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Private Detectives and Investigators

Private Detectives and Investigators
Quick Facts : Private Detectives and Investigators*
2010 Median Pay$42,870
Entry Level EducationSome college, no degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201234,700
Job Outlook21% (Faster than average)
Employment Change7,100


Private detectives and investigators search for facts and analyze information pertaining to legal, financial, or personal matters. They provide numerous services including background checks, tracing missing persons, and investigating computer crimes.

What Private Detectives and Investigators Do

  • Interview people to gather information
  • Do various types of searches, using a computer or non-computerized records  
  • Verify employment, income, and facts on a person's background
  • Investigate computer crimes, such as identity theft and illegal downloads
  • Help in cases of criminal and civil liability, missing-persons cases, and insurance claims and fraud

Work Environment

Private detectives and investigators work in a number of environments, depending on the case on which they are working. Some spend more time in their offices conducting computer searches and making phone calls, while others spend more time in the field conducting interviews and performing surveillance.
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Job Outlook

Employment of private detectives and investigators is expected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020 with demand stemming from heightened security concerns and the need to protect property and confidential information.
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Pay

The average salary of private detectives and investigators in May 2010 was $42,870.
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Private Detectives and Investigators*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Private Detectives and Investigators

42870

Legal & Law Enforcement Occupations

51034.1667

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Private Detectives and Investigators*
Percent Change in Employment

Private Detectives and Investigators

20.4611

Legal & Law Enforcement Occupations

10.89271409312884

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Private Detectives and Investigators

Private detectives and investigators usually have some college education. However, many private detectives and investigators learn on the job. Previous experience in investigative work can be beneficial. Private detectives and investigators need a license in most states.
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