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Criminal Justice Salary Guide

By University Alliance
Criminal Justice Salary Guide

If you’re thinking about a career in criminal justice, it’s important to consider potential salary. Here you’ll find helpful criminal justice salary information, with a wide range of employer options and income levels. Once you determine which job in the criminal justice field appeals to you most, you can plan your education and career path accordingly.

2010 Criminal Justice Salary Information

Careers in criminal justice provide an excellent wage with real opportunities for advancement. Some positions require two-year degrees, while others require four-year degrees. Salaries for criminal justice degree holders tend to be higher than for those without associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice.

Salaries for Bachelor Degree Holders

Take a look at the salary opportunities available in a variety of positions for professionals who hold a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice:

Median Criminal Justice Salary by Job
Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officer $48,532
Correctional Officer/Jailer $35,371
Paralegal $40,909
Director, Security $78,274
Detective or Criminal Investigator $57,520
Loss Prevention Manager $40,918
Probation Officer $37,430
Security Manager $56,972

Source: | Updated: May 2010

Highest-Paying Criminal Justice Careers

For many people, decisions about criminal justice careers are based on which jobs offer the highest pay. Here are ten of the highest-paying criminal justice careers:

Median Criminal Justice Salary by Job
1. FBI Supervisors $89,115
2. Police and Detective Supervisors $75,490
3. Deputy Police Chiefs $74,834
4. Federal Law Enforcement Agents $73,170
5. FBI Agents $69,900
6. Police Lieutenants $65,688
7. Intelligence Analysts $61,045
8. Criminal Investigators and Special Agents $60,910
9. Immigration and Customs Inspectors $60,910
10. Insurance Fraud Investigators $57,150

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Actual salaries for criminal justice degree holders are based on specialty, demand, employer, geographic area and experience. Education is important, too. Many criminal justice careers offer promotions, pay upgrades and bonuses based on the level of education you attain. While the highest-paying criminal justice careers often require a BA Criminal Justice degree, there are plenty of choices for AA Criminal Justice degree holders, too.

Criminal Justice Salary Examples

Criminal justice careers go far beyond police and detective work. This exciting field offers a variety of career choices, so you can match your interests and skills with the ideal criminal justice salary for you.

  • Legal secretaries earn an average salary of $39,860, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Top-earning legal secretaries can bring in salaries of $62,290.
  • Probation officers are often employed with state and local governments, and earn a median salary of $46,530 according to the BLS. The most experienced officers can earn as much as $78,860 a year.

Federal Salaries for Criminal Justice Degree Holders

Some of the most exciting and highest-paying criminal justice careers are with the federal government.

  • FBI agents investigate violations of Federal laws.
  • Drug enforcement agents enforce laws associated with illegal drugs.
  • U.S. Marshals provide for the security of our Federal Courts.

Interested in one of these satisfying criminal justice careers? With the right criminal justice degree, proper training and your initiative, you can pursue a federal criminal justice career.

Another federal criminal justice career option is with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was formed after September 11, 2001. DHS has become an employer of choice for many criminal justice degree holders.

Criminal justice degree holders can also establish a career as a U.S. Secret Service Officer, Immigration and Customs Investigator or Customs and Border Protection Officer.

Entry-Level Criminal Justice Salary
Salaries vary according to the geographic location of the position
FBI Agents $53,743 – $58,335
DEA Special Agents $49,746 – $55,843
U.S. Marshals $36,658 – $46,969
U.S. Secret Service Officers $50,787
U.S. Border Patrol Officers $36,658 – $46,542

Sources:,,, Secret, and

Criminal justice is a fast-growing field, with exciting opportunities for rewarding, high-paying careers. Obtaining a criminal justice degree 100% online from a regionally accredited university like Florida Tech will give you an edge over the competition, and can put you in the running for the highest-paying criminal justice careers.

The satisfaction of earning a criminal justice degree and embarking on a respected, rewarding career can be yours. Consider Florida Tech’s associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice as you conduct your research – you just might find that getting started on your education is easier than you think!

Category: Criminal Justice