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Private Investigator Salary Information for Massachusetts

Over five hundred private investigators were employed in Massachusetts in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Their ranks are expected to increase by 30.5% in the period from 2010 to 2020 based on projections from the state’s Labor and Workforce Development Council.

In particular, Framingham and Worcester are good places to find PI jobs in the state.  Both are in the top metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the highest concentration of jobs in this field.  Framingham was second with 110 jobs in 2012, while Worcester was ninth with 100 jobs.

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The BLS also provides salary data, and the annual median income of private investigators in Massachusetts was $47,770 in 2012.  Experienced PIs in the top 10th percentile of their salary bracket earned an average of $72,110 a year.  The salaries for the median and top 10th percentile incomes for private investigators in selected cities in Massachusetts are listed below:

Massachusetts City
Average Annual Salary

A license from the Department of Public Safety is required to become a private investigator in Massachusetts.  Applicants must have recommendation letters from three reputable citizens of the state and cannot have been convicted of a felony.  Three years of experience is required in one of the following:

  • Doing investigative work as a detective
  • Having been a member of a U.S. investigative service
  • Having been a police officer (higher than patrolman)

Police officers who have been employed for ten years in good standing can also apply for a private investigator’s license.

A number of different types of employment are available to those with PI licenses in Massachusetts.  According to 2010 employment figures from the state’s Labor and Workforce Development Council, nearly 19% of all private investigators in the state were self-employed.  Sixty-four percent worked in administrative and support services.

Detailed employment and salary data from the BLS is available for a number of cities in Massachusetts.  This is shown in the table below.

Private Investigator Salaries in Massachusetts

Area name
Annual mean wage
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA-NH
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA NECTA Division
Estimate not released
Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton MA NECTA Division
Estimate not released
Framingham MA NECTA Division
Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford MA-NH NECTA Division
Estimate not released
Nashua NH-MA NECTA Division
Estimate not released
Providence-Fall River-Warwick RI-MA
Estimate not released
Worcester MA-CT

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