Police Detective Salary And Career Path
When you begin your career in law enforcement, you can expect to start working as a police officer.
You could be completing paperwork, responding to call outs, or patrolling the streets.
You will likely be subject to a probation period of six months to three years, after which you will be eligible for promotion.
With hard work and professional development you could expect to become a police detective.
In the beginning you will be paired with an experienced partner, but as time progresses you will be given more responsibility and challenging cases.
The median wage of a detective is $60,000 a year.
Starting out in law enforcement, your salary would be closer to $40,000 a year.
Police work offers excellent job security, as well as benefits.
Some similar roles to that of police detective you might be interested in include:
- Police officer
- Private investigator
Police work can be very rewarding.
When you become a police detective you have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to your community.
If youre interested in a job in law enforcement that has plenty of variety and room for promotion then a career as a police detective might be right for you.
The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
The top earning state in the field is Alaska, where the average salary is $113,420.
Wages And Lateral Transfer
- $5,000 signing bonus
- Top base pay for officers is $35.12 per hour
- Educational incentive:
- Officers with an associate’s degree earn an additional 2% per hour
- Officers with a bachelor’s degree or higher earn an additional 4% per hour
Police Detective Job Description
For a police detective, there is no typical day at work.
Each day will be different and will bring new challenges.
Most detectives work within a specific area.
For instance, homicide, violent crime, kidnapping, armed robbery, or drug investigations..
Here are some of the tasks you could be responsible for as a police detective:
- Investigating a crime scene
- Using computer databases
- Communicating with colleagues
When you become a police detective, you have a role which is very important to the community.
To investigate some of the most violent crimes and help to bring criminals to justice is to many detectives a privilege.
You May Like: Can You Become A Police Officer With An Expunged Felony
Oklahoma Police Officer Requirements
The Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training sets regulations to ensure that officers hired by the various agencies in the state are qualified, professional, and ethical. Note that while CLEETs standards are guidelines for prospective officers, individual jurisdictions may set additional requirements. To become a police officer in Oklahoma, the minimum standards are that candidates must:
- Be a US citizen or resident alien
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be 21 years of age
- Have no felony convictions nor domestic violence incidents
- Have fingerprint clearance from the FBI and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
- Have been administered a psychological evaluation and been evaluated by a psychologist licensed by the state
- Not have been committed to an Oklahoma state mental institution involuntarily
Police Departments In Ohio
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 24,950 sworn police officers in the state of Ohio.2 Officers in Ohio work in rural communities, suburban towns, and metro cities alike. While all police officers in the state must meet OPOTC minimums, cities may look for additional qualifications in officer applicants.
Oklahoma State Trooper Requirements
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has 31 troop areas that patrol the states 111,994 miles of highways and provide law enforcement services.5 In addition to highway patrol, there are various specialized teams including the bomb squad, the investigations division, the special operations unit, and the tactical team. In order to apply to become an Oklahoma state trooper, applicants must meet state minimums and:
- Be a US citizen
- Be no older than 45 years of age
- Possess an associates degree OR have completed 62 hours from an accredited university or college OR have completed 32 hours of study from an accredited university or college, PLUS three years of active or reserve military service OR have completed 32 hours of study from an accredited university or college AND have been honorably discharged from the military with acceptable experience
During the police academy, OHP patrol officers earn $3,396 per month this is raised to $3,634 per month after graduation from the academy and during the probation period, with regular increases thereafter.5
Police Officer Salaries Across The Us
Salaries of police officers are based on many factors, including experience, skills and training. However, one of the most important factors is based on geography. Certain areas of the country pay more, but are often in areas that have higher costs of living. For more information about what police officers can make and where they can make it, check out the map below.
Who Would Make A Good Homicide Detective
Homicide detectives have many stories to tell, but their stories dont always portray the actual work they do to solve the ultimate puzzle. Its only with the proper training, years of experience, and the humility and wisdom to learn from your mistakes that youll develop a system and intuition that work for you.
Although not all homicide detectives are the same, they do share some of the same personality traits. So, what makes a good homicide detective?
- Curious, because you really DO want to get to the bottom of things
- High ethical standards, because theres no place for corruption on the police force
- Insightful, so you can draw conclusions that others dont
- Like having a variety of tasks to perform no two days are the same
- Logical and systematic, with strong reasoning skills
- Observant, as youll pay attention to small details, and scrutinize information provided by your sources to determine whether its credible or not
- Organized, so you can be efficient and get your work done while not letting anything fall through the cracks
- Practical and realistic, but results-oriented to get the job done
- Strong personality shrinking violets need not apply
Do any of these character traits describe you? If so, you may be like many other homicide detectives who, as demanding as the job may be, couldnt imagine doing anything else.
How To Become A Police Officer In Oklahoma
Oklahoma has a population of over 3.9 million people with 7,640 sworn police and sheriffs patrol officers.1,2 With a cost of living approximately 11% below the national average, Oklahoma is an affordable state for police officers to launch their careers.3 The Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training oversees education and training for Oklahoma police officers. Continue reading to learn more about statewide requirements that CLEET sets for prospective officers as well as find information about careers in the states major law enforcement agencies.
You May Like: Can You Carry A Gun Into A Police Station
Bachelors Degree In Law Enforcement
A law enforcement degree at the bachelors level typically takes four years to complete and can include many different topics or subjects. There are prototypical degrees such as criminal justice, criminology and law enforcement studies. But there are other majors that can hold police officers in good stead. For example, graduates with a degree in accounting are excellent candidates for a career in white collar crime investigations, while computer science majors can have an advantage if theyre interested in pursuing a career in computer forensics or cyber crimes.
Those in a bachelors degree program in a law-related field can expect to find courses like these:
Obtain The Necessary Education And Training In Ohio
To get a Class B license, the state of Ohio requires that you have two years of experience working in investigatory work. This requirement can be waived if you have equivalent experiences such as working as a military policeman, law enforcement officer, or peace officer.
If you get formal training in criminal justice, such as obtaining an associates or bachelors degree, this can count for half of your experience requirement. You can obtain criminal justice degrees from schools within Ohio or from online schools that offer this training. You will need to prove that you have obtained such a degree.
Armed PI Training You will need to learn the basics of firearms training at a school that has been approved by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and prove that you successfully completed the program. This entails 20 hours of training in using a handgun. If you plan on using other types of firearms, you will need 5 hours of additional training.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Prerequisites And Educational Requirements
In addition to the minimum requirements outlined above, the Ohio State Highway Patrol requires applicants to have a high school diploma or GED. Qualification for admission to the Ohio State Highway Patrol takes four to six months and is competitive. Requirements include meeting vision, hearing, weight, and height standards passing a written exam as well as a physical fitness test on the same testing day and passing the comprehensive background check.
Those who meet these requirements and are accepted as cadets must complete 24 to 26 weeks of law enforcement and paramilitary-style training at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy in Columbus. This training includes study in crash investigation, traffic enforcement, advanced driving skills, police techniques, and criminal law, among many other areas integral to effective law enforcement. Academy graduates then complete approximately 60 working days of field training before becoming certified Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers.
Unique for a law enforcement training academy, successful completion of the Academy leads to 23 semester hours that can be transferred towards an Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice at Columbus State Community College.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Detective
In order to become a police detective, you must first have several years of experience as an officer.
If you want to become a police officer you should complete the police academy, which lasts around 6 months.
Some departments also require officers to hold a bachelors degree. Getting your degree in criminal justice or law enforcement will take about 3-4 years.
After finishing the police academy you will be on probation before being assigned to a particular unit.
The probation period lasts, on average about 6 months, but it depends on how well you are performing.
Once you become a police officer you will need about 4-5 years of experience in the field before you can take a promotional exam to become a detective.
You May Like: Are Police Reports Public Record In Pa
Making The Transition From Patrol To Investigations
New detectives can find success and experience the rewards of the job by relying on patience, mastering new skills
Patrol is often referred to as the backbone of policing and for good reason. Not only is patrol typically first on scene, but patrol officers also act as gatekeepers for the criminal justice system determining what incidents need further follow-up and what incidents can be handled informally. Almost all of us begin our careers in patrol where we first learn the ins and outs of law enforcement
That being said, many officers in the course of their career get the itch to try something different, which often means transferring to the detective bureau. For some departments, this is a promotion, while other departments treat it as a lateral transfer. Either way, investigative work has its own challenges, requiring officers to learn new skills and look at the job from a new perspective.
Having made the transition from patrol to the detective bureau myself along with having trained several new detectives, here are a few tips to help you be successful in your mission to become a detective.
Submit Your Ohio Application
When you submit your application, you will also have to provide the following:
- Examination fee of $25
- A license fee of up to $375
Forms are available on the states website for the PISGS. If you want to carry a firearm in the line of work, you will need to notify the Director.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Look Up Police Reports
Private Investigator Salary Information For Ohio*
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , private investigators earned an annual, average salary of $50,530 as of May 2020. The top earners herethose whove put in the time and built careers based on their credibilityaveraged $75,870 during this time.
To become a private investigator in Ohio, you must earn a license through the Ohio Department of Public Safety, which requires passing a written exam and a background check, completing at least 4,000 hours of experience as an investigator , and providing proof of liability insurance in the following amounts:
- $100,000 per investigator
- $100,000 for property damage
- $300,000 for each occurrence of bodily injury
If youve gone the extra mile and earned a degree in criminal justice, youll only need 2,000 hours of experience to qualify for licensure. Applicants who want to be armed must attend a school approved by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.
PI Salaries in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Youngstown, Warren and Non-Metro Ohio
According to May 2019-2020 BLS statistics, the Cincinnati metro region was ranked eighth in the nation for its employment level of private investigators, while the north-northeastern Ohio nonmetropolitan area was ranked third in the nation for its annual mean salary of PIs$46,900.
The following BLS stats indicate what PIs in the median-top 10% salary range are earning in Ohios largest MSAs:
Detectives With Ohios County And Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies
State-level criminal investigators often work closely with their county and city counterparts. A strong collaborative relationship ensures more crimes can be solved. Each law enforcement agency is responsible for setting its own hiring standards and promotional schedule for those interested in becoming detectives. In many cases this includes college education or degrees as well as experience.
State detectives frequently work with these local law enforcement agencies criminal investigations divisions:
- City of Cincinnati Police Department, Investigations Bureau
- Cleveland Division of Police, Bureau of Special Investigations
- Columbus Division of Police, Investigative Subdivision
- Dayton Police Department, Central Investigations Bureau
- Akron Police Department, Investigative Subdivision
- Toledo Police Department, Detective Bureau
- Franklin County Sheriffs Office, Investigations Division
- Cuyahoga County Sheriffs Department, Detective Bureau
- Hamilton County Sheriffs Office, Criminal Investigations and Organized Crime Sections
- Summit County Sheriffs Office, Investigations Bureau
You May Like: How To Become A Jso Police Officer
Qualify For A Career In Law Enforcement
Becoming a detective starts by first becoming a police officer and serving in a conventional patrol capacity. It is during the detective training, probationary, and patrol periods that police officers gain an understanding and appreciation for the criminal process, the criminal justice system, and the role of the law enforcement community.
To become a police officer, candidates must first ensure they meet the minimum requirements set forth by the department or agency theyre interested in serving. Although these requirements differ from one police department to the next, typical detective requirements include:
- Being a U.S. citizen
- Having no misdemeanor domestic violence convictions
- Possessing a high school diploma, college coursework, or a college degree
Many police departments require a college degree in a subject related to law enforcement or criminal justice. And just as many show they recognize the value of a degree by rewarding candidates with some level of college education. In fact, some municipal police departments have educational incentive programs in place to reward applicants who hold an associates, bachelors or masters degree by offering an increase in the base salary at progressively higher percentages based on the level of the degree they hold.
As such, many candidates with their sights set on becoming a detective choose to complete a degree program with a major in subjects such as:
- Criminal justice
How Do I Know This Would Be A Good Career For Me
The common personality type that succeeds as a detective is enterprising, reliable, and independent, and likes to solve puzzles. Detectives also need a lot of integrity, must be able to tolerate stress and pay attention to the smallest details. It also helps to have a strong stomach.
As you read above, youll need a good knowledge of the law and the legal system, and keen insight into human psychology. Command of a foreign language like Spanish might be helpful if you work with special populations.
Youll also need to be a good listener, a critical thinker, and have great interviewing skills. Finally, its very helpfulno: necessaryto have great reasoning skills and be top-notch problem solver .
If this sounds like you, get the training you need to start the ball rolling. Or, if you want to advance your career, get a leg up on the competition with the criminal justice education that will set you apart from your peers.
Read Also: What Happens To Guns Confiscated By Police
Forensic Science Degrees And Detective Work
Forensic science involves the application of science to criminal investigations. As such, a degree in forensic science is a cross-disciplinary type of program, as it provides students with a framework in the biological sciences, physics, and chemistry and how they relate to the field of criminal justice.
Core coursework in this type of program includes study in DNA, physical evidence, trace evidence, toxicology, and latent prints. Typical classes include:
- Survey of forensic science
- Introduction to criminalistics
- Forensic chemistry and microscopy
This type of degree also includes study in the natural sciences as such, typical courses often include:
- General chemistry