Criminology Salary, Does Investigating a Crime pay well?

Does Investigating a Crime pay well? – Criminology Salary

Let’s just start off by stating the obvious, that the answer to the title happens to be a ‘yes’. If you asked most of those involved in investigating a crime, pat would come to the response that they are in their chosen careers because they want to help others.

Well, that’s laudable enough but a closer examination would show that these jobs do not come with peanuts for pay and actually translate to a hefty pay packet. The fact remains that when it comes to criminology.

And, as pointed out earlier, the field is quite varied so your expectant pay can range from something as basic as a cop with a yearly pay package of $40,000 (average) to that of a lawyer with a gross salary that crosses $117,000 on an average.

The field does include several lucrative careers that pay quite well and all deal with understanding and/or investigating different aspects of a crime.

Criminologist Salary

If you are considering a career in criminology, then at some point, you may want to think about something as prosaic as a yearly pay package and about the perks associated with it. As the field is quite varied, you can apply for various jobs in the criminology sector, depending on your interest and your area of specialization.

Most criminologists often work for the state or federal departments and as such, their yearly pay packages are often in line with what’s listed at But the good news is that working for a government agency always includes perks, such as housing salary, health and life insurance, including dental and various other benefits.

But it should be pointed out that these benefits and perks can differ from one nation to another. And as for the median pay packages, it can vary from as little as $31,160 per year to grossing over $110,000 per year, depending on your area of specialization.

Do Criminologists get paid well?

If you are a criminologist, or currently aspiring to become one, then you definitely want this query answered. A criminologist is often a specialized social scientist who investigates a criminal/ aberrant or deviant behavior and tries to understand the root causes of the same.

If you are one, then you need to know that you would not be investigating one crime but a set of crimes to come to terms with the causative factors behind the same. It is important that you understand the root causes of these crimes so that you would be in a better position to advise the various policy makers as to what policies they need to adopt, to curtail the current exponential increase, in various criminal activities across the nation.

And yes, you would indeed be paid well enough as the job in question involves carrying out a detailed investigation which can prove to be quite overwhelming at times.

Annual Income of a Criminologist

A criminologist is an investigator of crimes, sort of and he would be required to investigate various aspects of not just one crime, but several criminal cases to better understand the aberrant behavior in our society that led to the same.

Given this and the job requirements, you can expect that a criminologist would indeed be paid well enough. As mentioned earlier, there are various areas of specialization but entry level jobs should see you earning a pay that varies from $26,175 to $31,160 per year.

But apart from this entry pay package, you can specialize further and move on to specialized careers in the field of criminology. And being a criminologist is one of the most notable careers in this field; the average pay packet for a criminologist comes to $42, 595 per year and that’s a lot, to say the least.

But depending on your area of specialization, you can even earn up to $67,000 as a criminologist or even more, should you start working for the private sector or join as a tenured professor in a college or University.

What is the Highest Paying Job in Criminology?

If you wondered as to what is the highest paying job in the sector of criminology, well, you would be surprised at the answer and so were many of those who had searched for information on the same.

For the record, the most lucrative and highest paying career in the field of criminology happens to be an FBI field agent. While it is true that you can earn around $122,000 (according to Chron) as a median wage with a master’s degree in Criminology and as a criminalist, the fact remains that FBI field agents are paid more and moreover, they get access to various perks and benefits as well.

As an FBI agent, you can further specialize in certain areas, and even become part of specialized teams, tasked with investigating financial crimes or even becoming part of an anti-terrorist task force. In fact, you could even become an FBI profiler and net an annualized pay of $136, 579 (as per FBI pay ranges, 2018).


As you can see, high crime does pay well (ahem), for those investigating it and that’s why you may want to graduate with a criminology major as opposed to something else altogether.

While it is true that there are various entry level positions that you can fill in with any bachelor degree, a degree in criminology or in a specific area of criminology is often a must for the more lucrative careers in this sector.

Granted, that you may not find it easy to choose one discipline over another, right away and may need to ponder over the various career choices. But at the end of the day, you need to select one that appeals most to you and take into account various factors such as fit, safety, basic pay package, perks etc.

Just keep in mind that some of the jobs in the field can prove to be more physically demanding than others, so make sure that you choose the right career path to aim for.

Naveed Tawargeri

Hi, I'm Naveed Tawargeri, and I'm the owner and creator of this blog. I'm a Software Developer with a passion for Programming. 

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