How much does a Detective make in the United States?

Average Detective Yearly Salary in the United States

Detectives earn an average yearly salary of $76,592. Salaries typically start from $38,805 and go up to $124,177.

Average Detective Hourly Wage in the United States

Detectives earn an average hourly wage of $36.82. Hourly wages typically start from $18.66 and go up to $59.70.

Source: Sokanu (Aggregated)

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.

Employment Type Mix

93%
Full-Time
7%
Part-Time

Source: Sokanu user data. View more Detective demographics

Salary Satisfaction

3.5
SCORE
126
RATINGS
Detectives average a score of 3.5 out of 5 on our salary satisfaction scale. This places Detectives in the 87th percentile of salary satisfaction.

Source: Sokanu user data. View more Detective satisfaction

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Detective Earnings by Seniority

Top End Detective Earnings

The highest earning Detectives in the United States earn:

$59.70
an hour
$124,177.4
per year
Senior Detective Earnings

Senior Detectives in the United States earn:

$47.48
an hour
$98,768.7
per year
Experienced Detective Earnings

Experienced Detectives in the United States earn:

$34.90
an hour
$72,596.2
per year
Junior Detective Earnings

Junior Detectives in the United States earn:

$24.39
an hour
$50,737.6
per year
Starting Detective Earnings

Starting Detectives in the United States earn:

$18.66
an hour
$38,805.2
per year

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

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Detective Salary Comparison

Detectives earn more than 95% percent of similar careers in the United States.

Judge Salary $115k
Compliance Manager Salary $99k
Hearing Officer Salary $95k
Customs Inspector Salary $81k
Special Agent Salary $80k
Detective Salary $76k
Life Coach Salary $74k
Energy Auditor Salary $74k
Arbitrator Salary $72k
Mail Superintendent Salary $71k
Source: Sokanu (Aggregated)

Detective salary by state

Click on a state to learn more

State Hourly Wage Annual Salary Rank
Detective Salary in District of Columbia $58.22 $121,100 # 1
Detective Salary in Alaska $54.79 $113,960 # 2
Detective Salary in Hawaii $48.60 $101,080 # 3
Detective Salary in California $48.25 $100,360 # 4
Detective Salary in New Jersey $47.68 $99,180 # 5
Detective Salary in Maryland $47.26 $98,300 # 6
Detective Salary in Virginia $45.29 $94,210 # 7
Detective Salary in Delaware $44.83 $93,250 # 8
Detective Salary in Illinois $44.40 $92,360 # 9
Detective Salary in Connecticut $42.72 $88,850 # 10
Detective Salary in New York $42.14 $87,650 # 11
Detective Salary in Rhode Island $41.73 $86,790 # 12
Detective Salary in Michigan $41.55 $86,430 # 13
Detective Salary in Oregon $41.38 $86,080 # 14
Detective Salary in Colorado $40.48 $84,190 # 15
Detective Salary in Massachusetts $40.45 $84,140 # 16
Detective Salary in North Dakota $40.14 $83,490 # 17
Detective Salary in Washington $39.93 $83,050 # 18
Detective Salary in Nevada $39.93 $83,050 # 19
Detective Salary in Pennsylvania $39.74 $82,660 # 20
Detective Salary in West Virginia $39.20 $81,540 # 21
Detective Salary in Vermont $37.98 $79,000 # 22
Detective Salary in Montana $37.29 $77,560 # 23
Detective Salary in New Mexico $37.02 $77,000 # 24
Detective Salary in New Hampshire $36.86 $76,660 # 25
Detective Salary in Arizona $36.85 $76,650 # 26
Detective Salary in United States $36.82 $76,592.4 # 27
Detective Salary in Iowa $36.81 $76,560 # 28
Detective Salary in Florida $36.38 $75,680 # 29
Detective Salary in Texas $36.23 $75,350 # 30
Detective Salary in Wyoming $36.18 $75,250 # 31
Detective Salary in Utah $36.17 $75,230 # 32
Detective Salary in Nebraska $35.40 $73,640 # 33
Detective Salary in Wisconsin $35.23 $73,280 # 34
Detective Salary in Minnesota $35.19 $73,200 # 35
Detective Salary in South Dakota $34.33 $71,400 # 36
Detective Salary in Ohio $33.98 $70,670 # 37
Detective Salary in Kentucky $33.43 $69,540 # 38
Detective Salary in Tennessee $33.41 $69,500 # 39
Detective Salary in Indiana $33.19 $69,040 # 40
Detective Salary in Missouri $32.87 $68,370 # 41
Detective Salary in Idaho $32.59 $67,790 # 42
Detective Salary in Maine $32.41 $67,410 # 43
Detective Salary in Oklahoma $32.39 $67,370 # 44
Detective Salary in Puerto Rico $32.18 $66,940 # 45
Detective Salary in Georgia $30.52 $63,490 # 46
Detective Salary in Louisiana $29.61 $61,580 # 47
Detective Salary in South Carolina $29.37 $61,080 # 48
Detective Salary in Alabama $29.27 $60,880 # 49
Detective Salary in Mississippi $28.68 $59,660 # 50
Detective Salary in Kansas $28.40 $59,070 # 51
Detective Salary in North Carolina $27.84 $57,900 # 52
Detective Salary in Arkansas $27.67 $57,550 # 53