Private detectives and private investigators have been in demand since the early days of civilization. In ancient Rome there were individuals known as “stratiotes”, who would investigate a crime or wrongdoing by examining tracks left at the scene of an incident.
The first modern private investigator was hired to recover stolen goods from criminals during the French Revolution. Today, investigations are carried out in many different ways but most often involve some form of surveillance (eavesdropping) or interrogation.
The work can be dangerous and requires specialized training. Many countries require their own licenses or special permits to practice as a private detective. Some jurisdictions allow licensed officers of law with certain privileges such as search warrants while others only permit those holding specific certificates or diplomas.
Private detectives are sometimes referred to as ‘enquires’, ‘informants’ or even’spies’. This article will explore which countries currently offer the highest salaries to private detectives/investigators.
1. United States
According to the US Department Of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income for all types of police officers is $63,760. However, if we narrow it down to just plain old patrolmen, then the figure drops dramatically to $35,980 per year on average.
Compared to other professions within this category, being a private detective offers less pay. For example, fire fighters earn more than 80 percent of them combined ($107K vs $47K). According to data gathered through various sources, the median yearly earnings for a private detective in the US range between $40k-$50k annually.
Surprisingly enough, the largest country in Europe does not rank very highly when it comes to paying its police officers handsomely.
It ranks 13th globally in terms of the lowest amount paid to its police force. On the flip side, however, Swiss citizens do enjoy one of the best safety records worldwide according to several studies conducted over time.
One study suggests that the safest place to live in America is actually Zurich! But what about the people they’re protecting? Well, here’s where things get interesting… the average weekly wage for a private detective working in Switzerland amounts to CHF 6,900.
That means you could make nearly double your annual salary every week doing the job! Also, the cost of living is relatively low compared to other European cities, so you’d probably spend much less too.
In Canada, the top three places to find yourself employed as a private eye are Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Here’s why these particular areas dominate the list. Firstly, the total population of each city is well above 1 million.
Secondly, each city has a lower rate of unemployment than any other major Canadian metropolitan area. Lastly, each city features a higher number of businesses specializing in investigative services than anywhere else in North American.
If you happen to reside in one of these locations, you’ll likely see decent returns on your investment. As far as compensation goes, the average annual wage in Canada for private detectives is approximately CAD$49,000. Again, this falls short of other occupations within the same field. Firefighters pull in roughly twice as much money on average.
4. New Zealand
Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch are three of the biggest cities in New Zealand. Each location boasts a solid economy, excellent education systems and high-quality health care facilities. What sets Wellington apart from the rest though is its thriving business sector.
Business owners tend to hire employees directly rather than going through recruitment agencies because of convenience and ease. Therefore, finding employment opportunities in Wellington should be fairly easy considering how big the city is. The average salary offered to a Detective Inspector in New Zealand is NZD$80,300 per year.
Germany doesn’t necessarily feature a lot of financial powerhouses on this list. Although Berlin stands out quite nicely, Frankfurt also makes an appearance due to its large size and diverse industries.
Most German companies operate internationally, making it easier for workers across the nation to secure jobs without having to relocate. Aside from the obvious benefits of better career prospects, wages are still pretty good too.
When it comes to private detectives specifically, the median annual salary earned in Germany amounts to EUR60,700 per year. So, if you want to save up for retirement and need extra cash flow, consider starting your own investigation firm instead of becoming a cop. You might even end up getting rich from it!
If you’ve ever visited Dublin before, then you know that Ireland prides itself on being a cosmopolitan destination filled with friendly locals ready to help tourists out as long as you keep your wits about you. And speaking of brains, Irish residents boast the highest level of literacy amongst all EU members states.
Another thing worth noting is that almost 90% of the entire population speaks English fluently. All of these factors go towards explaining why Ireland tops the charts when it comes to paying private eyes.
The average monthly salary for a PI in Ireland amounts to €7,500. A little below the national average, though certainly nothing to complain about either.
7. United Kingdom
When looking at UK averages, Edinburgh takes center stage on account of its history as Scotland’s capital city.
Glasgow also makes an impressive showing because it serves as home base for one of the world’s leading shipbuilding firms. Other notable towns include Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne and Cardiff.
Not surprisingly, London isn’t too shabby either. There aren’t really any surprises regarding British incomes. The average yearly salary for a PI in England is £44,850. Considering that this figure accounts for both male and female PIs, it’s safe to assume that women receive slightly smaller checks than men.
Like Britain, Australia is another member state from the Commonwealth family. Sydney reigns supreme in terms of overall popularity among foreign investors, especially international businessmen.
Perth follows closely behind because of its proximity to Singapore and Hong Kong. Unlike other regions, Australian PIs don’t seem to face gender bias when it comes to receiving higher paychecks. The typical annual income enjoyed by an Australian private detective hovers around AUD$62,100.
Paris is regarded as the cultural epicenter of the entire country. Despite that fact, the majority of Parisians speak fluent English thanks to years of U.S. occupation throughout World War II. Just like in the US, the public service sector dominates the industry heavily.
Police Officers, customs agents and border guards all bring in the kind of dough you won’t see elsewhere unless you become a spy. The average salary for a Frenchman hired to perform detective duties is pegged at EUR73,400 per year.
As mentioned earlier, Barcelona happens to be one of Europe’s wealthiest destinations. Its bustling nightlife alone attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every month. Because of the tourist trade, it’s no surprise that Spanish PIs typically command higher wages than their counterparts in rural communities.
The average yearly income for a PI in Spain is estimated to be EUR64,200. Keep in mind that this figure applies solely to full-time employees. Part-timers usually earn significantly less.
So there you have it – the top ten countries offering the highest payouts for private detectives. Whether you decide to pursue this line of work overseas or stay put, remember that success hinges largely on experience and skill.
Make sure you take formal courses to learn new techniques and hone your skillset in order to ensure maximum profitability. Do it right, and you may soon find yourself enjoying the fruits of your labors!