How Much Does a Private Investigator Make?

Hiding behind walls, ducking around corners, wearing disguises, and sitting in a vehicle for hours watching what someone else is doing — if this sounds good, then maybe the lifestyle of a Private Investigator is for you. Assisting a variety of clients such as Attorneys and businesses, you make your living finding people and discovering their actions. One day, you may investigate a person for a divorce case, and the next, you may examine computer records to determine what someone is up to. The hours are erratic, the job can be dangerous, and employment may be sporadic, but if you thrive in the excitement and intrigue, give it a shot.

What is the average income of a Private Investigator?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average Private Investigator salary as $41,760, probably less than what you expected. But, when you consider that 10 percent of all Private Investigators earn less than $23,500 per year, it doesn’t sound so bad after all. The average income of a Private Investigator is significantly less than those of other law enforcement workers. However, 50 percent of all Private Investigators earn a salary between $30,870 and $59,060.

Why is the average income of a Private Investigator so low?

A variety of factors determine Private Investigator salary, such as location, time invested, and caseload. Even though cases never cease to walk through the door in movies and on television, in real life, there may be periods of time when work is not available. This will have a significant impact on your overall Private Investigator salary.

The location of your business will have an effect as well. Let’s face it, a large city such as Detroit or New York will likely offer more opportunities for work than a small town in the heart of America.

Never mind the salary, will I find a job?

You’re in luck if you want to pursue a career as a Private Investigator. The field is expected to see a 22-percent increase through 2018. This increase is attributed to elevated security concerns, increased number of lawsuits, and criminal activity on the Internet.

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