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The Highest Paying Jobs in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Explore the Best-Paying Criminal Justice and Criminology Careers


6. College Professor - $71,970

Academy Classroom
Tim Roufa
College professors in criminal justice, criminology and sociology provide instruction for students looking to earn 2 or 4-year degrees.  They most often work in a classroom, but may find themselves working out of an office more and more as the popularity of distance learning programs increase.  College professors typically need to hold at least a master's degree in criminology or criminal justice in order to find long-tern employment.

5. Criminologists and Sociologists - $73,450

Empty Courtroom
Tim Roufa
Criminologists work in a variety of settings, including public and private think tanks, universities, local governments, state legislatures and even the U.S. Congress. Criminologists study the effects, causes and consequences of criminal activity and deviant behavior. They advise police departments and governments on best practices relating to criminology and crime prevention.

4. Forensic Accountants and Financial Examiners - $79,070

Job Application
Tim Roufa
Forensic accountants are financial experts with an eye for detail. They investigate financial crimes such as tax evasion, money laundering, embezzlement and fraud. Forensic accountants are certified public accountants who provide their services in furtherance of enforcing the law. They may work for public law enforcement agencies or private investigative firms, and provide information and advice to courts regarding both criminal investigations and financial analysis for civil damages and liability cases.

3. Forensic Psychologists - $84,220

Empty Just Box
Tim Roufa
Forensic psychologists apply their knowledge of human behavior to legal services and law enforcement functions.  The field of forensic psychology has a number of diverse specializations and includes jobs such as jury consultants, victim and prisoner counseling, suspect and defendant evaluations and criminal profiling.  Forensic psychologists typically must hold advanced degrees in psychology and other social sciences to find lucrative work.

2. Judges and Magistrates - $103,990

Judge's bench
tim Roufa
Judges and magistrates are responsible for ensuring due process is adhered to in their jurisdictions.  They preside over trials and hearings and render decisions and judgments that have far-reaching effects across the entire criminal justice system.  They promulgate sentences for convicted criminals and determine if probable cause exists to issue warrants, hold prisoners or allow evidence into court.  Though not necessarily required, judges are most often attorneys.  They are appointed or elected to their positions.

1. Lawyers - $129,000

Tim Roufa
Lawyers and attorneys work in a variety of specializations.  Within criminal justice and criminology, they most often serve as prosecutors and defense attorneys.  Lawyers present cases against suspects or defend clients from the charges against them.  They argue their cases at trial in front of judges and juries.  The highest paying jobs are found in private firms as defense attorneys.  Lawyers must attend law school, earn a juris doctorate and pass the bar exam in order to practice law.

Earn a Living, Build a Lifestyle

Public service careers, especially those found in criminal justice and criminology, are rewarding and even exciting just by virtue of the nature of the work. It doesn't hurt to earn a little money while you're doing the job, though. If you think one of these high-paying criminology careers is for you, all you need is hard work, dedication and the right education to get started on your path.
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