Jobs in Criminal Justice — Which Ones Pay a High Salary?

If you examine the careers available in criminal justice, you may see that all jobs currently average around $35,000 to start and usually don’t exceed $110,000 per year depending upon your skill levels  and your experience. But, some jobs are more lucrative than others.Many criminal justice salaries depend upon a risk factor. Secret service agents, for instance, may find themselves in the line of fire to protect government officials. Additionally, educational expectations for these jobs often are high. So, the salaries for a secret service agent often are higher than most other criminal justice jobs. But, the downside is that – after two decades worth of service – that salary often declines. The reason behind this decline is that the risk is reduced as the agent is taken out of the field and often assigned to a desk or office position.

On the other hand, some jobs, such as an executive position with the FBI, pay as well as a high-risk position as a secret service agent. The rational behind this higher salary is that the FBI is paying for the individual’s knowledge in a certain field. Since the jobs offered by the FBI are so varied, you might look at the FBI’s current job offerings to decide what you want to study. Some jobs within the FBI pay more than others. But, a high-paying job at the FBI may bring up to $111,000 per year with overtime.

Another high-paying job within the criminal justice field includes the crime scene investigator. The high wages in this job depend upon your education level. The higher your degree, the higher your salary in this job. While some crime scene jobs require only a high school education, many other jobs within this field require a four-year bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. In this case, the money you spend on a college degree can be returned with a high-paying job as a crime scene investigator. Higher salaries within this job can pay on average $80,000 per year.

Finally, the criminologist also makes a comfortable salary, depending upon level of education achieved and years in service. Many jobs within this field demand a doctoral degree, though. This is an expensive educational pursuit and the cost can mitigate the salary. High-end salaries within this job average $80,000 or more per year for those who obtain a doctoral degree.

You can search for wages within the criminal justice field at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For instance, they offer one page for Police and Detectives salaries and job descriptions. Also, you can search for various jobs and salary levels at the Federal Employees 2008 site. Criminal justice salaries outside the government will depend upon the job location. Look to various job-hunting sites to find that information.

Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Kaplan University
AS in Criminal Justice
BS in Criminal Justice
MS in Criminal Justice

Kaplan University — Kaplan University is one of the largest accredited online colleges, and it offers a wide range of degree programs in the field of criminal justice. These programs include associates, bachelors, and masters in criminal justice, with possible specialties (depending on degree level) in Computer Crime, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Law, and Global Issues.
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Liberty University
BS in Criminal Justice

Liberty University — Liberty University is an online university that prepares students for success in their careers following graduation. Liberty University offers two programs in the field, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminal Justice, and a B.S. In Multidisciplinary Studies - Criminal Justice.
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American InterContinental University
BSCJ in Generalist
BSCJ in Law Enforcement
BSCJ in Case Mgmt and Corrections

American InterContinental University — American InterContinental University online is one of the most popular online universities for students interested in a criminal justice career. Degree programs at AIU include an BS in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice (Law Enforcement), and B.S. in Criminal Justice (Case Management and Corrections).
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Saint Leo University
AA in Criminal Justice
BA in Criminal Justice
BACJ in Criminalistics
MS in Criminal Justice
MSCJ in Forensic Science
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Saint Leo University — For years, Saint Leo University has helped students across the county obtain Criminal Justice degrees through online programs. These programs cut many of the costs associated with campus programs and have the added benefit of being accessible from any computer. SLU has several degrees available including an Associates, Bachelors, and Masters in Criminal Justice as well as specialized programs for BACJ in Criminalistics and MSCJ in Forensic Science.
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