Ask most people who work in criminal justice and criminology careers why they do what they do, and they'll probably tell you that they wanted to help people, they wanted to serve their community, or they wanted to make a difference.
These are laudable goals, and it speaks a lot about a person when he is willing to make sacrifices so that he can help make the world around them a better place. Don't fool yourself, though. More often than not, there are plenty of other reasons to be a police officer or work in other criminology careers.
Certainly altruism plays a role in their decision, but let's be honest here. Earning a decent living doesn't hurt, either. If you're like most people, the prospect of making money influences your career choices as much as anything else. To help make that decision a little easier, here's a list of the highest paying jobs in criminology and criminal justice. Salaries are based on national averages, and can vary from department and geographic location.
16. Fish and Game Warden - $54,950
Forensic science technicians work in laboratories and at crime scenes. They assist police officers, detectives and special agents with the collection and analysis of evidence. Forensic scientists are often non-sworn technicians who serve vital functions in the crime-solving process. The job classification includes specializations such as bloodstain pattern analysts and forensic ballistic experts.
Patrol officers are on the front lines of any crime fighting strategy. Police officers and sheriffs' deputies patrol the streets of their communities and respond to calls for service. A day in the life of a police officer can include investigations of minor crimes, traffic crash investigations, traffic stops and responding to fights and instances of domestic violence. Officers typically perform shift work and are called to perform a large and diverse variety of job functions.
13. Fire Investigators - $56,310
12. Corrections Officer Managers and Supervisors - $59,810
11. Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement College Instructors - $62,750
9. Immigrations and Customs Inspectors - $65,860
8. Police Identification and Records Officers - $65,860
7. Special Agents - $65,860
Special agents most often work for investigative agencies and include jobs such as FBI agents, NCIS agents, DEA agents, ICE agents and Secret Service agents. Though some agents may work for state agencies, special agent jobs are typically found in federal law enforcement careers. Agents are specially trained investigators and specialize in the detection and investigation of a variety of crimes.