The median annual wage for private detectives and investigators was $45,610 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,920, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,190.
In May 2015, the median annual wages for private detectives and investigators in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
Finance and insurance
Investigation, guard, and armored car services
Private detectives and investigators often work irregular hours because they conduct surveillance and contact people outside of normal work hours. They may work early mornings, evenings, weekends, and holidays. In addition, they may have to work outdoors or from a vehicle, in all kinds of weather, depending on what the subject of the investigation is doing.
Private Detectives and Investigators
Median annual wages, May 2015
Private detectives and investigators
Protective service occupations
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics