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Working as a Lead Investigator

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a lead investigator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $35.1 an hour? That's $73,007 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 2,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Lead Investigator Do

There are certain skills that many lead investigators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, empathy and good judgment.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a lead investigator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 10.0% of lead investigators included investigative reports, while 9.3% of resumes included law enforcement, and 7.3% of resumes included procedures. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the lead investigator job title. But what industry to start with? Most lead investigators actually find jobs in the finance and education industries.

How To Become a Lead Investigator

If you're interested in becoming a lead investigator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 47.1% of lead investigators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 19.0% of lead investigators have master's degrees. Even though most lead investigators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a lead investigator. When we researched the most common majors for a lead investigator, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on lead investigator resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a lead investigator. In fact, many lead investigator jobs require experience in a role such as investigator. Meanwhile, many lead investigators also have previous career experience in roles such as police officer or research assistant.

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Average Salary$73,007
Job Growth Rate8%

Lead Investigator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Lead Investigator

Top Careers After Lead Investigator

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Lead Investigator

Lead Investigators in America make an average salary of $73,007 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $128,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $41,000 per year.
Average Salary
$73,007

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Stamford, CT
Salary Range64k - 131k$92k$91,917
Salem, OR
Salary Range59k - 131k$88k$88,372
Boston, MA
Salary Range63k - 121k$88k$87,523
San Diego, CA
Salary Range54k - 108k$77k$76,843
Chicago, IL
Salary Range49k - 94k$68k$68,275
Dallas, TX
Salary Range44k - 81k$60k$60,073
$44k
$131k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Lead Investigator-Public Defender's Department
Lead Investigator-Public Defender's Department
Canyon County
Canyon County
12/29/2020
12/29/2020
$62,93012/29/2020
$62,930
Court Probate Investigator Lead
Court Probate Investigator Lead
Maricopa County, Arizona
Maricopa County, Arizona
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$40,38310/30/2020
$40,383
Lead Investigator
Lead Investigator
State of Indiana
State of Indiana
09/23/2020
09/23/2020
$30,08209/23/2020
$30,082
Lead Investigations Consultant
Lead Investigations Consultant
State of North Carolina
State of North Carolina
04/24/2020
04/24/2020
$39,61104/24/2020
$39,611
Lead Investigator
Lead Investigator
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Brigham and Women's Hospital
08/07/2019
08/07/2019
$153,95308/07/2019
$153,953
See More Recent Salaries

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Lead Investigator Demographics

Gender

male

65.1 %

female

30.9 %

unknown

4.0 %

Ethnicity

White

62.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

17.0 %

Black or African American

12.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.7 %

French

7.7 %

Russian

7.7 %
See More Demographics

Lead Investigator Education

Majors

Business
18.3 %

Degrees

Bachelors

47.1 %

Masters

19.0 %

Associate

9.5 %

Top Colleges for Lead Investigators

1. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

2. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

3. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

4. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

5. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

6. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

7. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,011
Enrollment
13,434

8. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$3,926
Enrollment
9,835

9. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,369
Enrollment
5,229

10. SUNY College at Oswego

Oswego, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,440
Enrollment
7,039
See More Education Info
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
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Top Skills For a Lead Investigator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.0% of lead investigators listed investigative reports on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and empathy are important as well.

Best States For a Lead Investigator

1. Maryland

Total Lead Investigator Jobs:
36
Highest 10% Earn:
$173,000
Location Quotient:
1.74
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Delaware

Total Lead Investigator Jobs:
4
Highest 10% Earn:
$164,000
Location Quotient:
1.4
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. District of Columbia

Total Lead Investigator Jobs:
25
Highest 10% Earn:
$161,000
Location Quotient:
3.62
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Lead Investigator Employers

1. Pfizer
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$71,726
Lead Investigators Hired: 
28+
2. Lord & Taylor
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$69,796
Lead Investigators Hired: 
10+
3. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$47,607
Lead Investigators Hired: 
10+
4. Saks Fifth Avenue
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$63,406
Lead Investigators Hired: 
9+
5. Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$90,097
Lead Investigators Hired: 
9+
6. Amazon.com
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$70,215
Lead Investigators Hired: 
8+

Lead Investigator Videos

Updated October 2, 2020