Criminal Justice Forensic Science Salary – Today’s criminal justice system faces unique challenges that require highly trained, specialized professionals. In the field of criminal justice policy, there are exciting careers in public service and law enforcement, management and victims’ rights in the criminal justice system, and current issues and practices in homeland security and cyber security. This profession offers many opportunities for a rewarding, well-rewarded career that is in high demand. For example, job opportunities for investigators and private investigators are expected to increase by eight percent by 2029, while those for information security analysts will increase by 31 percent.
Criminology is the study of crime from a sociological perspective, while criminal justice deals with aspects of crime and real-world societal responses, from catching criminals to the court system.
Criminal Justice Forensic Science Salary
Many colleges and universities offer separate degree programs in these areas, although having a background in both disciplines gives you a distinct advantage when pursuing your career goals.
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In criminal justice, careers that focus on law enforcement include working as a police officer, FBI agent or private investigator. Jobs in the corrections and court system include bailiffs, victim advocates, paralegals, judge liaisons, court clerks and social workers. For social work, some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree.
As of the end of September 2020, the average base salary for social workers in the United States was $60,023.
Criminologists may be involved in collecting and analyzing evidence or examining crimes from a psychological perspective. These professions include forensic scientists, criminal psychologists and criminologists (often sociologists). Most of these positions require at least a master’s degree.
The average salary for professionals in the field of criminal and criminal justice does not tell the whole story. Compensation often varies by location. For example, while the average salary for a police officer is $54,581, the highest paying cities include New York ($71,457), Philadelphia ($62,673) and Chicago ($62,473).
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The average salary for a criminal investigator is $53,428, but there is a wider range, depending on the location. In Dallas, you can earn up to $137,264 a year, but in Arkansas, the salary is 34 percent below the national average.
The salary range between countries is equally wide in the criminal sector. Psychiatrists in North Carolina average $84,560 a year, while peers in New York earn $115,299.
Criminologists or criminal justice researchers, in the field of sociology, average $83,420 per year. In Texas, the average annual salary is $37,130, and in Pennsylvania it is $121,470.
Just as your location affects your salary, so does your job title. Consider these average annual salaries for some of the positions you might want with a degree in criminal justice or criminology:
What Can You Do With A Master’s In Criminal Justice
Different specializations and positions require different levels of education, which accounts in part for this variation in wages. With a bachelor’s degree, you can be employed as a police officer or detective, probation officer, corrections specialist, bailiff or forensic science specialist. This position has an average salary range of $45,300 to $65,170, but may require additional training or licensing.
With a master’s degree, you have great earning potential, in positions such as criminologist, psychologist, clinical social worker or community college professor teaching criminology. Licensure may be required, and salaries for candidates with a master’s degree in criminal justice range from $50,470 to $83,420.
Because criminal justice and criminology are multidisciplinary – law enforcement, sociology, psychology, research, computer science (cyber security) and life science (in the case of forensics) – a comprehensive and rigorous academic curriculum explores this diverse area. makes you a strong candidate for a higher position and higher compensation.
Choose institutions and programs that include theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as knowledge of history, current practices and future trends. Read the available concentrations and course descriptions to ensure that any program you are considering best fits your needs and career aspirations.
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The Online Master’s Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, with a focus on Policing, Victimology, and Global Security, provides a solid background and in-depth knowledge, training professionals to address the most challenging issues in today’s criminal justice system. Learn more and apply now. Hearst Newspapers participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may be paid a commission for randomly selected products purchased from our links to merchant sites.
Skilled in forensic science and physical science, forensic scientists use their analytical skills and education to safely collect evidence and use laboratory testing techniques to examine that evidence and create reports of their findings. They help other experts use their findings to solve difficult cases and are sometimes required to testify in court cases. You may find it interesting to become a forensic scientist if you are curious, have a passion for science and enjoy analysis. This science project allows you to earn an above average salary that can be increased with experience or towards a promotion to participate in forensic science.
Forensic scientists often gather evidence by collecting objects and samples from crime scenes and making pictures or taking photographs of the scene to find evidence. They are detail oriented and use tools such as microscopes, computers and fingerprint analysis to examine evidence. Then they write down what they find so that law enforcement and lawyers can use it as evidence to solve the case and bring it to court.
Other jobs a forensic scientist can do include appearing in court to discuss evidence, in teams with other scientists and law enforcement professionals, and analyzing digital evidence for computer crimes. Having math and science skills and being able to think critically to solve problems are important qualities in a career as a forensic scientist.
How To Become A Crime Lab Technician
Typically, forensic scientists have a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, which may include a master’s degree, or a physical science degree that includes forensic science courses, such as toxicology, forensic testing and DNA analysis. If you enroll in a forensic science degree program, you may have the option to focus on pathology or a sub-area of forensic science that interests you. After graduation, you can pursue a master’s degree in forensic science, seek a volunteer certificate or complete a police academy program if you want to pursue forensic science as a police officer. When you start your first job, you can expect extensive training and coaching from a forensic scientist and you may need to take an aptitude test.
Forensic scientists made a median annual salary of $56,750 as of May 2016, and the bottom half can expect to earn minimum wage and the top half extra pay. This is about $27.29 an hour, which is more than the average hourly wage of $17.81 for all occupations. In the lowest 10 percent, these forensic scientists earn less than $33,860, while the highest 10 percent earn at most $97,400 a year. How much intelligence scientists have varies depending on the type of government they target. Federal government positions pay the highest average salary of $101,670, while the most common local and state government positions pay an average of $61,080 and $60,000, respectively.
Most forensic scientists work for state, federal or local governments where they work in laboratories and work with law enforcement to handle cases. About 5 percent are employed exclusively in clinical or experimental research. Visiting the crime scene is common and spending time outside. Forensic scientists in the lab often have standard programs that are required while driving, making this a family-friendly option. Those who are at the crime scene have a flexible schedule due to the fact that whenever something happens, it requires the potential for overtime and flexible shifts which is especially challenging for families with children.
With experience, you can earn more as a forensic scientist with increased salary within your organization. Another option to increase your salary is to become a forensic manager or university professor if you have a terminal degree. As of March 2018, the average salary for a forensic scientist over time may increase as follows:
Forensic Science Technician
As the government needs more forensic scientists to handle forensic evidence, job growth for these workers will be faster than average between 2016 and 2026, with an expected increase of 17 percent. This leads to approximately 2,600 forensic scientist jobs at the time, and there will be high competition for these positions. So, getting a master’s degree in forensic science can help you stand out.
Ashley Donohoe began writing professionally in 2010 on career, business and technology topics. He has a Master of Business Administration degree from Western Governors University and eight years of experience managing all aspects of his small business. Other places for business listings include JobHero, LoveToKnow, PocketSense, Bizfluent and Study.com.
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