Highest Paying Careers in Criminal Justice
1. Crime Scene Investigator – $38,000 – $100,000
Less glamorous than the TV shows most are familiar with, a crime scene investigator is still an important part of law enforcement. Their main job is to analyze a crime scene completely, looking for clues and analyzing all aspects of it and then creating detailed reports which investigating officers can use to help solve the crime. It’s possible to enter the field right out of college, but many holding this position actually begin as regular investigators and work their way into it.
2. US Marshal – $36,000 – $46,000
A US Marshal is responsible for numerous different jobs. They manage assets that have been seized during an investigation, provide protection to witnesses under federal jurisdiction, protect judges, and more. Pay varies according to experience and location.
3. DEA Agent – $49,000 – $92,000
The role of a DEA Agent will vary greatly from day to day. A Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is needed to enter the field, and employment will involve criminal surveillance, arrests, and a wide range of other factors that concern the illegal sale of drugs. At times it can be extremely dangerous work, and in other cases it can be tremendously mundane.
4. Police Officer – $31,000 – $90,000
The exact salary of this position will vary due to location, experience, and position. The day to day enforcement of local, state, and federal laws is the main focus of a police officer, as well as to protect the public. A number of more specific tasks include making arrests, completing interviews with witnesses, and working with other law enforcement personnel on a regular basis. Police officers can be employed at numerous levels of government, from local to federal.
5. Probation Officer – $30,000 – $80,000
These criminal justice workers are in charge of overseeing and supervising convicted criminals who are on probation, whether in relation to a felony or misdemeanor offense. They report their determinations regarding each individual to the court to ensure that they are upholding the stipulations laid down by their sentencing.
6. Bailiff – $18,000 – $65,000
Bailiffs are criminal justice employees who are responsible for maintaining order and safety within a courtroom. This includes the protection and monitoring of judges, lawyers, jurors, defendants, witnesses, and even the audience. The salaries for bailiffs are influenced by numerous things, mainly the location and size of the court system that they are employed by.
7. Security Guard – $17,000 – $41,000
Security guards can be employed by nearly any entity, but are usually hired by private businesses. It combines surveillance with other aspects of criminal justice, and employees could manage entire security forces for large companies or be the sole guard of an establishment. The requirements vary greatly, but in most cases the higher paying positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. Pay varies as well, and usually depends upon training, experience, location, and employer.
8. FBI Agent – $43,000 – $69,000
It takes hard work and education to enter the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Numerous specific disciplines exist within its ranks as well, and they often work in tandem with local law enforcement agents to solve various cases. They handle a wide range of criminal activity including terrorism, organized crime, cybersecurity and more.
9. Private Detective – $16,000 – $75,000
There are very few private detective firms hiring today, but that doesn’t mean that some private detectives aren’t active. Usually, they are self-employed and operate their own firm. This generally means that wages will vary tremendously, largely upon their ability to attract clients. Building a name for themselves and being located in a larger metro area with need of their services is the best way for private detectives to earn enough to make a living.