No one goes into any career imagining they will be struggling to survive. Therefore, it’s completely natural to wonder how much you will earn working in a certain position.
Here in this article, BestLifeTips will share with you how much do Private Investigators make.
What does a Private Investigator do?
Private Investigators (PI), also known as Private Detectives, work for organizations and individuals to find information. They provide their services to clients who hire them. The majority of the work they do is similar to that of a detective.
They may take part in different types of cases, such as finding legal, personal, or financial information; performing background checks; interviewing people; engaging in surveillance activities.
Private Investigators are not legally authorized to perform acts that would be performed by a Police Officer. If they have the necessary permits, they can bring and use a firearm.
Typically, they are required to present the results and findings of their investigations to their clients or in a court of law as testimony and evidence.
- Interview people to gather information on a case.
- Research information related to a case.
- Do surveillance wok.
- Go undercover to find information.
- Collect evidence to be used in a court of law.
- Investigate crimes.
- Work in tandem with Law Enforcement offices.
- Handle legal documents and court citations.
- Perform background checks on people.
How much do Private Investigators make?
Many people may be very curious about how much do Private Investigators make. Keep reading to find out their salary in US and UK.
How much do Private Investigators make in US?
There are many fields that an American Private Investigator can work in, so the salary is also different. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national mean annual wage of Private Investigators is $60,100.
Like all occupations, the average salary of a Private Investigator is influenced by a state’s cost of living.
However, this correlation only holds partially for Private Investigator salaries, with some of the top-paying states being appearing rather random by a cost-of-living interpretation.
Here is a list of the top 5 states that have the highest average payment for Private Investigators.
- Arkansas: $77,980
- Alaska: $72,150
- California: $70,350
- Delaware: $68,620
- Texas: $67,420
A highest average payment for Private Investigators is Arkansas, a state that has lower cost of living compared to other states like California or Alaska, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s cost of living index.
There are many factors determining Private Investigator salary, such as location, time invested, and caseload.
There may be periods of time when work is not available. This will have a significant impact on the overall Private Investigator salary. The location of their business will have an effect as well.
How much do Private Investigators make in UK?
Some Private Investigators will take on different kinds of cases depending on what’s available. Others only focus on specific types of investigations. This can have an effect on how much salary they make in a year.
According to some sources, Private Investigators who focus on domestic investigations like finding missing persons, nuptial investigations and surveillance, can earn £16,000 in a year.
A Private Investigator with experienced convert filming skills can earn an annual salary of between £20,000 and £25,000.
If an investigator is prepared to work outside regular business hours, this can increase their annual salary a lot.
There is no definitive figure for the average salary of Private Investigators in the UK. Some sources say it is £23,754, and others just say it’s somewhere in between £20,000 and £30,000.
There are different factors involved that make it difficult to rely on a particular average salary. These factors include:
- Some investigators have corporate employers, and others are self-employed.
- Some investigators are licensed, and others are not.
- Skill level also affects Private Investigators salary.
- Investigator salaries are higher in some parts of the UK, etc.
How to become a Private Investigator?
If you have a love for uncovering the truth and are thinking of getting into private investigation, here is what you need to know to become a Private Investigator.
Entering Private Investigation as your first career
- Research the requirements in your area
Almost all countries require a certain level of education or experience to earn a Private Investigator license. It’s best to check the law in the area where you plan to work.
- Study applicable subjects in college
It is still highly recommended for anyone without relevant work experience. You should complete a two or four-year degree in criminal law, criminal justice, or police science.
Besides, study accounting or a related field to qualify for a position as a corporate investigator. In areas where a degree is optional, this may count toward work experience requirements.
- Evaluate your personality traits
Most of your work will relate to online research, surveillance, and prepare records for court presentations. This requires someone with particular skills and temperament.
You need to have excellent observation skill; good spoken and written communication skills; quick decision-making skills and resourcefulness; moderate technological skills; ability to handle occasional high-stress situations, physical and mental demand and long, unusual work hours.
- Prepare for boredom and exhaustion
The reality of this work may be opposite to your imagination. You may get bored and super tired. If staying awake isn’t your thing, this isn’t the job for you.
This is not a job for multitasking. It requires focusing on extended periods of time. Sometimes, you just do nothing but waiting. If you’re good at waiting without going crazy, you’ll make a great PI.
- Go undercover
Although it depends on the specific line of work you get into, in most of the cases, you’ll have to be sneaky. Wherever you go, you need to blend in. Being loud and proud won’t get you anywhere on your case.
- Take training courses
Experienced Private Investigators say that hands-on training is the most important step for someone entering the field.
Choose a course accredited by a national accrediting organization, or by a professional organization of investigators.
Also, you should take firearms and non-weapons self-defense training courses. To qualify to carry weapons legally, you have to undergo firearms training with a certified or qualified instructor.
Self-defense training may or may not be a requirement of the local governing authority. However, it is highly recommended, since being a PI is quite dangerous.
- Apply to entry-level positions
Existing detective agencies often have open entry-level positions. This typically takes a few years.
You can also qualify for your license through other routes, such as law enforcement, military police work, claims adjustment, or debt collection.
- Get your license
If a license is required in your area, take the exam as soon as you qualify. With your license, you can work as a Private Investigator, with the right to access certain databases and perform surveillance.
Switching to a Private Investigation career
- Know your job prospects
You should search for the job growth, competition and the mean annual wage of a Private Investigator and then decide to switch to this career or not.
- Understand the stress of the job
Most Private Investigators rely entirely on clients for their income, so you must have the budgeting resolve to save up for dry months. Prepare to work for long and unusual work hours.
Moreover, you must be able to handle physical and emotional stress, including the occasional dangerous situations.
- Consider your experience
There are about 50% of Private Investigators are former police officers and 20% are former military.
There are several other routes into the field, such as law-related work; investigative journalism; insurance claims adjustment, etc.
- Get a license to investigate
Most countries require a license before you can work as a Private Investigator. Typically, you will need to pass an exam, and sometimes a short training course.
- Find a focus
Private Investigators can examine everything to identify the crimes. You can draw on particular experience or skills to specialize in one or more areas. This may lead to more full-time employment opportunities, or create a reputation that attracts clients.
- Know what’s legal, and what isn’t
Just because you’re a PI doesn’t mean you can break the law. Stay safe and get familiar with the laws.
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Being a Private Investigator is not a simple thing and you may face dangers while on your duty. Private Investigators salary depends on different factors, and the most important thing is your skill level.
Above is all about how much do Private Investigators make. Leave a common below to let BestLifeTips know your opinion.