How Much Can You Earn in a Criminal Justice Career?

Legal and Criminal Justice Salaries

article-criminal-justice-salaries-resizedLegal, law enforcement, criminal investigation, 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 criminal justice salaries usually go up when you have 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 $49,500
Legal Secretary $49,500
Law Office Manager $90,050
Mediator $59,770
Legal Nurse Consultant $68,450
Court Reporter $51,320

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018-19 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 $61,600
Federal Law Enforcement Agent $61,600
Transit and Railroad Police $61,600
Private Investigator $48,190
Security Guard $25,770
Criminologist $56,750

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018-19; Police and Detectives; Private Detectives and Investigators; Security Guards; Forensic Science Technician.

Salaries for Forensics

Job Title Median Annual Salary*
Forensic Science Technician $56,750
Criminal Investigator $78,120
Forensic Psychologist $75,230

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2018-19; Forensic Science Technicians; Criminal Investigators; Psychologists.

Corrections Salaries

Job Title Median Annual Salary*
Corrections Officer $42,820
Correctional Administrator $60,560
Treatment Specialists/Probation Officer $50,160

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2018-19 Edition; Correctional Officers; First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers; Probation 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.

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