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Private Investigator Salary Information for Ohio

The Ohio Department of Labor considers the field of private investigation to be one of the occupations with the highest employment prospects in the state.  Three hundred and forty private investigators were employed in Ohio in 2012 according to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics).  The state projects employment levels to increase by 13.3% in the period from 2008 to 2018.

The average annual 2012 salary of a private investigator or private detective in Ohio was $46,080 according to the BLS.  Those in the top 10th percentile earned an average of $73,850 that year.

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Nearly two thirds of the PIs in the state were located in Cleveland and Columbus in 2012.  Their average annual salaries and those of the top 10th percentile are listed below, along with those in Cincinnati.

Ohio City
Average Annual Salary

A license from the Ohio Department of Public Safety is required to become a private investigator in Ohio, along with passing a written exam.  A background check and proof of insurance are required to apply for a license.  Applicants must have the following amount of liability insurance:

  • $100,000 per investigator
  • $100,000 for property damage
  • $300,000 for each occurrence of bodily injury

This department also requires that applicants have at least 4000 hours (two years) of experience working as an investigator.  It will waive this requirement for applicants that have equivalent experience such ash having been a law enforcement officer or military policeman.  Applicants that have a criminal justice degree only need 2000 hours of experience

There are additional requirements to work as an armed private investigator.  Applicants must attend a school approved by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.

The BLS provides a detailed breakdown of wages by city for PIs that were licensed and working in Ohio in 2012.  This information is listed in the following table.

Private Investigator Salaries in Ohio

Area name
Annual mean wage
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor OH
Columbus OH
Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna WV-OH
Estimate not released

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