Police Detective Salaries

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that some 103,450 detectives and other criminal investigators were employed in municipal, county, state and federal law enforcement organizations as of May 2018, earning an average annual salary of $85,020. The highest earners in the top ten percent made more than $138,800 that year on average.  This is considerably more than the national average of $65,400 for patrol officers and sheriff’s deputies and is a compelling reason to pursue that promotion you’ve been eyeing and finaly become a detective.

In addition to time served on the job, other factors like higher rank and specialized duties have a significant impact on a police officer’s salary.  Uniformed police officers with a lot of drive and dedication can achieve the rank of detective after several years of service and a lot of hard.  That hard work is rewarded with considerably higher salaries. For example, in the District of Columbia, the average salary for detectives was $122,460 as of 2018. Compare that with patrol offers in DC who earned just $72,00 on average that year.

Detectives may also obtain special skills related to hostage negotiations, special operations or digital forensics that would allow them to enter more exclusive units.  Detectives in these units usually receive hazard pay and other incentives beyond the base salary because of their additional training and the fact that they are more likely to work in high-risk situations.

 

Compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the data contained in this table represents statewide combined salaries for detectives and criminal investigators serving at the municipal, county and state level:

Area Name
Employment
Hourly median wage
Alabama
1270
26.38
Alaska
90
62.06
Arizona
5810
40.25
Arkansas
500
21.49
California
11250
48.23
Colorado
1780
40.35
Connecticut
940
41.01
Delaware
90
33.94
District of Columbia
3050
64.10
Florida
6600
30.99
Georgia
3680
25.79
Hawaii
440
51.26
Idaho
390
32.55
Illinois
2940
40.64
Indiana
1050
33.98
Iowa
390
32.12
Kansas
930
26.90
Kentucky
570
25.88
Louisiana
1770
24.60
Maine
560
31.65
Maryland
860
50.96
Massachusetts
1340
45.46
Michigan
1980
38.61
Minnesota
1490
34.99
Mississippi
870
25.23
Missouri
1810
31.73
Montana
430
39.98
Nebraska
340
32.51
Nevada
550
39.02
New Hampshire
330
34.60
New Jersey
3130
49.78
New Mexico
1610
39.99
New York
8880
40.55
North Carolina
2780
24.48
North Dakota
280
39.99
Ohio
1930
32.68
Oklahoma
840
27.60
Oregon
560
44.53
Pennsylvania
2830
37.18
Puerto Rico
630
24.31
Rhode Island
320
37.16
South Carolina
1190
23.21
South Dakota
210
29.39
Tennessee
1400
28.04
Texas
15930
39.55
Utah
320
31.67
Vermont
200
39.99
Virginia
2980
44.97
Washington
2350
40.67
West Virginia
170
47.03
Wisconsin
1280
39.22
Wyoming
140
34.69

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics from May 2018, [salary data accessed April 2019] https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_al.htm#25-0000

BLS salary data represents state and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) average and median earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

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