The field of private investigation in New Mexico is expected to grow over twice as fast as the protective service industry as a whole in the state. According to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, the growth rate for private investigator and private detective jobs in the state is expected to be 27.5% in the period from 2010 to 2020.
Private investigators made an average of $47,010 in New Mexico in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Experienced professionals in this field made nearly twice as much. The average salary of PIs in the 10th percentile was $68,310.
Most of the private investigators in New Mexico are in Albuquerque with eight-five percent of the 130 PIs in the state being located in this city. Thus, the salaries in this city are very similar to those for the state as a whole. The average 2012 PI salary in Albuquerque was $47,390 with experienced private investigators having earned $69,620 a year.
The state of New Mexico requires a license by the New Mexico Private Investigations Board to work as a private investigator in the state. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and have completed mandatory firearms training. They must provide proof of having a $10,000 surety bond as insurance. The Board also requires that applicants have 6,000 hours of investigative experience obtained within the past five years. A criminal background check is also required.
While no educational requirement is specified, over half of the PIs in the U.S. have a bachelor’s degree. Private investigators in New Mexico are mandated to take part in continuing education to maintain their license and must complete at least four hours of such training during their renewal period.
For those private investigators who were working in Albuquerque in 2012, the BLS provides detailed information on the annual and hourly salary levels by percentile. This data is provided in the table below.