Match
$77k $77k
Avg US Salary
116k 116k
Employment
-1.2% -1.2%
Growth
4.0/5 4.0/5
Rating
N/A N/A
Education

How much does a Detective make in the United States?

Average Detective Hourly Wage in the United States

Detectives earn a median hourly wage of $37.12. Hourly wages typically start from $19.81 and go up to $61.87.

Average Detective Yearly Salary in the United States

Detectives earn a median salary of $77,210 per year. Salaries typically start from $41,200 and go up to $128,690.

These numbers may vary depending on several factors, like level of education, amount of experience, industry, company size and location.

Learn more about the Detective job market for salaries of real jobs in your area.

Detectives can work at all levels of government. The BLS (2011) says those employed by local governments earned $62,900 a year on average and those working for state governments averaged $59,390. Detectives employed by the federal government made $96,680 on average, and those working for the U.S. Postal Service averaged $89,860.

Detectives working in large, metropolitan areas or for investigation/departments of public safety are more often afforded higher salaries, due to the caseload they are required to take on. State agencies are also likely to pay criminal investigators a higher salary than police/sheriff’s departments at the local level. A number of city police departments and county sheriff’s departments offer education incentives, which allow detectives to earn a percentage above base pay, depending on the type of degree they carry. BLS statistics reported that, as of May 2013, detectives in the federal executive branch received the highest pay of all industries, with an annual mean wage of $103,180.

According to the BLS, the top salaries for detectives by state are: District of Columbia: $116,210; Alaska: $109,930; New Jersey: $100,140; Delaware: 98,710; California: $97,270.

How to Become a Detective

Interested in becoming a detective? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

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  2. Get Hired

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    Would you like to post jobs on this career? Find the best candidates using Sokanu's new psychometric job platform. Visit employers.sokanu.com today.

Detective Earnings by Seniority

Top End Detective Earnings

The highest earning Detectives in the United States earn:

$61.87
an hour
$128,690
per year
Senior Detective Earnings

Senior Detectives in the United States earn:

$48.55
an hour
$100,990
per year
Experienced Detective Earnings

Experienced Detectives in the United States earn:

$37.12
an hour
$77,210
per year
Junior Detective Earnings

Junior Detectives in the United States earn:

$25.87
an hour
$53,810
per year
Starting Detective Earnings

Starting Detectives in the United States earn:

$19.81
an hour
$41,200
per year

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

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Detective salary comparison

Detectives earn more than 75% percent of Law careers. Detective salaries are in the top 80% of all careers in the United States.

Judge Salary $126k
Compliance Manager Salary $105k
Detective Salary $79k
Customs Inspector Salary $79k
Arbitrator Salary $60k
Police Officer Salary $58k
Fish And Game Warden Salary $52k
Judicial Law Clerk Salary $50k
Probation Officer Salary $49k
Legal Secretary Salary $43k
Correctional Officer Salary $40k
Legislator Salary $20k

Historical salary for Detectives in the United States

Detective salary by state

Click on a state to learn more

State Hourly Wage Annual Salary Rank
Detective Salary in District of Columbia $61.85 $128,650 # 1
Detective Salary in Alaska $56.82 $118,190 # 2
Detective Salary in New Jersey $48.49 $100,850 # 3
Detective Salary in California $42.60 $88,620 # 4
Detective Salary in Hawaii $44.98 $93,560 # 5
Detective Salary in Maryland $47.73 $99,280 # 6
Detective Salary in Delaware $45.00 $93,610 # 7
Detective Salary in Virginia $41.69 $86,720 # 8
Detective Salary in Illinois $42.46 $88,310 # 9
Detective Salary in Connecticut $37.63 $78,280 # 10
Detective Salary in New York $39.16 $81,450 # 11
Detective Salary in Oregon $39.04 $81,200 # 12
Detective Salary in Colorado $38.63 $80,350 # 13
Detective Salary in Michigan $36.28 $75,460 # 14
Detective Salary in Rhode Island $34.41 $71,570 # 15
Detective Salary in Massachusetts $35.30 $73,420 # 16
Detective Salary in Pennsylvania $36.00 $74,870 # 17
Detective Salary in Washington $38.24 $79,550 # 18
Detective Salary in Nevada $37.13 $77,230 # 19
Detective Salary in North Dakota $37.12 $77,210 # 20
Detective Salary in Vermont $37.12 $77,220 # 21
Detective Salary in Iowa $35.77 $74,400 # 22
Detective Salary in Nebraska $30.03 $62,450 # 23
Detective Salary in Florida $30.42 $63,270 # 24
Detective Salary in New Mexico $37.12 $77,220 # 25
Detective Salary in Montana $36.00 $74,870 # 26
Detective Salary in Arizona $37.12 $77,210 # 27
Detective Salary in New Hampshire $31.21 $64,920 # 28
Detective Salary in Wisconsin $33.73 $70,150 # 29
Detective Salary in Wyoming $33.52 $69,730 # 30
Detective Salary in Texas $36.00 $74,880 # 31
Detective Salary in Minnesota $33.65 $69,980 # 32
Detective Salary in Utah $28.61 $59,500 # 33
Detective Salary in Missouri $31.44 $65,390 # 34
Detective Salary in Ohio $29.53 $61,420 # 35
Detective Salary in South Dakota $28.41 $59,100 # 36
Detective Salary in Oklahoma $29.08 $60,490 # 37
Detective Salary in Kentucky $24.35 $50,650 # 38
Detective Salary in Maine $28.87 $60,060 # 39
Detective Salary in Idaho $28.63 $59,540 # 40
Detective Salary in Indiana $28.26 $58,770 # 41
Detective Salary in Tennessee $24.60 $51,180 # 42
Detective Salary in Georgia $22.83 $47,480 # 43
Detective Salary in Louisiana $23.18 $48,210 # 44
Detective Salary in South Carolina $23.13 $48,110 # 45
Detective Salary in Alabama $25.36 $52,740 # 46
Detective Salary in West Virginia $19.85 $41,290 # 47
Detective Salary in Kansas $24.13 $50,200 # 48
Detective Salary in Arkansas $19.80 $41,180 # 49
Detective Salary in Mississippi $21.95 $45,660 # 50
Detective Salary in North Carolina $22.67 $47,150 # 51
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

How to Become a Detective

Interested in becoming a detective? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good detective? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get Hired

      Loading jobs...

    View all jobs →

    Would you like to post jobs on this career? Find the best candidates using Sokanu's new psychometric job platform. Visit employers.sokanu.com today.