These Are The 10 States With The Highest Investigator Salaries For 2017

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings, Salaries - 8 months ago
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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do investigators get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for investigators by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for investigators by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for investigators after this adjustment? That would be Detectives And Criminal Investigators.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for salaries:

  1. Illinois
  2. Michigan
  3. Virginia
  4. Delaware
  5. West Virginia
  6. Alaska
  7. Iowa
  8. North Dakota
  9. Texas
  10. Wyoming

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

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How we determined pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for investigators from the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $100360, so our index value would be:

$100,360 * (100 / 135.9) = $73,848

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for investigators.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Investigator Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Illinois $97,632 $92,360 94.6
2 Michigan $97,112 $86,430 89.0
3 Virginia $93,462 $94,210 100.8
4 Delaware $91,962 $93,250 101.4
5 West Virginia $87,301 $81,540 93.4
6 Alaska $86,926 $113,960 131.1
7 Iowa $84,131 $76,560 91.0
8 North Dakota $83,993 $83,490 99.4
9 Texas $83,076 $75,350 90.7
10 Wyoming $81,971 $75,250 91.8
11 Pennsylvania $81,518 $82,660 101.4
12 New Jersey $81,361 $99,180 121.9
13 Colorado $81,107 $84,190 103.8
14 Utah $80,892 $75,230 93.0
15 Nevada $80,396 $83,050 103.3
16 Nebraska $80,393 $73,640 91.6
17 New Mexico $79,792 $77,000 96.5
18 Washington $78,944 $83,050 105.2
19 Maryland $78,326 $98,300 125.5
20 Arizona $78,214 $76,650 98.0
21 Tennessee $77,740 $69,500 89.4
22 Indiana $77,139 $69,040 89.5
23 Florida $76,988 $75,680 98.3
24 Montana $76,944 $77,560 100.8
25 Kentucky $76,839 $69,540 90.5
26 Wisconsin $75,702 $73,280 96.8
27 Missouri $75,630 $68,370 90.4
28 Oklahoma $75,526 $67,370 89.2
29 Ohio $75,341 $70,670 93.8
30 Oregon $74,463 $86,080 115.6
31 California $73,848 $100,360 135.9
32 Idaho $73,604 $67,790 92.1
33 Minnesota $72,619 $73,200 100.8
34 Rhode Island $71,905 $86,790 120.7
35 Connecticut $69,577 $88,850 127.7
36 Georgia $69,463 $63,490 91.4
37 Mississippi $69,452 $59,660 85.9
38 South Dakota $68,852 $71,400 103.7
39 New York $66,908 $87,650 131.0
40 Alabama $66,754 $60,880 91.2
41 Arkansas $66,073 $57,550 87.1
42 Kansas $65,706 $59,070 89.9
43 New Hampshire $65,521 $76,660 117.0
44 Vermont $65,235 $79,000 121.1
45 Louisiana $64,957 $61,580 94.8
46 Massachusetts $63,073 $84,140 133.4
47 North Carolina $61,661 $57,900 93.9
48 South Carolina $61,572 $61,080 99.2
49 Maine $60,839 $67,410 110.8
50 Hawaii $60,202 $101,080 167.9