Detectives are almost always plainclothes investigators who gather difficult-to-obtain information on criminal activity and other subjects. They conduct interviews and surveillance, locate missing persons and criminal suspects, examine records, and write detailed reports. Some make arrests and take part in raids. There are 110,700 police detectives and criminal investigators and 33,000 private detectives and investigators employed in the United States.
Minimum Education Level
Median annual earnings of police detectives and criminal investigators were $81,920 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The lowest paid 10 percent earned $43,800 or less, while the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $138,860 annually. Median annual earnings were $108,770 for those worked for federal government agencies; for state agencies, $66,700; and for local ...
The working conditions of a detective are diverse. Almost all of them work out of an office, where they may consult with colleagues, interview witnesses, read documents, or contact people on the telephone.
Their assignments bring detectives to a wide range of environments. Interviews at homes or businesses may be necessary. Traveling is also common. Rarely do jobs expose a detective to p...
Employment for police detectives and criminal investigators is expected to grow by 3 percent (more slowly than the average for all careers) from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Many openings will likely result from police detectives retiring or leaving their departments for other reasons. The DOL says that "applicants with a bachelor's degree and law enforcement o...