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Do Private Investigators Make a Lot of Money?

Working as a private investigator can enable you to earn enough money to live comfortably. However, in the beginning, an inexperienced investigator will not be earning anywhere near the amount of money they could make if they reached their full potential.

The key to earning a better salary as a private investigator is to be constantly improving. Private investigators who command the highest salary do so because they are seen as people with expertise that other investigators don't have. However, you too can reach these heights.

Investigator Salaries Based On Clientele

One of the most important factors with regards to the salary of a private investigator is the type of clients they deal with. Private investigative work that focuses on helping private citizens can be rewarding in other ways. However, domestic cases don't always pay the most. Bonuses are also rare.

There may also be periods of time when the number of clients coming in is limited. On the other hand, investigative work for businesses and corporates may be less exciting work but it has the potential to pay a lot more.

More businesses and companies are carrying out background checks when hiring, and financial institutions and insurance companies are always interested in in-house investigators. These types of clients and employers are able to pay a lot more than regular people. However, it's also important to consider that these clients may only wish to hire investigators with certain qualifications and experience, or those who have a team of investigators.

Investigators' Salaries Based On Location

Private investigators in large cities are always likely to earn higher salaries. This is, usually, out of necessity because operating costs in such cities can be high.

However, there are other factors that can lead to greater earnings. Investigators in cities and large towns have access to a larger pool of clients. They may also have access to more high-paying clients e.g. businesses. This can contribute towards the higher salaries. In small towns and rural areas, although investigators benefit from a lower cost of living, clients may be limited, and cases few and far between.

Investigators Salaries Based On Skillset

If you were a client who needed to investigate possible financial impropriety at your business, would you hire an investigator who's only undergone basic investigative training or one who also has qualifications in forensic accounting? The answer is relatively obvious.

Although private investigators with more skills are likely to charge more, they still get many clients. The additional skills they possess show clients that the investigator is more capable of getting results, or perhaps able to do so in a shorter time. Having a wider skill set benefits investigators because they are able to take on more complicated cases and because the extra skills increase clients' confidence in them. The end result is reflected in the higher salaries.