $66,870
WA $32 $66,220
UT $32 $66,040
IL $32 $65,670
OR $31 $65,140

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Private Detective and Investigator is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like AR doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at AR might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Private Detectives are in the states of AR, AK, CA, DE and TX.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution $92900 $44.66
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities $80240 $38.58
Insurance Carriers $76440 $36.75
Building Material and Supplies Dealers $73840 $35.50
Couriers and Express Delivery Services $71270 $34.26
Telecommunications $67380 $32.39
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities $66530 $31.99
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services $66180 $31.82
Elementary and Secondary Schools $66130 $31.79
Scientific Research and Development Services $65240 $31.36
State Government $65200 $31.35
Employment Services $65200 $31.35
Local Government $65090 $31.29
Legal Services $63690 $30.62
Nondepository Credit Intermediation $63460 $30.51
Rail Transportation $63060 $30.32
Management of Companies and Enterprises $62550 $30.07
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $61830 $29.73
Warehousing and Storage $60690 $29.18
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations $59690 $28.70
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $59630 $28.67
Investigation and Security Services $59300 $28.51
Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities $58720 $28.23
Food and Beverage Stores $56640 $27.23
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $55940 $26.89
Other Personal Services $55760 $26.81
Facilities Support Services $55140 $26.51
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services $50210 $24.14
Amusement Parks and Arcades $48360 $23.25
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses $47880 $23.02

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