Series 1 – Blog #4 – How Much Should a PI Charge?

How Much Should a PI Charge?

Anyone who is self-employed struggles with the question – what should I charge? And sadly, most self-employed workers undercharge themselves. Most will remember rates should cover the time and work you spend on a client’s case, but fail to take into account the tradeoff of a contract. By taking on a client, you are dedicating your time to them for exclusive periods, instead of working for someone else or spending time building up your business. Your hourly rates need to cover costs of the job and the unpaid time of searching for clients or doing business admin work in order for you to properly support yourself.

Of course, in addition to covering your expenses, your rates should reflect your qualifications and experience. Most Wisconsin private investigators charge between $50 and $85 dollars an hour. Less than $50 is often a flag to potential clients that an investigator is not licensed.  Anything above $85, clients are likely to turn to a cheaper option. Unless of course, you have a stellar reputation and decades of experience under your belt.

The key to an excellent rate is to find the balance between what you believe is fair compensation for your work, time, supplies and what consumers are willing to pay. And of course, this varies not only from state to state, but also in the different regions of Wisconsin.

Once a year, it’s recommended for private investigators to analyze and compare their hourly rate and skills with local competitors. Then, make adjustments as necessary. Keep in mind, hourly rates are different from expenses, but both are charged to private investigator clients.

Thanks for reading!