Criminal Justice Profession Salaries

For those who are interested in attending a criminal justice school or program, criminal justice jobs are plentiful and varied. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, crime-related occupations provide millions of jobs for Americans, and these occupations are expected to grow as quickly as the average job market grows. Security guards are the most plentiful and the lowest paid of the crime-related occupations that one may pursue after obtaining a degree in criminal justice.

  • What are criminal justice salaries like? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 994,220 security guards working in the United States, for an average annual salary of $22,690. This occupation contrasts with the highest-paid occupation related to the criminal justice field, lawyers, who make up 529,190 of the jobs and earn an average annual salary of $110,520.
  • Between these two occupations are a wide variety of other respected and interesting occupations that are related to the criminal justice field. For example, forensic science technicians hold 11,030 jobs and make an annual average of $47,390.
  • Detectives and criminal investigators account for 9,880 jobs and make an annual average of $58,750. First-line supervisors or managers of correctional officers hold 37,530 jobs and make an annual average of $50,700.
  • Finally, judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates account for 25,330 jobs and make, on average, $91,500 annually.

People in the field of criminal justice work in both private and the public sectors. For instance, security guards most often work for private corporations (although many of these private companies are contracted by public-sector institutions). Public-sector employment includes positions as police officers, sheriff’s patrol officers, and parking enforcement workers.

Jobs in the field of criminal justice can be divided into two categories: those that monitor and catch criminal offenders, and those enforce punishment of criminal offenders. Crime-related jobs make up about 3% of the American workforce and are, on average, higher paying than many other jobs. Unfortunately, it seems that there will always be demand for people with criminal justice degrees to enter the criminal justice field because crime has become an expected part of 21st-century society.