The Average Salary of a Homicide Detective in California

The Average Salary of a Homicide Detective in California
••• Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The average salary for a California criminal detective is ​$95,867​ as of September 2021. The average salary translates to an estimated hourly wage of ​$46.76​. The top 25 percent of detectives in California earn an average of ​$110,614​ per year and about ​$53.18​ per hour. The average salary for other detectives in the country is ​$83,320​, meaning criminal detectives in California earn around 15 percent higher than the national average.

Calculating Average Formula

Criminal detectives in California average salary is calculated by adding all salaries for all detectives and dividing it by the number of criminal detectives in California. The average salary may seem low, but some detectives earn higher salaries depending on qualifications and experience. Average Salary Formula = Total Sum of California Criminal Detectives Salary/Number of Criminal Detectives

Average Salary By County

The average criminal detective salary in California varies by counties with some counties recording an average salary of over ​$100,000​. San Francisco County criminal detectives earn an average of ​$117,766​ with the top ​25 percent​ of the detectives earning ​$140,004​.

In Santa Clara County, which includes the San Jose region, the average salary of a criminal detective is ​$103,542​ with the ​top 25 percent​ earning ​$122,532​ on average. On average, California counties have some of the best-paid detectives across the country. In some states, criminal detectives earn an hourly rate ​below $30​, notes the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Comparison With other States

California is ranked the fourth best-paying state in the United States for criminal detectives by average salary. Only three states, Alaska with an average salary of ​$126,340​, Maryland with an average salary of ​$113,500​ and Hawaii with an average detective salary of $113,150 have higher average salaries for criminal detectives.

On States with the highest employment level for detectives and criminal investigators, California comes second with 12,140 jobs after Texas State which has the highest jobs in the field, 17,400. New York state, Florida, and Arizona make up the top five states with the highest employment level for criminal detectives.

Becoming a Criminal Detective

In California, the requirements for criminal detectives vary among the local and city police departments. The standard requirements across California are that you must have a college degree in criminology, criminal justice or another related subject, experience as a patrol officer and pass a written detective exam. Further, you must be a United States citizen with a valid driver's license. Most of the police departments will require a crime-free background and medical, physical and psychological fitness before hiring a criminal detective.

At the state level, the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) within the office of the Attorney General provides investigation services to assist the local, state and federal agencies in California. Specialized services include criminal profiling, sexual predator tracking and polygraph exams. To qualify as a criminal detective in the CBI, one must possess a bachelor's degree with majors in criminology, sociology, political science or criminal justice. Further, you must have experience as a police officer in investigative assignments and serve as a special agent trainee with the Department of Justice for one year.

Thinking of becoming a California criminal detective? The average salary is better compared to other parts of the country. The qualifications are fair and easy for most of the people in the criminal justice system. However, the cost of living in California is higher than the national average, and the high pay may not constitute better living standards. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in California costs around ​$1,568​ compared to ​$1,048​ nationally.​$1,568​ compared to ​$1,048​ nationally.