The field of private investigation is growing in Nevada. According to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, the increase in job growth for private investigators in the period of 2010 to 2020 is expected to be 6.3%.
Most of the private investigators in Nevada work in the Las Vegas area. Of the 200 PIs employed in the state in 2012, 80% of them were based out of Las Vegas, according to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS provides 2012 salary data for Nevada as a whole and for the Las Vegas area. The median annual income of PIs for these areas is listed below, followed by the wage of PIs who earn in the top 10th percentile of their field.
The median hourly wage for PIs in Las Vegas in 2011 was 24% higher than that for the U.S. as a whole, and the area has a lower cost of living than many cities in the U.S.
The state of Nevada requires a license from the state’s Private Investigator’s Licensing Board to work as a private investigator or private detective. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and undergo a rigorous background check involving the:
- Nevada Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- California Department of Justice (CDOJ)
- For applicants who have either lived in or visited California
They must also pass a two hour exam with a score of at least 75%. There is a stringent requirement that applicants have 5 years (10,000 hours) of investigative experience before they can apply. Having one of the following degrees in criminal justice or police science can replace the following amount of required hours:
- Associate’s: 8 months (1,333 hours)
- Bachelor’s: 18 months (3,000 hours)
The BLS provides a detailed breakdown of PI salaries in the Las Vegas area. Hourly and annual percentiles are provided in the following table.