Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 33,700 people employed as private detectives and investigators in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $53,300.
Entry level employees earn approximately $31,440 per year and senior employees earn approximately $96,950
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Count cash and review transactions, sales checks, or register tapes to verify amounts or to identify shortages.
- Monitor industrial or commercial properties to enforce conformance to establishment rules and to protect people or property.
- Conduct personal background investigations, such as pre-employment checks, to obtain information about an individual's character, financial status, or personal history.
- Expose fraudulent insurance claims or stolen funds.
- Obtain and analyze information on suspects, crimes, or disturbances to solve cases, to identify criminal activity, or to gather information for court cases.
- Testify at hearings or court trials to present evidence.
- Question persons to obtain evidence for cases of divorce, child custody, or missing persons or information about individuals' character or financial status.
- Observe and document activities of individuals to detect unlawful acts or to obtain evidence for cases, using binoculars and still or video cameras.
- Confer with establishment officials, security departments, police, or postal officials to identify problems, provide information, or receive instructions.
- Investigate companies' financial standings, or locate funds stolen by embezzlers, using accounting skills.
- Perform undercover operations, such as evaluating the performance or honesty of employees by posing as customers or employees.
- Alert appropriate personnel to suspects' locations.
- Write reports or case summaries to document investigations.
- Conduct private investigations on a paid basis.
- Search computer databases, credit reports, public records, tax or legal filings, or other resources to locate persons or to compile information for investigations.
- Apprehend suspects and release them to law enforcement authorities or security personnel.
- Warn troublemakers causing problems on establishment premises and eject them from premises when necessary.