Private detectives and investigators search for information about legal, financial, and personal matters. They offer many services, such as verifying people's backgrounds and statements, finding missing persons, and investigating computer crimes.
Private detectives and investigators work in many places, depending on their assignment or case. Some spend more time in offices, doing computer searches, while others spend more time in the field, conducting interviews and performing surveillance. They often work irregular hours. Nearly 1 in 4 were self-employed in 2014.
Private detectives and investigators mostly need several years of work experience in law enforcement or the military. Workers also must have a high school diploma, and the vast majority of states require private detectives and investigators to have a license.
The median annual wage for private detectives and investigators was $45,610 in May 2015.
Employment of private detectives and investigators is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for private detectives and investigators will stem from security concerns and from the need to protect confidential information. Strong competition can be expected for jobs.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for private detectives and investigators.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of private detectives and investigators with similar occupations.
Learn more about private detectives and investigators by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.