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HOW MUCH CAN YOU EARN IN A CRIMINAL JUSTICE CAREER?

Criminal justice jobs are hot commodities in today’s job market.

two police officers leaning on patrol car

Legal and Criminal Justice Salaries

Legal, 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 scientistpolice officerprivate 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 (from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics).

Salaries in the Legal Profession

Job TitleAverage Annual Salary*
Paralegal$55,020
Legal Secretary$50,900
Lawyer$145,300
Mediator$73,720
Legal Nurse Consultant$77,460
Court Reporter$64,990

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, 2019; 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 TitleAverage Annual Salary*
Police Officer$67,600
Federal Law Enforcement Agent$84,440
Transit and Railroad Police$71,120
Detective$85,030
Security Guard$33,030
Criminologist$86,030

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, 2019; Police and Detectives; Private Detectives and Investigators; Security Guards; Forensic Science Technician.

Salaries for Forensics

Job TitleMedian Annual Salary*
Forensic Science Technician$63,170
Criminal Investigator$86,030
Forensic Psychologist$98,230

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, 2019; Forensic Science Technicians; Criminal Investigators; Psychologists.

Corrections Salaries

Job TitleAverage Annual Salary*
Corrections Officer$50,130
Correctional Administrator$69,000
Treatment Specialists/Probation Officer$59,910

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, 2019; 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.