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What is a Private Investigator Salary?

Private investigators work in different circles, and this makes it difficult to gauge what the average salary for an investigator might be. Those who work for corporations may earn more than those who work for detective agencies. There are other factors, as well, that affect how much a private investigator makes such as the level of their experience and whether or not they have qualifications to operate at the highest levels of the profession.


How Much Does An Investigator Get Paid?

The salary a private investigator earns is directly tied to their level of experience and the skills they possess. When a private investigator is still new to the job market, they can expect to earn in the region of £15,000 as an annual salary.

However, once they have some experience, annual salaries of £25,000 can be expected. However, there are private investigators who choose to invest in further education. With a relevant degree, such as one in forensic sciences, a private detective's salary can rise to the region of £50,000+.

A private investigator working in corporate circles can also command a salary in the same region.


How Much Does A Private Detective Agency Make?

Private detective agencies may exclusively offer investigation services, or they may also offer other services within the security industry such as close protection and vehicle immobilisation services. This can affect how much money the agency makes. Offering more services doesn't automatically mean higher earnings/salaries, since the agency may need to hire more personnel.

The location of the agency is also an important factor. In a busy city, a detective agency is likely to handle more cases, which means higher earnings.

However, agencies may also choose to focus on corporate clientele and this can translate into higher earnings.


How Services Offered Affect Investigator Salaries

There are some investigators who choose to focus on specific areas of the investigative business. This can make them experts in these areas which could translate to a higher salary. For example, investigators who focus on domestic cases, such as infidelity investigations, earn annual salaries in the region of £16,000.

On the other hand, a private investigator can average £20,000 - £25,000 each year if they only focus on covert filming.


How Are Investigators Paid?

Private investigators are paid according to the services they offer. There are private investigator jobs that are charged by the hours, while others are charged a fixed price. For example, jobs that are surveillance intensive will typically be charged hourly since it's not possible to quantify the amount of time and resources needed for the job.

Jobs such as lie detector tests and vehicle tracking, on the other hand, are usually charged a flat fee. Depending on the amount of work to be done, some agencies can also decide to give a client a daily rate.