Private investigator: Atlanta Salary Levels
Joining the private investigation world is an exciting experience for most people but their excitement is often diminished by the pay levels of junior investigators in the private investigation world.
Often, television shows and movies portray private investigators as flashy sportscar-driving, gun-toting, back-alley heroes for distraught clients who have nowhere to turn. This leads to a false sense of what being a private investigator actually is. It also leads people to think, “I could do that!” and “I’d bet I could make a fortune doing things like that!”. Well, the truth is far from the fake world the television shows and movies outline.
In order to become a private investigator almost all states require you to obtain a license through the licensing authority for that state. The licensing authority might be the Secretary of State, or it might be the State Police for that state. In Florida, the commission that oversees the licensing and regulation of private investigators is (surprisingly enough) The Department of Agriculture!
So, in order to give you an idea of salary expectations, it’s easier to break it down to type of private investigator you are and the experience level of that investigator:
Types of private investigator:
- Surveillance investigators – newly licensed private investigators can expect to make $15 per hour and up to $35 per hour depending on where they’re located and who they go to work for. Some agencies pay more than others but this is generally a range you should expect to make. It also makes a difference whether you’re a full time, or a part time private investigator.
- Agency Managers – managers can expect to earn between $35 and $60 per hour depending on their experience level. New investigators will have to report to managers and managers will often have to report to clients.
- Polygraph examiners – these are specialized investigators that can charge anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 for polygraph examinations. This is because they have gone through the training and certification to become polygraph examiners.
- TSCM investigators – these are counter surveillance investigators. They hunt for listening devices and wire taps. They are usually trained in electronics and electronic detection techniques and will have at their disposal equipment that is specialized and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Their fees range from $2,500 to $250,000 depending on the size of the job they conduct.
- Agency owners – the sky’s the limit here in terms of earning potential. Agency owners with good marketing skills and excellent customer service skills can make a very comfortable living from private investigation. Usually, a newly licensed investigator will be required to work for an agency for a number of years before being able to own their own agency.
So, as you can see there’s many levels and ways to earn money as a private investigator in Atlanta. Most people end up working in a number of areas before deciding what they want to specialize as a private investigator.
If you are looking for an affordable licensed private investigator, with 20 years of experience assisting individuals, attorneys and corporations feel free to contact us here. You can also view a portion of our extensive client list here, and see what actual clients say about us here.