The wages for private investigators in West Virginia have been steadily rising over the past ten years according to WORKFORCE West Virginia. The median wage for PIs in the state in 2011 was over 25% higher than that during 2001.
Salaries for private investigators in West Virginia in 2012 are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and are listed below:
According to WORKFORCE West Virginia, the salaries for PIs in the state vary greatly depending on what industry they are employed in. Sixteen establishments were reported as having employed private investigators in 2012. The best paying industries for PIs in West Virginia are listed below along with their hourly median wage for 2012:
- Financial activities: $24.86
- Professional and business services: $14.02
- Trade, transportation, and utilities: $10.86
- Public administration: $8.39
The state of West Virginia requires a license from its Secretary of State to become a private investigator or private detective. A business license is also required. Applicants cannot apply for a license until they have character references filled out from five people. They must also obtain a $2,500 surety bond as liability insurance.
There is a substantial requirement for training and/or experience to become a private investigator in West Virginia. The state requires documentation for one of the following:
- An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field
- At least 60 hours of college credit in investigative studies
- Employment by a PI firm: at least 32 hours a week for 100 weeks
- A combination of experience and college credit
The BLS provides a detailed breakdown of salary information by city for private investigators who were employed in West Virginia in 2012 as shown in the following table.