One of the most commonly asked questions by prospective Criminal Justice Degree students is what the salary will be like once they graduate and obtain a job in the industry. This is a rather difficult question to answer shortly, primarily because someone who obtains a Criminal Justice Degree salary has many different choices when it comes to the direction of their career path. Some people choose to go the direction of law enforcement, such as police officer or detective, while others go the social work route, forensics, or even into intelligence analyses. There are entry level positions for people with criminal justice degrees, and there are much more specific avenues that require further education and/or training, and pay quite a bit more. Criminal Justice degree salary also depends on if you have an associates in Criminal Justice or a bachelors or masters degree. Years of experience also determine how much an individual will make. This page has been researched to give an idea of approximate income for different jobs and careers if you major in criminal justice, and what you could anticipate your criminal justice degree salary to be. However, in real life these figures may vary depending on many factors. Area of the country you live in may affect salary, as well as urban versus rural areas. Hopefully, however, you will be able to get an idea or ballpark figure of the type of salary or pay school you will be looking to achieve depending on the job you are pursuing within the field.
This page is laid out to identify jobs and careers based on degree. If you are looking to get an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, you will find jobs and careers listed that you could possibly attain with the schooling. An average of the criminal justice degree salary or pay for that job will be listed. Again, this are averages. Actual salaries would be negotiated with individual employers upon hiring. Obviously, the higher the education the higher the pay (typically). Those who obtain an associate’s in Criminal Justice cannot hope to make as much as those individuals who achieve a bachelors, and those with a master’s in Criminal Justice would be at the higher end of the pay scale within their respective fields.
Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice: Average Salaries
Police Officer: $47,828 average yearly income
The most common job that people with an associate’s degree in criminal justice is that of a police officer. Typically in addition to a degree in Criminal Justice, Police candidates must then be accepted into a police academy and go through a rigorous training program. Applicants must also pass an extensive background check, credit report, and check of their driving record to ensure that those accepted are upstanding, good citizens who will enforce the law. Across the country criminal justice degree salary varies for police officers. Big cities, such as New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles pay the most, whereas smaller, remote areas pay less. This has a lot to do with risk factor of the job. Salaries range across the country between $31,000 and $81,000 a year. As with many jobs, years of experience will typically bump a person’s salary to a higher level than those with no experience.
Security Director and Security Manager: $51,655-60,000 average yearly income
Security Directors and Security Managers are in charge of the businesses that provide security personal for schools, malls, corporations etc. Many people who want to go into criminal justice begin as security guards, however, with an associate’s in criminal justice, and years of experience, one could achieve a director or managerial position. Some of these positions can be quite high paying, as much as $150,000 a year. This, however, takes years of experience and hard work to achieve. As with a police officer, typically working in a big city achieves a higher pay for those in the security sector. Also, working for private industries can sometimes pay off largely. There are many more variables when it comes to the criminal justice degree salary of those working as security personal.
Correctional Officer: $33,000 average yearly income
Another common career avenue that people with an associate’s in Criminal Justice take, is pursuing jobs in jails and/or prisons working as correctional officers. This is one of the lower paying jobs in the criminal justice field. Typically corrections officers begin the pay scale around $24,000 a year and cap out around $57,000 a year after years of service. Work is difficult and stressful, but some people find it very engaging and rewarding.
Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice: Average Salaries
Many of the jobs people pursue with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice are the same as the associate’s degree. Some employers may be looking for a bachelor’s over an associate’s or may simply pay more based on achievement of a higher degree. Some of the careers people with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice are different altogether than those people who have an associate’s. The following lists give some of the most common jobs people pursue and gives an average of criminal justice degree salaries for that career path. Again, this is only average salaries. There are many variables that will impact how much an individual would make.
Probation Officers: $38,114 average yearly income
This is one of the lower paying jobs for those that have achieved a bachelor’s in criminal justice, however, many individuals find this to be an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding career path. The ability to work one and one to help individuals after they get out of prison. Good probation officers can have the ability and the opportunity to impact individuals lives in a major way. This criminal justice degree salary can range anywhere from $27,000 a year to $62,000 a year.
Police Lieutenant: $90,000 average yearly income
In order to become a police lieutenant, a person has to first serve for years as a police officer. Lieutenants are similar to managers in the police sector. They are given more responsibility and supervise other police officers within the force. They make more decisions in how to go about fighting crime and enforcing the law. It may take years to achieve, but there is a high level of satisfaction found by people who achieve this level within the police force.
Operations Manager: $59,792 average yearly income
A little known, but common job for people who have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is an operations manager for large businesses or corporations. An operations manager is in charge of enforcing company policies, deciding on discipline or termination in the case of personal who break said policies. They often are in charge of managing operational costs, such as the employee budget. They can act as HR at times doing the hiring and firing or personal. These jobs can pay as much $100,000 a year depending on the corporation and the person’s years of experience.
Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $79,030 average yearly income
Some areas of the country allow people with only a 2 year degree to pursue becoming a detective or criminal investigator, but most places these days require a 4 year degree. It is an exciting career for those looking to fight crime and who enjoy the work of solving clues and looking at patterns. Some people go into the police force as a police officer, but pursue the job of a detective or investigator throughout their career. This is sometimes the best way to go about obtaining a career in this path.
Intelligence Analyst: $77,110 average yearly income
This can be very similar in some ways to detective work. It is the process of collecting data and statistics and trying to predict and prevent criminal activity. The government and even private businesses pay large amounts of money to individuals who are successful analysts. It takes a sharp mind for data to be a successful analyst, and it can be very difficult to obtain a job in this career field, but the rewards may be worth the challenge to many who find this career path to be intriguing.
Chemist: $66,551 average yearly income
For those interested in the lab side of criminology, criminal chemistry is an exciting path to take. Some have become intrigued by this type of science through shows such as CSI, NCIS, or even Dexter. There are many different areas within the subject of chemistry (and particularly criminal lab chemistry) a person can pursue. Some people are interesting in toxicology, blood splatter, or fingerprinting. Most lab work in the area of Criminal Justice requires a 4 year degree.
Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice: Average Salaries
Not many pursue a master’s in criminal justice. It is more common for those with a bachelor’s in criminal justice to pursue a master’s degree in some area of social work, and go on to do child and family counseling, or pursue other social work jobs particularly in the area of criminal rehabilitation. Those who do pursue a master’s in criminal justice typically go on to teach at the post-secondary level. Some go on to become a Dean of a Criminal Justice Degree program at Universities or colleges. With the rise in the number of people pursuing associates and bachelor’s degrees in the area of criminal justice, there is also an increase in the number of professors and teachers needed to facilitate and teach the course work.
As with any other job, criminal justice degree salary depends on many different factors. Smaller colleges and universities may pay substantially less than larger university. Online programs also need people to facilitate the online courses. Typically these programs will pay on the lower end of the post-secondary teaching scale. Some individuals who facilitate online course work do so as a side job, or a second job. Some individuals may work in another criminal justice field but also teach in addition to their other career.
Teaching in the criminal justice field can bring in and average of $60,000 a year, if working full time. Full time college professors may make as much as $98,000 a year after years of experience. They are able to pass on the passion for Criminal Justice to new CJ students.