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Private Investigator Salary Information for Wisconsin

The employment for private investigators in Wisconsin is expected to grow 9.5% in the period from 2004 to 2014, according to the state’s Department of Workforce Development.  These jobs are projected to be due to people leaving the workforce rather than to the creation of new private investigation jobs.

Salaries for private investigators in the state in 2012 are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

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They are listed below for selected areas:

Wisconsin City
Average Annual Salary
Milwaukee area

The state of Wisconsin requires a license from the state’s License, Permit and Registration Services to become a private detective or private investigator in Wisconsin.  Before individuals can apply for this license, they need to submit their fingerprints for a criminal background check.

After they have applied for their license, applicants must pass an online exam of 100 questions on investigative practices in general and the relevant Wisconsin statutes and code.

Once aspiring private investigators have received their license, they are qualified for a number of different types of jobs.  A number of PIs specialize in surveillance.  This skill is useful in helping retail establishments prevent shoplifting.  Others use surveillance for individuals who are concerned about cheating spouses.  Insurance companies hire professionals to verify that individuals receiving worker’s compensation are truly injured.

Many private investigators work for government agencies and perform background checks on prospective employees for law enforcement or other positions of authority.

Fewer investigators work for high tech companies such as aerospace manufacturers.  This can be a highly lucrative area as these companies struggle to protect their trade secrets.

The BLS provides salary information for private investigators who worked in Wisconsin in 2012.  A detailed breakdown of hourly and annual salaries by percentile is listed below.

Private Investigator Salaries in Wisconsin

Area name
Annual mean wage
Lake County-Kenosha County IL-WI Metropolitan Division
Estimate not released
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis WI
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI

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