A detective is hired by individuals or companies to solve crimes and/or find objects or people. Detectives do their job in fashion similar to policemen, in that they collect evidence, talk to suspects and try to determine the motives behind the crime. A detective may also be hired as a bodyguard, though not all detectives are willing to take up such jobs. Detectives usually spend a lot of time traveling, especially in cases that involve locating a person who’s on the move. A detective’s job may involve direct life hazards as well.
Detectives can work either for a police department or on a private basis, and in the first case they need to undergo a specialized training program – while in the second case, they need to attain a license allowing them to operate. Many private detectives come from a background in law enforcement, and though this isn’t a requirement in any way, it’s always of great use to the detective as it gives them various connections within the judicial system, mostly in the form of former colleagues. Good physical fitness is usually very beneficial, as are skills in self-defense.
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific range for a detective’s salary, as it’s influenced by numerous factors and can vary greatly. In the most general case, the lower end is at around $30,000, while the best-paid detectives can earn over $100,000 annually. There’s a usually large fluctuation in a private detective’s year-to-year earnings, as sometimes they’re presented with more valuable cases that are worth substantially more money.