The state of Arkansas considers the field of private investigation to be a growing industry. Discover Arkansas projected that demand in this field will increase 13.5% between 2008 and 2018. They also estimated that private investigator employment in the state stood at 64 in 2012.
According to 2012 salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for these investigators in Arkansas was $52,350. Those who earned in the top 10th percentile averaged $59,750.
The salaries of those that live in Arkansas near Memphis are factored into the Memphis salary for PIs. It was substantially higher than that for Arkansas as a whole, which had an average salary of $62,840 and top earners making $78,680.
Licensing is required to become a private investigator in Arkansas. The state has tasked the Arkansas State Police with regulating private investigators. They created the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies.
Experience is required to obtain a license to be a private investigator. Applicants must have two consecutive years of experience working as private investigators. They also have to pass a state board exam for PIs and undergo a thorough background check.
One way to gain experience is to work as an apprentice. Applicants for positions at detective agencies can enhance their desirability by obtaining degrees in criminal justice. This should also help to strengthen the analytical skills required for this type of work and help new PIs better understand the complexities of the legal system.
Once private investigators have been licensed to practice in Arkansas, they may be interested in joining the Arkansas Association of Professional Private Investigators. Networking with fellow PIs can prove to be invaluable.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics assembles salary information from 2012 for each state and lists it for selected cities as is presented below for Arkansas.