10 Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs to Consider

10 Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs to Consider

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We used the latest data and insights to identify the highest paying criminal justice jobs so that you can learn and earn more.

Whether you’re interested in careers in criminal justice or are just curious, you’ve probably heard that it’s a great industry to get into. There’s a lot of job security and opportunity for growth. But what are the highest-paying criminal justice jobs?

The answer is simple: the jobs that pay the most require more education. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need a Ph.D. to succeed.

There are plenty of positions where a bachelor’s degree will do just fine. But if you want to earn more money, then it’s worth considering how much money your chosen field can offer you.

In this blog post, we will look at the top 10 highest-paying criminal justice jobs. We’ll also discuss how much they pay and what kind of education is required to land one of these positions.

Statistics are extracted from data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Payscale, Glassdoor, and other top job sites. 

🚀Pro Tips: Today, we need more than just a great school or company name on the CV. You need to be able to sell it on paper as well as in interviews.
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📝Free resume review services: JobScan, ZipJob, or Resumable.

#10. Fingerprint Specialist

How do they get paid?

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $19,500 per year
  • High Range: $63,500 per year
  • Median Pay: $40,374 per year 
Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Fingerprint specialists are responsible for collecting, preserving, and analyzing fingerprints. They provide their findings to law enforcement agencies and criminal investigators to help solve crimes. 

Fingerprint specialists must be detail-oriented and have excellent communication skills and strong problem-solving abilities.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Fingerprint specialists typically have a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or criminal justice. Employers prefer experienced fingerprint specialists, so gaining experience in the field is important before applying for a position.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Fingerprint specialists work for government agencies, such as the FBI and law enforcement departments. They also work for private companies that provide security services to individuals and businesses.

What is the best way to get this job?

You can become one by attending college or university and earning a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or criminal justice. After graduating, you can apply for entry-level jobs in this field. As you gain experience, you can move up in the field.

What is it like to be a fingerprint specialist?

#9. Crime Scene Supervisor

How do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $38,000 per year
  • High Range: $93,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $58,853 per year
Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Crime scene supervisors coordinate the efforts of crime scene investigators (CSIs) and other specialists at a crime scene. They are responsible for the following:

  • collecting evidence.
  • taking photographs and videos.
  • measuring the area where the crime occurred.
  • interviewing witnesses and suspects.
  • documenting all findings in reports.

Crime scene supervisors work closely with prosecutors to ensure that evidence presented in court is legally admissible.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

The educational requirements for this job includes forensic science and criminal justice degrees.

Crime scene supervisors must understand and apply the principles of forensics, which include physics, biology, and chemistry. They must be detail-oriented and have excellent communication skills.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Crime scene supervisors work for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. They also work for private companies that provide forensic services to law enforcement agencies.

What is the best way to get this job?

You get this position by working as an investigator, then moving up the ladder to become a supervisor. The salary for a crime scene supervisor varies depending on the level of experience and education.

What is it like to be a crime scene supervisor? 

#8. Criminal Justice Policy Advisor

How do they get paid?

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $19,000 per year
  • High Range: $129,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $63,955 per year 
Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

A criminal justice policy advisor is a job that deals with research, analysis, and recommendations regarding the laws, policies, and procedures used to enforce laws.

As a criminal justice policy advisor, you would be tasked with helping lawmakers and other officials understand the implications of new laws or changes to current policies.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

This job requires an undergraduate criminal justice degree and at least five years of practical experience in law enforcement administration or criminal investigation. A master’s degree in policy analysis or a related subject is also highly recommended.

With this job, you’ll be expected to have expert knowledge of all aspects of the criminal justice system and its workings. You’ll need excellent analytical skills and the ability to quickly analyze and interpret data.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Criminal justice policy advisors work for government agencies, non-profits, and advocacy groups. You may also work with state or federal prosecutors or in the private sector as a consultant for law enforcement agencies.

What is the best way to get this job?

Once you have completed your education, it’s important to gain experience in the field. You can look for entry-level positions at local police departments or state agencies. Then work your way up from there.

Should you become a criminal justice policy advisor?

#7. Criminal Profiler

How do they get paid?

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $22,500 per year
  • High Range: $160,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $66,455 per year 
Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs : Credits: Pixabay
Credits: Pixabay

What do they do?

If you’ve ever been fascinated by the psychology behind why people commit violent crimes, then a career as a criminal profiler might be perfect for you. 

Criminal profilers use their knowledge of human behavior and crime to help law enforcement agencies with unsolved cases. They answer questions like “who” committed the crime and “why.”

Criminal profilers examine past crimes, looking at patterns to find clues about what types of people commit certain crimes and why they do them. After gathering this information, they present their findings to their employer to predict future events—or stop them before they happen!

What degrees and skills are usually required?

These specialists have at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, behavioral science, or psychology. However, many criminal profilers have master’s degrees or doctorates in one of these fields.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Criminal profilers work for many organizations, including law enforcement agencies, the U.S. military, and the intelligence community.

What is the best way to get this job?

To get this job, it’s important to have a strong understanding of criminal psychology and the motivations behind different crimes. You’ll also need excellent communication skills and an eye for detail. 

Once you have the necessary qualifications, you can take a few different paths to become a criminal profiler.

The most common option is to work as a forensic psychologist, which involves evaluating offenders and victims of violent crimes and advising courts on the best course of action. This position may lead to becoming a criminal profiler.

Another option is to become an FBI agent or police detective specializing in crime scene investigation—and then move into profiling when you have more experience.

What is it like to be a criminal profiler?

#6. Customs Border and Protection Officers

How do they get paid?

  • Source: Comparably
  • Low Range: $41,200 per year
  • High Range: $128,690 per year
  • Median Pay: $77,210 per year 
Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Customs border and protection officers are responsible for enforcing laws related to importing and exporting goods. They also help protect the United States from terrorists and other criminals who try to enter the country illegally. Customs border and protection officers work at land, sea, and air ports of entry.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

These criminal justice professionals typically have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, or a related field.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Employers include U.S. Customs and Border Protection, airports, seaports, and border crossings.

What is the best way to get this job?

You can become one by attending college or university and earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related discipline, such as political science or sociology. After graduating, you can apply for entry-level jobs in this field.

How to become a customs and border protection officers?

#5. Prison Warden

How do they get paid?

  • Source: Payscale
  • Low Range: $49,000 per year
  • High Range: $147,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $89,453 per year 
Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs : Credits: Pixabay
Credits: Pixabay

What do they do?

The prison warden is responsible for the security of a prison facility. You would work closely with other prison staff and law enforcement officers to keep prisoners safe, including preventing escapes and violence from within.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

The position may require a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or law enforcement. This high-paying job is best suited for people who enjoy working with others and have strong leadership skills.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Prison wardens work for local, state, and federal prisons. They may also work in juvenile detention centers or other facilities that house offenders.

What is the best way to get this job?

Finding a job as a prison warden can be challenging because most prisons are government-run, so you will need to find a position where there is an opening.

The best way to get started would be by contacting local jails or prisons directly while also keeping an eye on job boards.

What is it like to be a prison warden?

#4. Secret Service Agent

How do they get paid?

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $66,000 per year
  • High Range: $167,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $104,658 per year 
Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs : Credits: Pexels
Credits: Pexels

What do they do?

Secret service agents are the people who protect the president, vice president, and their families. They also protect former presidents and presidential candidates. These law enforcement professionals are responsible for investigating counterfeit currency and financial crimes.

They can work in a variety of positions, including forensic accounting, cybercrime investigations, and polygraph testing.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

Secret service agents typically have advanced degrees and years of experience in law enforcement. They must undergo a rigorous application process, including an extensive background check, polygraph test, and medical examination.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Employers include the United States Secret Service (USSS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and state and local law enforcement agencies.

What is the best way to get this job?

To get hired, you must meet certain requirements, including being a U.S. citizen and passing a physical fitness test. You must also be able to obtain a top-secret security clearance.

What is it like to be a secret service agent?

#3. Lawyer

How do they get paid?

  • Source: Salary.com
  • Low Range: $85,135 per year
  • High Range: $131,265 per year
  • Median Pay: $107,583 per year 
Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

Lawyers are professionals who represent clients in court. They are also trained to draft legal contracts and documents, research cases, and advise clients on their rights.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

The education requirements for this job vary depending on the type of lawyer you want to be: a general practitioner, an appellate attorney, or a specialist like an environmental lawyer. Most positions require at least a law degree for one to get the job.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Lawyers work for private law firms, government agencies, or prosecutors’ offices. They may also work for non-profit organizations or corporations.

What is the best way to get this job?

You can get this job by pursuing a law degree and passing the bar exam. Once you have your law degree, one of the first things you can do is apply for advertised jobs. Your resume should highlight any relevant experience, such as internships or volunteer work with organizations that have a legal focus.

What is it like to be a lawyer?

#2. Computer Forensic Specialist

How do they get paid?

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $29,500 per year
  • High Range: $172,500 per year
  • Median Pay: $112,291 per year 
Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

A computer forensic specialist is a forensic scientist who analyzes computers and electronic devices for evidence. They work with law enforcement and investigators to help solve crimes by examining digital evidence.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

The education requirement is a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer forensics, or a related field. You can also get an education from a certificate program and work your way up through internships and apprenticeships to become a computer forensic specialist.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Employers may include government agencies, law firms, private investigators, and corporations.

What is the best way to get this job?

The best way to get into this field is through internships at local law enforcement agencies or private companies. These programs provide great opportunities for hands-on experience while giving you a chance to network and make connections in the field.

What is it like to be a computer forensics specialist?

#1. Judge

How do they get paid?

  • Source: Zippia
  • Low Range: $68,000 per year
  • High Range: $222,000 per year
  • Median Pay: $123,457 per year
Highest Paying Criminal Justice Jobs : Credits: Unsplash
Credits: Unsplash

What do they do?

A judge is a person who oversees cases in the legal system. They make decisions and rulings on civil and criminal trials, including traffic violations.

Judges are responsible for sentencing people convicted of crimes, issuing warrants, and setting bail amounts.

What degrees and skills are usually required?

This job requires a high level of education, including a law degree and some experience working in the legal field. The salary of a judge varies widely based on factors like location, experience, and the jurisdiction they work in.

Who’s hiring for this job?

Employers may include federal, state, or local government agencies, courts, and law firms.

What is the best way to get this job?

To get this job, you must have a law degree and pass a state bar exam. You may also need to meet certain requirements depending on where you live.

What is it like to be a judge?

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve covered some of the highest-paying criminal justice careers and what they entail.

If you’re interested in a career in criminal justice, keep your eyes open for opportunities to get involved with law enforcement. The more experience you have, the better prepared you’ll be when applying for a position.

Good luck!

🚀Pro Tips: Today, we need more than just a great school or company name on the CV. You need to be able to sell it on paper as well as in interviews.
– 🤖AI writing tools: Academic researchers trust Trinka, while entrepreneurial ones prefer Jasper
📝Free resume review services: JobScan, ZipJob, or Resumable.

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Author
Joannah W.
Joannah has been a science publisher with close to 20 years of experience. She wants to help students and researchers stay ahead of the trends and developments in the science community by making science more accessible to everyone.

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