Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (2023)

High payProfessions in criminologywon't make anyone a millionaire. On the other hand, people don't go into the field to become CEOs of large Fortune 500 companies either. High-paying careers in criminology are rewarding for many in the research and study aspects that those who find a career in the field enjoy exploring and analyzing. As noted above, the highest-paying job in criminology is unlikely to exceed $70,000 per year, but many pursue the field anyway because they feel they are doing community-building work that matters, and they do have a real fascination with the study of crime and how to prevent that from happening in the future. In that regard, they feel like they essentially have high-paying careers in criminology, even if the paycheck itself doesn't match the Las Vegas wins.

Criminologists also find a great deal of personal relevance and involvement in current issues affecting society. Many feel spiritually and personally rewarded by their participationsocial problems in real timerelated to crime that they would never have access to if they were working in a typical private company career focused on selling products or services. These are people who see a good career in research, analysis, theory development and more that just isn't possible in the typical R&D fields of many other employers.

Selected Schools

The positions are presented according to the average income according to the current data of the tariff table.

1. Forensic Psychologists

Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (1)

Forensic Psychologistsconduct various types of assessments, including competency assessments and threat assessments. They also provide counseling services for victims who have experienced some type of crime. They are also used in the verification process for law enforcement and other government agencies. Forensic psychologists often begin their careers with aBachelor's degree in Psychology. Forensic courses can be included as a specialization in the course.

Qualified forensic psychologists are in high demand if you search in the right fields. Larger metropolitan areas often have multiple openings, while a smaller rural community may have none at all. When a forensic psychologist first enters the workforce, they will be lucky enough to earn $75,000. However, over time and amaybe a master's degree, they can average anywhere from $125,000 to $130,000 per year. The more experience a person can gain in this field, the more he can earn annually. In addition to higher pay, their benefit package will also be lucrative.

salary: $129.500,00

2. Police Identification and Recording Officers (crime scene evidence technicians)

Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (2)

A police identification and record officer is also referred to asCrime Scene Evidence Technician. A criminal justice degree with a specialization in evidence preservation and forensics is extremely beneficial but may not be required. You learn a lot in this job “hands-on”. A degree will give you a huge head start in building a career in law enforcement. Part of a police identification and records officer's job is to collect and catalog all types of evidence found at crime scenes or collected from the victim. Responsibilities include being very organized and having an eye for detail. Graduates must be very meticulous in how they collect and label each piece of evidence.

There is a police identification and records officer at most police stations or law enforcement agencies. When an officer starts, his salary can be as little as $45,000-$50,000 per year. Once they start gaining the experience they need to be competent, their earning potential will increase dramatically. With a few years of experience, they can earn up to $85,000 a year on average. The pay for this type of position depends on the size of the department and its location.

salary: $85.000,00

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3. Criminologists and sociologists

Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (3)

Criminologists and sociologists study crime and its impact on society. Sociologists also study how social behaviors contribute to criminal activity and behavior. One of these unique and highly specialized positions often requires a degree in criminology, criminal justice, psychology or sociology. Criminologists and sociologists are often called in to try to find predictable patterns and other types of clues in the absence of tangible evidence. These positions require attention to minute detail, as well as the ability to follow clues logically to identify patterns and other behaviors that can be used to solve a crime.

Demand for this type of job tends to be low in rural areas, but increases dramatically when you move to densely populated areas. The average wage for this type of job is around $84,000, depending on where you are and how much experience you have. The more experience you gain by working in this field, the more directly impacts your earning potential.

salary: $83.400,00

4. Immigration and Customs Inspectors

Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (4)

Immigration and Customs Inspectorsare often hired by TSA and work at many major airports and ports across the country, particularly those that offer "international" travel. Individuals who choose this type of work may benefit from an interdisciplinary degree or a degree in migration. More often than not, however, the training required for either of these positions comes from the TSA or other government agencies that support international travel and trade. It is important that individuals who choose this type of work are prepared and learn as much as possible from their training before starting the job.

The general prospects for this type of job are good if you live in an area that supports international travel. Larger airports and other types of depots or train stations require more manpower than smaller areas. In terms of pay, the average salary for this type of position is around $73,000 per year. Entry-level employees can expect to earn significantly less, but the more experience a person gains, the higher the salary they are entitled to.

salary: $73.100,00

5. Forensic accountants and auditors

Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (5)

Forensic accountants and auditors must have a strong accounting and business background. It's also a good idea for forensic examiners to have a degree or certification in forensic science. These types of positions require exceptional mathematical skills and the ability to spot even the smallest inconsistencies in a company's or individual's financial records and accounts. You must be able to solve complex math problems and decipher where money comes from and where it goes. Financial auditors need to be committed and held to the highest standards when it comes to working with large amounts of money and assets.

Forensic accountants and auditors find work in insurance agencies, financial institutions, brokerage houses, and law firms. The demand for these jobs is constantly increasing. The average salary for this type of work is between $70,000 and $75,000 per year for those with a few years of experience. Individuals who are just starting out but have an exemplary GPA with a degree in finance or accounting may be able to make a modest amount, albeit slightly less than the stated average. Individuals who remain in this field and maintain their certifications and licenses can earn well above the $75,000 average after several years of experience.

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salary: $71.500,00

6. University professor

Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (6)

College professors must have a degree in the subject they will be teaching, especially if it is a class that is part of an accredited degree program. Many professors have completed a PhD program to have a thorough knowledge of the subject they teach. While certifications are a plus, they are not required. A professor's job description involves teaching college-level courses in a classroom through an online platform. The professor must be able to teach the students and provide tests that are used to assess what the students have retained over the course of the lesson.

College professors who can provide quality education to their students are always in high demand. With today's online learning platforms, professors can teach from within the college or from a remote location. Depending on their level of education and the amount of experience they have gained in the real world and as a teacher, their pay will vary. In most cases, an average salary of around $71,000 per year is considered a reasonable amount. Professors who have been with us for many years can expect to earn more simply because of their tenure.

salary: $70.400,00

7. Arbitrators, mediators and arbitrators

Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (7)

Arbitrators, mediators and conciliators are employed by lawyers, large corporations and any other business where conflict resolution plays an essential role. Arbitrators, mediators and arbitrators are tasked with handling any dispute or conflict between two or more parties so that a fair and equitable outcome can be achieved. To be employed in this line of work, you must have a bachelor's degree or higher in dispute resolution or mediation. Psychology and interpersonal communication are also a plus. Some states also require mediators to be certified/licensed and bonded.

The demand for mediators, arbitrators and conciliators depends on where you live. Smaller communities will have less need for this type of work than large cities where it is in high demand. The average annual salary for a referee is around $64,000. The more experience a candidate has, the higher their earning potential. Experience and education are both key factors, but a person's value will increase dramatically once they are known to be a powerful negotiator.

salary: $63.900,00

8. Fire inspectors and investigators

Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (8)

fire inspectors and investigatorsare highly qualified professionals who often begin their careers as firefighters either on a voluntary basis or as part of a paid fire service. Fire inspectors are required to complete at least a two-year degree, while fire investigators, particularly those wishing to work at the federal level, are required to earn a four-year fire science degree. Fire inspectors inspect both homes and commercial buildings to identify fire hazards. They offer recommendations and work with building owners to ensure they comply with state fire codes. Fire investigators are called in after a fire to determine the cause of the fire and what could possibly have been done to prevent the fire.


Fire inspectors and investigators often go into their jobs with many years of experience. An average annual salary of around $61,000 can be expected if an individual has the required education as well as a modest amount of experience to rely on. Fire inspectors and investigators are in demand almost everywhere. Even small towns have an inspector who comes in and makes sure local properties are safe from common fire hazards.

salary: $60.900,00

9. Forensic Science Technicians

Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (9)

Forensic Science Technicianscan work in a lab setting or outside on crime scenes. In any case, they need at least a bachelor's degree or higher in biology, chemistry, or another science major. A forensic science degree, along with on-the-job training, can provide most of what a technician needs once they start work. Responsibilities include collecting evidence, storing and labeling evidence, administering tests, and creating case files. Technicians must also have a great love for detail and be able to remember even the smallest facts.

Forensic Science Technicians are primarily found in medium to large sized communities. The average salary for forensic science technicians is approximately $60,000 per year. For individuals who are just starting out and are working with little experience, they may be offered less to get started. However, as they gain more experience, income increases along with their job performance. People with years of experience can expect higher salaries and better opportunities for advancement.

salary: 59.100,00 $

10. Fish and game wardens

Highest Paying Criminology Jobs (10)

Jobs as fish and game wardensare ideal for people who like to spend their time in nature. Each state has different educational requirements, but most require at least an associate's or bachelor's degree from a school that offers accredited programs. Most departments prefer the degree to be in a science or criminal law field. A fish and game warden's duties include complying with laws associated with hunting and fishing, and managing and overseeing the day-to-day operations of counties and state parks.

Most counties will have a fish and game warden if they do not have state parks or national areas. The reason for this is the enforcement of hunting and fishing laws at the local level. The average salary for a fish and game warden ranges from $55,000 to $60,000 depending on the scope of the job. The more time they have on the job to gain valuable experience, the higher their earning potential will be over the years. You may also be offered senior management positions within the park system.

salary: 57.700,00 $

How much can I make with a criminology degree?

The salary range of a criminologist tends to be in line withsociologists in general. The high-paying crime-related jobs total about $70,000 a year. However, the majority of people working in this field make between $40,000 and $70,000 depending on their experience and position. That's lower than general sociologists, who represent the entire industry group, they saidUS Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because many criminologists work in an educational program area, they also have additional benefits that may not be available in regular career positions, such as: B. improved retirement benefits, as well as robust healthcare plans. These additional compensation features combined can make high-paying forensic science jobs better when considering all the benefits an employee receives versus just the salary figure alone. While the highest-paying jobs with a degree in criminology won't necessarily be in the six figures, those working in the field will live comfortably.

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How Can I Get a Better Criminology Job?

There are several ways that working professionals can expand their latitude and ability to argue for the best criminology jobs. First, they can develop experience and specialization in key aspects of criminology. Some of the best criminology jobs are highly specialized in key areas of study, since so many critical crimes depend on key factors covered by the specialization.

Another way to secure the best criminology graduate jobs, believe it or not, is to return to school to earn additional certificates and postgraduate degrees. These aspects give an employee an advantage over colleagues who also have a similar background, experience and education. A certificate or postgraduate degree could push a candidate into a higher class than everyone else in the candidate pool, all else being equal between competitors.

It is notable that many of the best criminology major jobs are in the federal government. Because of the numerous agencies involved in crime and law enforcement, as well as the statewide coverage that usually accompanies it, candidates often find their best prospects with the federal government compared to anywhere. The vastly larger agencies, budgets, and staffing requirements make federal agencies the number one employer with the best criminology degree jobs. They also pay best at the upper tiers, with some rare positions bringing in as much as $84,100 annually.

However, applicants should note that statistically there is still a gender gap in this area. While the genders are equally represented on the study and candidate side, in practice this cannot be said about the remuneration. Comparing average salaries, criminologists tend to earn less than men in the same roles and fields. Thissalary differenceappears to have the best criminology graduate jobs, which pay only a high end of $51,500 a year for women, while men can make at least $20,000 more by comparison. It's also being reinforced on the research side of the field, as those desiring research publicity to further their new career will need to work with a well-known male leadership voice in the industry.

Finally, as in many other industries, networking is a huge factor in a person's financial career success. Who you know can have as much impact on a person's new criminology career as what you know, and probably even more on the long term of a person's working life.


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Where are criminologists paid the most? ›

San Francisco, CA

Is a career in criminology worth it? ›

With this in mind, a degree in criminology can lead to plenty of job opportunities, with over 3.95 million graduates currently in the workforce (Data USA, 2021). It can lead to a career path in law enforcement, such as that of an FBI agent, forensic analyst, criminal investigator, or even a social worker.

What is the highest paid forensic job? ›

1. Forensic Medical Examiner. Perhaps the highest paying position in the field of forensic science is forensic medical examiner. The path to this occupation is much longer than most other roles in the field.

What jobs can I get with just a criminology degree? ›

8 jobs in criminology
  • Private investigator.
  • Correctional officer.
  • Loss prevention officer.
  • Probation officer.
  • Social worker.
  • Police officer.
  • Detective.
  • Lawyer.
Jul 26, 2021

What jobs does criminology lead to? ›

Career options for Criminology graduates
  • Community worker.
  • Correctional officer.
  • Crime analyst.
  • Crime scene technician.
  • Criminologist.
  • Detective.
  • Government officer.
  • Immigration officer.

Do criminologists work for the FBI? ›

A criminologist will use their education in federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies or work as college professors. In addition, criminologists are employed by the FBI, the Secret Service of the United States, and other federal and state agencies.

Do criminologists go to the crime scene? ›

The job of a criminologist is chiefly research-driven. While they may work primarily in a sterile office environment, they may also work from crime scenes and labs.

Is being a criminologist stressful? ›

Criminologists must question potentially dangerous suspects accused of serious crimes including murder. The work can be frustrating and can cause feelings of guilt if clues are missed and criminals are not apprehended.

What are the 6 major areas of criminology? ›

The course covers the six areas of concentration, such as Criminal Law and Jurisprudence, Law Enforcement Administration, Forensics/Criminalistics, Crime Detection and Investigation, Sociology of Crimes and Ethics, and Correctional Administration.

Can you work for the FBI with a criminology degree? ›

In today's complex world, a degree in criminal justice, by itself, simply doesn't meet any of our hiring needs. The FBI is interested in applicants with a wide range of educational backgrounds including but not limited to accounting, STEM, finance, human resources, information technology, journalism, law, and more.

Is a BA in criminology worth it? ›

Criminologists have exciting and well-paid jobs

A criminologist with great research skills can often act as a public policy consultant or expert, helping government and local authorities to adopt laws that prevent future crimes and protect innocent citizens.

What does a forensic criminologist do? ›

While Criminal Justice aims to study the breadth of criminal activities and its control through policing and corrections, Forensic Criminology explores the depth of crime, its causes and criminal motivation to address legal and investigative questions. Forensic means the application of science to the law.

What major is best for forensic science? ›

Forensic scientists and forensic science technicians receive ample on-the-job training, and before seeking employment, a majority pursue college degrees in forensics, biology, molecular biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and other hard sciences, choosing specialized coursework in pathology, DNA, criminology, firearms, ...

Is CSI a good job? ›

If you are thinking about pursuing a career in criminal investigation, you may want to consider becoming a CSI. You can begin working, in most cases, with a bachelor's degree. The work can be both interesting and rewarding. The pay is decent and the prospects of finding a position are pretty good.

Is criminology a hard major? ›

While it's not one of the most difficult disciplines, a criminology major still requires hard work, dedication and passion. It also warrants a strong body and mind given the nature of the careers available for a bachelor's in criminology.

Where do criminologists work? ›

A criminologist is a specialist in the fields of crime and criminal behaviour. Their work is often related to addressing the root causes of crime and preventing them from taking hold. They work with city and community officials, in addition to law enforcement, sociologists and even local government policy planners.

Can criminology get you into law? ›

Studying this balanced combination of law and criminology means that you have a great choice of career options to choose from. Not only could you continue your studies to become a qualified lawyer, but you can consider careers in politics, journalism, business or criminal investigation and analysis.

Where is the best place to study criminology? ›

Top 50 universities in the world for Criminology based on world rankings
QS RankingShanghai RankingUniversity
27University of Oxford
33University of Cambridge
51Harvard University
817University College London
41 more rows
Nov 11, 2022

How many years training in criminology? ›

How long does it take to major in criminology? The short answer is a full-time student will finish a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology in four years.

What majors does the FBI look for? ›

FBI agents often earn degrees in fields such as criminal justice or political science, though the Bureau does not maintain any specific academic major requirements for applicants.

What happens after graduating criminology? ›

A criminology graduate may become a police officer or assigned as jail officer, port police personnel, firefighter, and drug enforcement agent.

What do criminologists do in a day? ›

A day in the life of a criminologist includes interviews with victims, perpetrators, investigators and others with knowledge about crime or societal factors influencing the behaviors. You'll read many investigative notes or academic journals dealing with behavioral science.

What major is criminology? ›

A criminology major studies the science behind crimes. Criminologists are more concerned with why a crime was committed, rather than how laws are enforced. Even though there is a strong connection between criminology and criminal justice, they are entirely separate fields of study.

Is criminology a lot of math? ›

Criminology depends heavily on the use of statistics, which is a branch of mathematics. Criminologists need to examine numerical data related to such things as the number of crimes committed, homicide rates, incarceration rates, and age distribution of criminals.

Why do people major in criminology? ›

The Criminology program not only prepares students for typical positions in policing, the courts and corrections, it also provides a broader platform on crime and justice, which opens up opportunities in private and non-profit organizations as well as graduate and law school.

Is a certificate in criminology worth it? ›

Many people might consider criminology to be a good career choice because of the variety of career paths available to criminology professionals. There are positions for individuals at varying levels of education, and a criminology degree can enhance your chances of advancement in your chosen field.

What are the 3 schools of criminology? ›

There were three main schools of thought in early criminological theory, spanning the period from the mid-18th century to the mid-twentieth century: Classical, Positivist, and Chicago.

What are the 3 branches of criminology? ›

This relatively young field of study has three principal divisions: (1) the sociology of law, which examines how laws are made and enforced; (2) criminal etiology, which studies the causes of crime; and (3) penology, which addresses society's response to crime and includes the study of the criminal justice system.

Why should I study criminology? ›

Criminology students have numerous different career options at their fingertips. Exciting roles include in immigration, education, law enforcement, people protection, community planning, advocacy, policing, consulting, public administration and international development.

What degree is best for CIA? ›

What Are the 10 Best Degrees for the CIA?
  • Political science and other social sciences. ...
  • International studies. ...
  • International relations. ...
  • Foreign language or foreign studies. ...
  • Criminal justice. ...
  • Physical sciences. ...
  • Graphic design or cartography. ...
  • Human resources.

What is the age limit for the FBI? ›

You must be at least 23 years old at the time of your appointment. You must also be younger than 37, unless you qualify for an age waiver available to veterans.

What disqualifies from joining FBI? ›

Candidates cannot have used any illegal drug, other than marijuana, within the ten (10) years preceding the date of the application for employment. Additionally, candidates cannot have sold, distributed, manufactured, or transported any illegal drug or controlled substance without legal authorization.

Should I get a BS or BA in criminology? ›

A BS in criminal justice is typically a more precise, technical program than the broader BA degree. Courses in a BS might explore policing in the U.S., the American correctional system, and technology in criminal justice, while BA curricula cover topics like criminology, white-collar crime, and juvenile delinquency.

Is BS criminology course hard? ›

A Criminology major is challenging because it requires you to know several topics. Criminology focuses on crime, from the reasons people commit crimes to prevention. Additionally, it requires knowledge of the law, the history of crime, social science theories and principles, research methods, and statistical analysis.

How much money do you make from criminology? ›

How much you might earn: Average salaries are around £27,000. This will depend on where you're located and whether you work for a government agency or a charity. Salaries can rise to £38,000 with experience.

Where do criminologists spend most of their time? ›

In fact, three of the most common places a criminologist might work are large law enforcement agencies, government agencies or within sociology departments and social psychology labs at colleges and universities.

Where do forensic scientists get paid the most? ›

Forensic scientists on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $45,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $112,000. Location impacts how much a forensic scientist can expect to make. Forensic scientists make the most in Alaska, California, Utah, North Dakota, and Missouri.

How much do criminologists make in America? ›

The salaries of Criminologists in the US range from $10,880 to $294,666 , with a median salary of $53,022 .

Who is the most famous criminologist? ›

One of the most influential criminologists of the 20th Century, Edwin Sutherland authored Principles of Criminology, a popular textbook. It is from Sutherland we have the term white-collar criminal, and he gave rise to the belief that delinquency likely resulted from learned behaviour.

What are the perks of being a criminologist? ›

The Princeton Review reported that many criminologists regarded fascination and intellectual challenge as the best perks of their profession. Criminologists spend much of their time conducting research, analyzing the data and information they collect, and preparing reports that summarize their findings.

What do forensic criminologist do? ›

While Criminal Justice aims to study the breadth of criminal activities and its control through policing and corrections, Forensic Criminology explores the depth of crime, its causes and criminal motivation to address legal and investigative questions.

Does the FBI hire forensic scientists? ›

Qualifications and Eligibility

For most science positions, applicants must have one of the following: A bachelor's degree or higher from a U.S. accredited college or university in a biological science, chemistry, engineering, forensic science, physical science, life science, mathematics, or a related field.

How much do FBI forensic scientists make? ›

How much does a Forensic FBI make? As of Jan 7, 2023, the average annual pay for a Forensic FBI in the United States is $86,512 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $41.59 an hour.

How do you become an FBI CSI? ›

The International Crime Scene Investigators Association (ICSIA) provides a CSI certification to professionals with at least two years of experience and 50 hours of crime scene processing coursework. Candidates must pass a 100-question exam and submit examples of crime scene photography as proof of experience.

How many years does it take to study criminology? ›

How long does it take to major in criminology? The short answer is a full-time student will finish a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology in four years.

Are detectives criminologists? ›

Career paths in criminology include: Police officer or criminal investigator. DEA agent. FBI agent.


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