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Private Investigator Salary USA

There are many different fields an American Private Investigator can work in, all with different salaries. Most PIs work as employees of agencies, but American Investigators can even work for themselves. For simplicity’s sake, we will discuss the most common field a PI would work in: surveillance for insurance fraud.


So how much does a Private Investigator make? A Private Investigator salary in the USA for a new Private Investigator is typically $40 000 per year. This can go up to $80 000 for an experienced Private Investigator who is known for accomplishing objectives on a constant basis. However, a salary is not commonly used for surveillance operatives, an hourly rate is.

US Private Investigator Hourly Pay Rate

An hourly rate for a rookie American Private Detective is usually around $16 per hour. This would equal a salary of approximately $32 000 per year; however, PIs get paid travel time, mileage, and report writing time. This supplementary payment can increase the $32k salary to more around $40k. This supplementary payment holds true for experienced Private Investigators as well.

Make More Money as a PI, With Training

Being a new American PI does not necessarily mean that you need a lot of experience to obtain a salary of $80 000 per year, you just need to obtain constant positive results. This will show employers that you are valuable, even without a lot of experience. This is where Private Investigator education and training courses come in to play. PI education will help new PIs in the USA obtain positive results gaining them more revenue in a much shorter time.

Earn 7 Figures as an American PI

Private Investigators in America can eventually get a seven-figure income after they start working for themselves. This is done when a Private Investigator manages multiple investigations, each being worked by other PIs/ employees. However, a Private Investigator can still earn high revenue without employees. If an American Private Investigator works their own files, they can make around $200 000 per year. So anyway you look at it, this career is very lucrative.

salary for a Private Investigator in America

Private Investigator Salary USA Summary

  1. New PI $40,000 Per Year

  2. Experienced PI $80,000 Per Year

  3. Self-employed PI $200,000 Per Year

  4. PI Agency $1,000,000+

Thinking of Becoming an American Private Investigator?

“ICPI Level 100 online Private Investigator Training” is the ultimate blueprint to start your exciting and rewarding career as a real American Private Investigator.

ICPI 100 will help you start successfully in this amazing new career, even if you know nothing about American investigations.

Our team has vetted out the best Private Investigator training and investigative methods so that you can jump-start your journey towards having the meaningful career you’ve always wanted, immediately.

This training system will provide you, a successful American detective, with all the templates that you need to succeed. A clear path on becoming a PI, understanding the PI business, becoming a successful PI, and thinking like a detective- all the tools you need to make six figures being an investigative Operative.

To date, this online PI training system consists of over 100 informational slides, videos, exercises and quizzes that provide a step-by-step path on how to achieve your dream job as a Private Detective.

ICPI Level 100 takes about two weeks to complete with over 30 hours of high-quality training content that will make you a Private Investigator well on your way to becoming an expert in this fascinating career.


Get a certificate that "actually" matters. When you get certified by Novel Data in the 100 Level course, American Private Investigator agencies will be aware that you understand the PI industry. This will give you a great competitive edge in the PI job market. Most PI applicants know very little about the PI job they are applying to. Not you. A PI hiring manager will not want to risk turnaround by hiring someone unfamiliar with the industry, they will choose an applicant who is familiar with what will be expected of them. With Novel Data's certification, that applicant will be you!

American Private Investigator licensing requirements by state:

About the Author

how much does a USA PI make?

Peter Sandru is an Instructor & Co-Founder of NDIL with over 16 years as a Professional Private Investigator. Peter has spent more than a decade conducting investigations and security operations throughout the world, primarily for corporations, law firms, and government agencies. Peter has assisted in the creation of numerous investigative & security training programs in various capacities. Thru NDIL, Peter has helped many Americans become Private Investigators.


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