Updated August 18, 2021
Average Investigator Salary
$59,000 yearly
$28.69 hourly

Entry level Salary
$40,000 yearly
$40,000
10 %
$59,000
Median
$88,000
90 %
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PercentileascdescAnnual SalaryascdescMonthly SalaryascdescHourly Rateascdesc
90th Percentile
$88,000
$7,333
$42
75th Percentile
$73,000
$6,083
$35
Average
$59,669
$4,972
$29
25th Percentile
$48,000
$4,000
$23
10th Percentile
$40,000
$3,333
$19

Average Investigator Salary By State

The darker areas on the map show where investigators earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

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Average Salary:

Investigator average salary by State

StateascdescAvg. salaryascdescHourly rateascdescJob Countascdesc
Alabama
$41,639
$20.02
Alaska
$50,118
$24.10
Arizona
$54,839
$26.36
Arkansas
$51,736
$24.87
California
$82,786
$39.80
Colorado
$50,147
$24.11
Connecticut
$80,622
$38.76
Delaware
$79,987
$38.46
District of Columbia
$87,247
$41.95
Florida
$36,266
$17.44
Georgia
$46,377
$22.30
Hawaii
$55,042
$26.46
Idaho
$60,834
$29.25
Illinois
$60,604
$29.14
Indiana
$48,350
$23.25
Iowa
$52,114
$25.05
Kansas
$47,471
$22.82
Kentucky
$61,340
$29.49
Louisiana
$54,363
$26.14
Maine
$70,089
$33.70
Maryland
$77,823
$37.41
Massachusetts
$82,181
$39.51
Michigan
$62,340
$29.97
Minnesota
$55,345
$26.61
Mississippi
$40,833
$19.63
Missouri
$62,231
$29.92
Montana
$60,088
$28.89
Nebraska
$51,033
$24.54
Nevada
$66,716
$32.08
New Hampshire
$77,608
$37.31
New Jersey
$81,992
$39.42
New Mexico
$56,449
$27.14
New York
$74,556
$35.84
North Carolina
$72,033
$34.63
North Dakota
$55,012
$26.45
Ohio
$52,407
$25.20
Oklahoma
$36,082
$17.35
Oregon
$69,142
$33.24
Pennsylvania
$64,159
$30.85
Rhode Island
$62,113
$29.86
South Carolina
$45,055
$21.66
South Dakota
$60,615
$29.14
Tennessee
$46,129
$22.18
Texas
$45,533
$21.89
Utah
$44,088
$21.20
Vermont
$74,683
$35.91
Virginia
$66,681
$32.06
Washington
$63,437
$30.50
West Virginia
$71,945
$34.59
Wisconsin
$49,345
$23.72
Wyoming
$49,688
$23.89

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Highest Paying Cities For Investigator

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CityascdescAvg. salaryascdescHourly rateascdesc
San Francisco, CA
$89,830
$43.19
Washington, DC
$87,277
$41.96
Boston, MA
$82,114
$39.48
Baltimore, MD
$78,189
$37.59
Raleigh, NC
$75,005
$36.06
New York, NY
$74,813
$35.97

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

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How much does an Investigator make?

  • The average investigator makes $59,669 in the United States.
  • The average hourly pay for an investigator is $28.69.
  • The average entry-level investigator salary is $40,000.
  • Highest paying states for investigator are California ($82,786), Massachusetts ($82,181), New Jersey ($82,786) and Connecticut ($82,786).
  • Highest paying cities for investigator are San Francisco, CA ($89,830), Washington, DC, Boston, MA, Baltimore, MD and Raleigh, NC.
  • Investigators on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $40,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $88,000.
  • The best-paid 25% made $73,000 that year, while the lowest-paid 25$ made $48,000
  • Industries with the highest investigator salaries are health care, hospitality and government.

Average Investigator Salary Over Time

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

Location
    YearascdescAvg. salaryascdescHourly rateascdesc% Changeascdesc
    2021
    $59,700
    $28.69
    -1.2%
    2020
    $60,400
    $29.04
    +5.0%
    2019
    $57,400
    $27.60
    +5.4%
    2018
    $54,300
    $26.12
    +2.3%
    2017
    $53,100
    $25.53
    -3.8%

    How Much Do Investigators Make In Different Industries?

    Investigator salaries can vary on many factors, including what industry a job is in. In fact, jobs with health care, hospitality, and government companies tend to be the highest paying. Furthermore, an investigator can make a yearly salary of $60,399 while working for health care companies. All the while, other investigators are making $57,573 at hospitality companies and $57,547 at government companies. One industry investigators may want to avoid is the finance industry as it offers the lowest average salary at $55,191.
    RankIndustryAverage Investigator SalaryInvestigator Salary Range
    1Health Care
    $60,399
    $44k
    $73k
    2Hospitality
    $57,573
    $44k
    $73k
    3Government
    $57,547
    $44k
    $73k
    4Finance
    $55,191
    $44k
    $73k

    High Paying Investigator Jobs

    Average JOB Salary by Field

    Store Detective

    Avg. salary: $47,668

    Store detectives are security professionals who are hired by store or business owners to prevent the act of shoplifting. These detectives must conduct surveillance through CCTV to apprehend shoplifters and dishonest employees who committed theft within the store. They must work closely with local law enforcement and store management to prevent retail theft as well as report those offenders. Security detectives must also monitor employee and public activity by implementing a theft prevention system to protect company assets.
    11,112 Store Detective Jobs
    Background Investigator

    Avg. salary: $51,408

    The primary job of background investigators is to conduct background checks into an individual's personal and professional history that can validate or disprove their identity and character. They perform background investigations as part of hiring new employees, making an investment, and choosing a public official. Background investigators are responsible for obtaining and reviewing witness statements and arrest reports and meeting with candidates or the management to keep them updated on the investigation's progress and status. They are also responsible for completing background packages for final review and recommendation.
    3,886 Background Investigator Jobs
    Criminal Investigator

    Avg. salary: $53,354

    A criminal investigator is a law enforcement professional who endeavors to solve felony crimes. Criminal investigators may work alone or as a member of an investigative team whose goal is to uncover the certainty of a case and potentially keep suspects to prevent the ensuing criminal activity. Their tasks and responsibilities depend on various job functions and specialties. They may specialize in the information and evidence of a crime scene, conduct interviews and searches, or perform surveillance.
    4,363 Criminal Investigator Jobs
    Special Investigator

    Avg. salary: $53,109

    A special investigator is responsible for gathering information and analyzing evidence to identify criminal activities and law-violating instances. Special investigators review surveillance devices, interview witnesses, and coordinate with law enforcement agencies to collect related reports. They sort and store documents securely on databases for reference, confirm statements, and assist in court procedures for in-depth investigation. A special investigator must be highly communicative and observational, especially in organizing materials and verifying information to support claims and file the appropriate legal actions.
    60,485 Special Investigator Jobs
    Private Investigator

    Avg. salary: $38,339

    Private investigators will require skills in surveillance, research, interviewing, critical thinking, and communication. Those who choose this career path will be called on to find information for organizations and individuals, as well as engage in different cases. An investigator's goal is to find legal, personal, or financial information through background checks, interviews, and surveillance.
    49,557 Private Investigator Jobs
    Fraud Investigator

    Avg. salary: $40,939

    A fraud investigator specializes in investigating and identifying fraudulent activities within a company and its clients. Their responsibilities depend on their line of work or industry of employment. However, most of the time, their duties will revolve around devising strategies and systems to detect inconsistencies, monitoring suspicious transactions and accounts, conducting reviews to identify any security lapses or vulnerabilities in the procedures, and teaching staff how to notice any fraudulent activities. Furthermore, it is vital to implement the policies and regulations of the company.
    4,531 Fraud Investigator Jobs
    Job TitleascdescAnnual SalaryascdescMonthly SalaryascdescHourly RateascdescJob Openingsascdesc
    Store Detective
    $47,668
    $3,972
    $22.92
    11,112
    Background Investigator
    $51,408
    $4,284
    $24.72
    3,886
    Criminal Investigator
    $53,354
    $4,446
    $25.65
    4,363
    Special Investigator
    $53,109
    $4,426
    $25.53
    60,485
    Private Investigator
    $38,339
    $3,195
    $18.43
    49,557
    Fraud Investigator
    $40,939
    $3,412
    $19.68
    4,531
    Job Openings

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    Which Companies Pay Investigators The Most?

    To earn a high income as an investigator, working for Novartis or GlaxoSmithKline might be your best bet, as they are the highest paying companies in this field. In addition, companies like Agilent Technologies and Microsoft report highly competitive wages for investigators.
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    How much should you get paid?

    Tell us about yourself to get a free, personalized Zippia Salary Report and suggestions on how to increase your pay.

    Recently Added Investigator Salaries

    Location
    CompanyascdescJobascdescLocationascdescDate AddedascdescSalaryascdesc
    TSYS
    Disputes Investigator
    Disputes Investigator
    Austin, TX
    08/31/2021
    $35,479
    08/31/2021
    Investigator
    Plano, TX
    08/29/2021
    $41,740
    08/29/2021
    Weld County Government
    Medicolegal Investigator
    Medicolegal Investigator
    Greeley, CO
    08/28/2021
    $63,382
    08/28/2021
    Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles
    Probate Investigator
    Probate Investigator
    Los Angeles, CA
    08/28/2021
    $74,566
    08/28/2021
    State of Arkansas
    Afhc Investigator
    Afhc Investigator
    Little Rock, AR
    08/27/2021
    $36,155
    08/27/2021
    Coast Guard Community Services Command
    LP Investigator 4082
    LP Investigator 4082
    Caguas, PR
    08/27/2021
    $21,392
    08/27/2021
    Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
    Investigator I
    Investigator I
    Philadelphia, PA
    08/27/2021
    $44,893
    08/27/2021
    County of Riverside
    Estate Investigator
    Estate Investigator
    Perris, CA
    08/27/2021
    $50,000
    08/27/2021
    State of Massachusetts
    Wage & Hour Investigator II
    Wage & Hour Investigator II
    Boston, MA
    08/27/2021
    $117,285
    08/27/2021
    Investigator 3
    Des Moines, IA
    08/26/2021
    $52,874
    08/26/2021

    Average Investigator Salary by Demographic

    Investigator Gender Pay Gap

    male-income
    Male Income
    $89,198
    female-income
    Female Income
    $78,259
    Genderascdesc
    Incomeascdesc
    Male$89,198
    Female$78,259
    Median Investigator Income by Race
    Asian investigators have the highest average salary compared to other ethnicities. Black or african american investigators have the lowest average salary at $77,876.
    $90,000
    $72,000
    $54,000
    $36,000
    $18,000
    $0
    White
    Black or African American
    Asian
    Hispanic or Latino
    Ethnicityascdesc
    Salaryascdesc
    White$81,284
    Black or African American$77,876
    Asian$88,511
    Hispanic or Latino$82,545
    Average Investigator Salary by Education Level
    Investigators with a Masters degree earn more than those without, at $106,596 annually. With a Doctorate degree, investigators earn a median annual income of $100,377 compared to $89,198 for investigators with an Bachelors degree.
    $110,000
    $88,000
    $66,000
    $44,000
    $22,000
    $0
    High School Diploma or Less
    Master's Degree
    Bachelor's Degree
    Doctorate Degree
    Some College/ Associate Degree
    Educationascdesc
    Salaryascdesc
    High School Diploma or Less$77,269
    Master's Degree$106,596
    Bachelor's Degree$89,198
    Doctorate Degree$100,377
    Some College/ Associate Degree$78,250