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10 High-Paying Jobs for the Criminal Justice Major

A career in the criminal justice field allows you to help others, serve your community, and make a difference. However, when you’re deciding to go back to school to study criminal justice, it is important that you keep your investment in mind. You may not think that criminal justice programs can lead to a high-paying career, especially at the bachelor’s degree level. However, there are more high-paying criminal justice jobs than you think.

Continuing your education is an investment. For that reason, you should know how to make your degree work for you, in terms of both job satisfaction and financial reward. These criminal justice jobs have high salaries and give you the chance to help others in your day-to-day work.

10 High-Paying Criminal Justice Jobs

Private detective and investigator: $50,090

These professionals collect evidence and facts through interviews, observation, and research to assist in arrests. Detectives can be licensed or unlicensed, depending on the employer. Most private detectives and investigators work for task forces, police agencies, private firms, or individuals and can specialize in disciplines like forensics, fraud, or homicide. You should have at least a bachelor’s degree to become a private detective and investigator.

Security manager: $65,600

Security managers work in the private sector, so this career is ideal if you are interested in criminal justice outside of the government. They are in charge of security management detail for commercial buildings and complexes. These professionals are often employed by independent security firms or private companies. A bachelor’s degree is recommended for a career as a security manager.

Police officer: $63,380

These criminal justice professionals are directly involved in controlling crime in their communities. They respond to calls for service, patrol, and investigate minor crimes and traffic crashes, among other duties. Police officers also work with investigators and other law enforcement professionals to prevent future crimes from taking place. You need at least a bachelor’s degree to become a police officer.

Fire investigator: $60,200

Fire investigators work for local fire and police departments and investigate arson and suspicious fires. They are also specially trained and have investigation and law enforcement responsibilities. Fire investigators respond to calls at fire scenes, write reports, prepare warrants, and make arrests based on the findings of their investigations. To enter this role, you should have a bachelor’s degree.

Fish and game warden: $57,710

Also known as conservation officers, fish and game wardens enforce laws that pertain to environmental protection and conservation. They perform the functions of wildlife and marine patrol officers. They also deal with hunters, boaters, fishers, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts to make sure that wildlife and nature are safe. A bachelor’s degree is required to become a fish and game warden.

Corrections officer managers and supervisor: $63,340

Supervisors and managers in the corrections system are responsible for the daily workings of their staff. These professionals have often previously held corrections officer positions. They work in prisons and jails to ensure the efficiency of operations and the safety of the officers and inmates they supervise. Typically, you need at least a bachelor’s degree to become a corrections officer manager or supervisor.

Criminal justice educator: $61,900

These post-secondary instructors teach courses in criminal justice, corrections, and law enforcement administration. Criminal justice educators can be teachers who engage in classroom instruction or conduct research. A master’s degree in criminal justice is required for this career.

Forensic science technician: $58,230

These professionals assist with criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence. They work at crime scenes and in laboratories. They take photographs of crime scenes, make sketches, preserve evidence for crime labs, and reconstruct crime scenes. Forensic science technicians also assess potential links between suspects and crimes and conduct chemical, biological, and microscopic tests. A bachelor’s degree is required for this profession.

Criminal profiler: $57,300

Also known as forensic psychologists, criminal profilers provide descriptions of suspects, including generalities like age, race, and geographic location, as well as specifics like personality traits and behavior patterns. To become a criminal profiler, you need a master’s degree in criminal justice or psychology.

Intelligence analyst: $68,400

Some of the highest-paid law enforcement professionals are those working behind the scenes. Intelligence analysts make sure that evidence is correctly processed and analyze data to solve cases. Some of these professionals work at the state and local level, but most are employed by the federal government. A bachelor’s degree is required to become an intelligence analyst.

All salary information is sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale.

Prepare for a High-Paying Criminal Justice Job

Having the right knowledge, skills, and experience can help you land a high-paying job in the criminal justice field. With an online degree from Concordia University, St. Paul, you will gain a deeper understanding of how the field works. CSP offers a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Leadership, and a Master of Arts in Human Services with an emphasis in Forensic Behavioral Health. Designed for busy adult students who require flexibility while earning their degree, our programs will help you advance your career.