The salary statistics of private detectives and investigators are shown in Table 1. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of private detectives and investigators within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The private detectives and investigators annual salary statistics are from the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016 and published in April 2017 .
|Percentile Bracket||Average Annual Salary|
|10th Percentile Wage|| |
|25th Percentile Wage|| |
|50th Percentile Wage|| |
|75th Percentile Wage|| |
|90th Percentile Wage|| |
Table 1 shows the average annual salary for private detectives and investigators. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) private detectives and investigators is $87,070. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $48,190. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $27,210. Take note that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 219% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.
The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of private detectives and investigators from 2012 to 2016.
|Year||Median Salary||Yearly Growth||4-Year Growth|
The average salaries of private detectives and investigators in 16 major industry sectors are shown in Table 2. We note that the salaries vary considerably within different industry sectors. The highest paying industry sector for private detectives and investigators occupations is the utilities sector with an annual salary $89,130. The lowest paying sector is the retail trade sector (annual salary $34,460).
|Industry Sector||Median Annual Salary|
|Educational Services|| |
|Health Care and Social Assistance|| |
|Finance and Insurance|| |
|Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services|| |
|Transportation and Warehousing|| |
|Federal, State, and Local Government|| |
|Management of Companies and Enterprises|| |
|Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services|| |
|Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)|| |
|Accommodation and Food Services|| |
|Wholesale Trade|| |
|Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation|| |
|Retail Trade|| |
From the above tables we note that not only private detectives and investigators salaries vary considerably based on one's education and experience, and the industry sectors, they also change considerably from state to state. In the following table we compare the median salary of private detectives and investigators in all 50 states of the United States. We note that the median annual salaries range from $22,440 to $74,300. The highest paying state for private detectives and investigators is Virginia with a median annual salary of $74,300. The lowest paying state is Arkansas with a median annual salary of $22,440. For more salary information of private detectives and investigators profession in a specific state, use the links in the table.
|State Name||Median Annual Salary|
|District of Columbia|| |
|New York|| |
|New Jersey|| |
|South Carolina|| |
|North Carolina|| |
|West Virginia|| |
|Puerto Rico|| |
|New Hampshire|| |
|New Mexico|| |
|South Dakota|| |