Private Investigator Salary

The Facts

By: - Careers - July 20, 2011
private investigator salary the facts

A private investigator does not necessarily work independently as many people are led to believe in television shows from the 70s and 80s.  In fact, a private investigator has to undergo strict training and take mandatory government exams to enable them to get their private investigator license.  They have a myriad of skills to learn and perfect in order to get a livable private investigator salary.

The private investigator salary depends on the experience and level a private investigator has achieved and what form of private investigator license they have obtained.  Most investigators undertake varied jobs, including skip tracing, Internet investigations, photography, surveillance, research, background checks and other investigative jobs that go well beyond the realm of a regular researcher.  Some investigators are used by government agencies such as the IRS to investigate potential fraud cases.  Others gain evidence for court cases such as court proceedings and legal suits.  Others help insurance companies in establishing if a claim is legitimate, whereas others may undertake all of these types of investigations, as well as finding missing people.  However, the type of salary does depend on the cases being handled and the company or government agency that the investigator works for.  For those who are self-employed and contracted by clients, most investigators earn salaries that are based on hourly rates, getting on average about fifty US dollar per hour.  With junior grade investigators, the earnings can be as little as thirty US per hour, but the more experienced operator can charge as much as two hundred US dollars per hour.  Another set of factors that govern a private investigator’s earnings can be the type of employment he or she has, the tasks undertaken, the skills obtained, the education level, the types of cases handled and the part of the country that the investigator works in.  Other than that, there is little else that can effect the salary of a private investigator, other than the ability for him or her to gather contacts and how much credibility he or she may have.

On average a private investigator salary can start around twenty thousand dollars US annually.  However, after years of experience and the right education and reputation gained, repeated achievements on testing for the private investigator license can lead to much higher salaries.  Some can get fifty thousand dollars US or more per year, but get even more if they are contracted in.  It all comes down to the location, employer, client, experience, skills, reputation and numbers of years in the business.

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