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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 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

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

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$27,210
25th Percentile Wage
$35,710
50th Percentile Wage
$48,190
75th Percentile Wage
$66,300
90th Percentile Wage
$87,070

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.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of private detectives and investigators from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
201648,1905.35%5.08%
201545,6102.28%-
201444,570-3.77%-
201346,2501.10%-
201245,740--

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 $89,130. The lowest paying sector is the retail trade sector (annual salary $34,460).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Utilities
$89,130
Manufacturing
$79,390
Educational Services
$60,920
Information
$60,120
Health Care and Social Assistance
$59,840
Finance and Insurance
$54,850
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$49,870
Transportation and Warehousing
$49,690
Federal, State, and Local Government
$49,460
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$47,810
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$47,490
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$45,010
Accommodation and Food Services
$44,870
Wholesale Trade
$41,970
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$39,920
Retail Trade
$34,460

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 $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
Virginia
$74,300
Nebraska
$68,450
Alabama
$65,280
Missouri
$62,720
Alaska
$62,610
District of Columbia
$61,690
Connecticut
$61,270
New York
$59,190
Washington
$55,480
California
$55,090
Iowa
$54,360
Maine
$53,350
Wyoming
$52,440
New Jersey
$52,220
Hawaii
$51,200
Nevada
$48,570
Maryland
$48,010
Delaware
$47,340
Arizona
$46,680
South Carolina
$46,640
Utah
$46,260
Florida
$46,160
North Carolina
$45,770
West Virginia
$45,260
Michigan
$44,970
Oklahoma
$44,830
Colorado
$44,810
Tennessee
$44,680
Oregon
$43,830
Illinois
$42,820
Puerto Rico
$41,920
Pennsylvania
$41,800
New Hampshire
$41,270
Louisiana
$40,740
Georgia
$40,580
Minnesota
$40,540
Kansas
$39,950
Wisconsin
$38,900
Kentucky
$38,790
Ohio
$38,680
Massachusetts
$38,470
Texas
$38,430
Montana
$37,800
Mississippi
$33,510
New Mexico
$32,760
Indiana
$32,000
South Dakota
$28,650
Arkansas
$22,440


Related:

Highest paying states for private detectives and investigators

Highest paying cities for private detectives and investigators

Highest paying industries for private detectives and investigators.