Normal Topic Polygrapher Salaries at LA County Sheriff's Dept. (Read 4510 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Fred F.
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Polygrapher Salaries at LA County Sheriff's Dept.
Aug 9th, 2001 at 2:54am
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A point of information that everyone may find shocking

I was looking around at salary schedules at the LASD and discovered that a top-step polygraph examiner for the LASD gets paid almost 70,000 a year!!!!!

Now remember that this person may or may not have a college education, but for 8-10 weeks of "training" after  5 years this is the kind of money that LA County pays for a "pseudo-scientist"....

No wonder polygraphers vigorously defend their profession. Making that kind of money to do a "performance"  and NOT BE LIABLE for the results......Well toss the coin!!!


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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box G Scalabr
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Re: Polygrapher Salaries at LA County Sheriff's De
Reply #1 - Aug 9th, 2001 at 6:05am
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Fred F,

I am glad that I am not the only individual who feels polygraphers are overpaid.  Most of them charge as much or more than doctors and lawyers.  Yet, as you said, polygraphers often have no college education and as little as 8-10 weeks of training (as compared to the 7-10 years of formal schooling received by doctors and lawyers).  

Most private examiners charge from $250-$500 for a single issue polygraph "examination" (which usually lasts from 1-2 hours).  This works out to anywhere from $125-$1,000/hr.  The average appears to be around $350 per test, with the cost being higher in big cities.  This comes out to more than $200/hr for most "tests."

Better yet, after the initial investments, there are very few expenses (office rent, ink, paper) in the polygraph business.  The start up costs include roughly $5,000 for polygraph school and $2,000-$10,000 the instrument (the low end represents a used traditional unit and the high end a modern computerized polygraph).  They also purchase liability insurance (I have seen it offered at, but I can't imagine it being very expensive.  After all, as you said, it is nearly impossible to sue a polygrapher for any false accusation he levels at you.

I am straining to think of any other job in our society where a person with no formal education can earn such a substantial living.  The only positions that immediately come to mind are those with celebrity status (athletes, actors, musicians) and criminals.

No wonder polygraphers vigorously defend their profession.

BINGO.  It appears that you have hit the nail right on the head.  Polygraphers may claim that they are "dedicated to truth"--but judging by behavior of many of them, I feel that they harbor a more important dedication:  money.  Once the trickery behind the polygraph scam becomes better known, polygraph examiners are going to have to find a way to earn an honest living.

The financial motivation behind polygraphers manifests itself most apparently in the examiners’ attacks on lie-detection via voice stress analysis. Polygraphers would have everyone believe that the motivation for these statements against CVSA is a genuine concern for the welfare of those who might submit to these "tests."  In actuality, the “truth” is that polygraphers feel threatened by CVSA (and rightfully so), and are concerned that their tomfoolery may be eventually replaced by an equally invalid sham (leaving those who have invested in polygraphs and the required training hung out to dry).  In actuality, CVSA has numerous advantages over polygraphy—for starters, it is faster and cheaper (for both the equipment and examiner training).  More importantly, unlike polygraphy, it has not been fighting a (well-deserved) reputation for unreliability for nearly the past 100 years.  Nonetheless, neither pseudoscientific lie-detection technique has been shown to operate at better than chance levels in a peer-reviewed study conducted under field conditions.

Considering the glass house (perhaps this should be changed to "mansion" considering polygrapher salaries) in which they live, it takes tremendous audacity for polygraphers to go out and attack anything for being unreliable and invalid.  Nonetheless, this is exactly what many of them do.
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Santini
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I am a former counselor
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Re: Polygrapher Salaries at LA County Sheriff's De
Reply #2 - Aug 14th, 2001 at 11:10pm
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Roll EyesUnbelievable! For a long time I have been helping desensitize people and train them to ensure "reasonable results" on polygraph exams for free. Despite the lucrative nature of the business, I do not feel I am on the wrong end of things.

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Polygrapher Salaries at LA County Sheriff's Dept.

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