Private detectives & investigators

Detailed Occupation

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2020 Workforce
87.5k
Average Age
43.7
Estimated Job Growth
8.29%
10-year projection
Average Salary
$63,873
Average Male Salary
$69,301
Average Female Salary
$57,466

About

Private detectives & investigators are most often employed by the Investigation & security services industry. The average yearly wage for Private detectives & investigators was $63,873 in 2016. The top 3 most similar occupations to Private detectives & investigators by wage are Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, & farm products, Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians, and Writers & authors.

The top 3 locations that employ the most Private detectives & investigators are Benton County PUMA, AR, Southeast South Dakota (Outside Sioux Falls City) PUMA, SD, and Gilbert Town (North) PUMA, AZ. The top 3 locations with a relatively high concentration of Private detectives & investigators are Southeast South Dakota (Outside Sioux Falls City) PUMA, SD, Phoenix City (East) PUMA, AZ, and Columbus (North), Westerville & Worthington Cities PUMA, OH.

Employment

Information on the businesses and industries that employ Private detectives & investigators and on wages and locations for those in the field. Investigation & security services is the industry that employs the most Private detectives & investigators, both by share and by number, though the highest paid industry for Private detectives & investigators, by average wage, is General medical and surgical hospitals, and specialty (except psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals. Private detectives & investigators are paid most in Lawrence, Haverhill & Methuen Town Cities PUMA, MA but are relatively concentrated in Southeast South Dakota (Outside Sioux Falls City) PUMA, SD.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$63,873
AVERAGE SALARY
± $3,614

In 2020, Private detectives & investigators earned an average of $63,873, $7,919 more than than the average national salary of $55,954.

Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, & farm products make somewhat more than Private detectives & investigators while Writers & authors make somewhat less. This chart shows the various occupations closest to Private detectives & investigators as measured by average annual salary in the US.

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Wage Distribution

0.337
WAGE GINI

In 2015, Private detectives & investigators had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.337, which is lower than than the national average of 0.478. In other words, wages are distributed more evenly for Private detectives & investigators (shown in red) than for the overall labor force (shown in gray).

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Wage by Location

This map shows the Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States shaded by average annual wage for Private detectives & investigators.

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Spatial Concentration

PUMAs with a Relatively High Concentration of Private detectives & investigators

This map displays which Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States have a relatively high population of Private detectives & investigators.

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Industries

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Industries by Share

87.5k
2020 Workforce
± 7,259
1.79%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 11.6%

The number of people employed as Private detectives & investigators has been growing at a rate of 1.79%, from 85,927 people in 2019 to 87,461 people in 2020.

This graphic shows the share of Private detectives & investigators employed by various industries. Investigation & security services employs the largest share of Private detectives & investigators at  18.4%, followed by Banking & related activities with 17.2% and Administration of human resource programs with 5.64%.

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Diversity

Demographic information on Private detectives & investigators in the US. The average age of male Private detectives & investigators in the workforce is 45.2 and of female Private detectives & investigators is 42, and the most common race/ethnicity for Private detectives & investigators is White (Non-Hispanic).

Composition by Sex

47.3k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 5,341
40.1k
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 4,917

54.1% of Private detectives & investigators are Male, making them the more common sex in the occupation. This chart shows the sex breakdown of Private detectives & investigators.

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Race & Ethnicity

Most Common Race or Ethnicity of Private detectives & investigators
  1. White (Non-Hispanic)
  2. Black (Non-Hispanic)
  3. White (Hispanic)

61.8% of Private detectives & investigators are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 15.7% of Private detectives & investigators, Black (Non-Hispanic) is the second most common race or ethnicity in this occupation. This chart shows the racial and ethnic breakdown of Private detectives & investigators.

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Age by Sex

45.2
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 1.5
42
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 1.46

The median age of Private detectives & investigators is 43.7, and Male employees are generally 3.21 years older than than their Female counterparts.

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Education

Data on higher education choices for Private detectives & investigators from The Department of Education and Census Bureau. The most common major for Private detectives & investigators is Protective Services but a relatively high number of Private detectives & investigators hold a major in Protective Services.

Majors

ACS PUMS data only shows the major for bachelor's degrees. However, we can filter the data based on highest degree obtained.
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Skills

Data on the critical and distinctive skills necessary for Private detectives & investigators from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private detectives & investigators need many skills, but most especially Active Listening, Critical Thinking, and Reading Comprehension. The revealed comparative advantage (RCA) shows that Private detectives & investigators need more than the average amount of Programming, Writing, and Active Listening.

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Bar Chart

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Projections

Projections on job growth for Private Detectives and Investigators from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 10-year national workforce is projected to grow 3.71%, but Private Detectives and Investigators are expected to see a growth of 8.29% over the same period. This occupation is expected to grow more than the national average.

Job Growth

For growth projections, the closest comparible industry reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is Private Detectives and Investigators.
8.29%
Estimated Job Growth
10-year Projection
3.71%
National Growth
10-year Projection

This line chart shows the projected 10-year growth in the number of jobs for Private Detectives and Investigators. This profession is expected to grow more than than 3.71%, the average rate of national job growth.

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