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Private Detectives and Investigators Salary Information

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 2017 and published in April 2018 [1].

Table 1. Private Detectives and Investigators Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$28,780
25th Percentile Wage
$37,390
50th Percentile Wage
$50,700
75th Percentile Wage
$68,400
90th Percentile Wage
$86,730

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 $86,730. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $50,700. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $28,780. Notice that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 201% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2017)

The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of private detectives and investigators from 2012 to 2017.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth5-Year Growth
2017
$50,700
4.95% 9.78%
2016
$48,190
5.35% -
2015
$45,610
2.28% -
2014
$44,570
-3.77% -
2013
$46,250
1.10% -
2012
$45,740
- -

Table 2. Private Detectives and Investigators Salary by Industry Sector

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 $92,240. The lowest paying sector is the other services (except federal, state, and local government) sector (annual salary $30,190).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Utilities
$92,240
Manufacturing
$79,390
Transportation and Warehousing
$63,980
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$63,370
Information
$62,910
Educational Services
$62,220
Health Care and Social Assistance
$59,700
Federal, State, and Local Government
$56,700
Finance and Insurance
$56,090
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$52,060
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$48,140
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$47,570
Retail Trade
$45,300
Accommodation and Food Services
$45,200
Wholesale Trade
$39,780
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$30,190

Table 3. Median Annual Wage of Private Detectives and Investigators by States

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 $37,210 to $72,170. The highest paying state for private detectives and investigators is Virginia with a median annual salary of $72,170. The lowest paying state is North Dakota with a median annual salary of $37,210. 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
Virginia
$72,170
District of Columbia
$69,790
Nebraska
$68,450
Nevada
$65,870
New Jersey
$64,340
California
$63,640
Connecticut
$62,710
Alaska
$62,610
New York
$59,630
Missouri
$56,410
Washington
$54,520
Maryland
$54,380
Illinois
$53,810
Arizona
$53,670
Maine
$53,350
Colorado
$52,710
Wyoming
$52,440
Idaho
$51,360
Hawaii
$51,200
Michigan
$50,210
Oregon
$48,960
Alabama
$48,410
Utah
$48,390
North Carolina
$48,240
Georgia
$48,180
South Carolina
$47,940
New Mexico
$47,840
Iowa
$47,730
Rhode Island
$47,520
Delaware
$47,180
West Virginia
$46,950
New Hampshire
$46,330
Mississippi
$46,310
Texas
$46,150
Indiana
$45,700
Minnesota
$45,480
Kansas
$45,350
Kentucky
$45,020
Oklahoma
$44,830
Tennessee
$44,250
Arkansas
$43,300
Puerto Rico
$43,240
Louisiana
$42,380
Wisconsin
$41,350
Montana
$40,650
Pennsylvania
$40,630
South Dakota
$40,420
Florida
$38,640
Massachusetts
$38,470
Ohio
$37,380
North Dakota
$37,210



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