How Much Can You Earn in a Criminal Justice Career?

Learn how much you can earn in a variety of different criminal justice careers.

Legal and Criminal Justice Salaries

criminal justice salary on legal scales representing criminal justice salaries

Legal, law enforcement, criminal investigation and forensics and corrections jobs are hot commodities in today's job market, and a college degree or diploma will certainly give you a great advantage over non-college graduates. And a criminal justice salary goes up with a college degree.

Whether you're looking for a job as a forensic scientist, police officer, private investigator, a legal secretary, or another criminal justice job, increasing your education will increase your salary.

Here are average criminal justice salary ranges in the U.S. for a variety of criminal justice jobs.

Salaries in the Legal Profession

Job Title Median Annual Salary*
Paralegal $46,990
Legal Secretary $35,330
Law Office Manager (mid-size firm) $81,080
Mediator $61,280
Legal Nurse Consultant $65,470
Court Reporter $48,160

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition; Paralegals and Legal Assistants; Secretaries and Administrative Assistants; Administrative Services Managers; Arbitrators, Mediators and Conciliators; Registered Nurses; Court Reporters.

Salaries for Law Enforcement Agents

Job Title Median Annual Salary*
Police Officer $56,980
Federal Law Enforcement Agent $55,270
Transit and Railroad Police $55,210
Private Investigator $45,740
Security Guard $23,970
Criminologist $52,840
Sources:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15; Police and Detectives; Private Detectives and Investigators; Security Guards; Forensic Science Technician.

Salaries for Forensics

Job Title Median Annual Salary*
Forensic Science Technician $52,840
Criminal Investigator $76,730
Forensic Psychologist $83,580

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15; Forensic Science Technicians; Criminal Investigators; Psychologists.

Corrections Salaries

Job Title Median Annual Salary*
Corrections Officer $39,970
Correctional Administrator $57,840
Treatment Specialists/Probation Officer $48,190

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition;  Correctional Officers; First-Line Supervisors of Correctional OfficersProbation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists.

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.