9 High Paying Criminal Justice Careers You Cannot Avoid

Criminal justice careers

I wondered why criminal justice careers were so much in demand until I found out the fact that every individual makes a good amount of money yearly.

Criminal justice has a good career path, including the 8 high paying careers that we have listed below for you to take advantage of and choose the best suited one.

With a high salary and less competition, a career in criminal justice definitely has a bright future. That is why most individuals shows interest in its system, opportunities and way of working.

What System Is Followed In Criminal Justice Careers?

Criminal justice systems are a set of rules and regulations for adults and juveniles. And each state has separate systems for adults and juveniles.

Criminal justice is concerned with several subsystems including police, courts, agencies, etc.

What Are The Criminal Justice Career Paths?

1. Lawyer:

Lawyers are the legal defense who represents clients in criminal proceeding. They may represent government, clients, or corporations in criminal procedure.

Lawyers are allowed to practice law after they have completed the required degree such as Juris Doctor Degree, and need to pass the bar exam of the state they wish to work in.

Article – How to become a Juris Doctor?

These attorneys may become a teacher or go for politics along with practicing law. Fun fact is Barack Obama and Bill Clinton were attorneys before they got into politics.

Lawyers work as an attorney supporting the client in the criminal proceeding. They may be employed by the government or non-profit organizations. Their work environment is usually in a courtroom or in the office. And so they don’t generally do the investigation or spend time in other ways.

To become a lawyer Juris Doctor Degree is a must. It takes up to three years for completion.  Otherwise, there are common choices degrees one may go for like- political science, pre-law, and liberal arts.

  • The median salary of the lawyer is $108k (Glassdoor) per year in the US.
  • The top salary offered by the federal government is $141,900
  • However, the salary range depends on the workplace of the lawyer.

2. CIA Officer:

CIA stands for Central Intelligence Agency. CIA officers do the job of maintaining the security of the US and its citizens.

Their work includes researching data and information in order to safeguard the United States. They use human intelligence to know information about the nation and outside the United States.

This human intelligence is concerned with certain contacts, imaginary intelligence and other resources to gain data from. The CIA agencies are also known as CIA officers; focus on gathering intelligence from overseas.

CIA agencies along with gathering intelligence through human intelligence also use Spy and other surveillances in their work. 

To become a CIA officer you must hold a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and homeland security. And these degrees have become a necessity for every entry-level position.

The common skills include having intelligence, communication, and a hard worker. There are certain rules to be obeyed before you opt to become a CIA officer. You must be a US citizen and if married your spouse has to be a US citizen. 

Use of drugs is highly prohibited for you to become a CIA officer. You will be required to undergo physical and mental examinations for the procedure of becoming one.

The Salary and Career path under CAI officer is as follow:

  • Special agent: Average salary $107k yearly
  • Security protective services/Police officers: $78,000/yr highest paid
  • Protective agent: $38,000 /yr
  • Security professional: $28,237/yr

3. Information Security Officer:

Information security officer is a person who secures the organization internally and externally. Information security officers, also called information system managers, protect the technological information of the department or the organization.

They ensure the viruses, spy, and bots are not being used in the computer system. These IT managers maintain anti-virus software to maintain security and block threats. They ensure all the threats to not enter the organization’s computer system.

Information system managers also help the organization in which software is better for the organization’s computer system. They analyze the system and other threats to maintain the good working process of the organization.

Information security officers’ career requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or engineering. Some organizations may prefer a degree in business administration or a graduate degree.

However, an information security officer should have experience in computer programming, or computer technician, or related field.

  • The average salary of an information security officer is $69,123 as per Glassdoor.

4. Police Officer:

Police officer’s duty is to protect the lives and property of the community. They undergo police training in the police academy for protecting the lives of the people, property of the community.

They train themselves mentally and physically. Their job is critical which requires strength training. They go through stresses and frustrations and so to maintain such aspects they undergo certain training procedures.

These officers are the first-line supervisors or defense again criminal activities. They protect the law of the nation, the country, and the community.

They do the job of investigation, punishing the guilty, preventing crimes, and conviction of criminal offenders.

A bachelor’s or associate’s degree is all you can earn to become a police officer.

  • The average salary of a police officer is $49667,
  • The highest-paid salary is $78,000 (Reference)

5. Crime Scene Investigator:

Crime scene investigators do the job of collecting evidence from the crime scene. They investigate each proof or the evidence found at the crime scene in detail. Moreover, they analyze every little thing with different perspectives.

They collect mostly hair, nails, blood stains, or anything that may prove something in regard to the criminal. Their main responsibility is to give justice to the victim by investigating at their best.

Crime scene investigators’ jobs also include creating reports, documents, and data of the evidence they collect.  They need to be so intelligent while collecting evidence so as to provide justice to the victim and punish the criminal.

A bachelor’s degree and experience are must to become a CSI. Later on, you can apply for an internship or a direct job as a crime scene investigator.

  • The average salary of the CSI is $48,716 to $72,000 yearly.
  • However, salaries depend on experience as well.

6. Criminal Investigator:

The job of the criminal investigator is not as easy as it seems. Their responsibility is more than what it seems.

Criminal investigators do the job of solving crimes happened. They investigate each phase in the crime scene.

However, the process may take few days, a week and sometimes months or more than that. Each evidence holds so much importance in the career of Criminal Investigators. These people generally work for federal government, local, and state agencies. The more the experience you have in the field, the more you are being paid.

You may have skills like, collecting evidence, investigating scenes, write records, and prepare reports. The required education for the field is a must.

  • The average salary of the Criminal Investigator is $61,657 yearly.

7. Homicide Detective:

Homicide detective are also considered police officers or law enforcement officers. They investigate deaths. Their job is to investigate the purpose behind the death and sometimes the unknown cause of death.

They do the job of collecting evidence, interviewing victims and other people presented during the death, prepare reports and cases for the court, and analyze the responsible person for the unknown cause of death.

Education and experience are all that can lead you to as a homicide detective.

  • The average salary of the homicide detective is $74,737/yr
  • However, the salary depends on experiences as well.

8. Forensic Psychologists:

Forensic psychologists study human behavior to analyze their behavior in particular situations. They interview people and see their reactions to situations occurring in their lives.

They study all the behavior, look out for evidence, clues to know why people react the way they do in such situations. And how can it be resolved for them?

They work privately or for agencies, and department of defense, United States Secret Service, etc. Their responsibilities include helping officers, attorneys, judges for the crime scenes occurred. They do the job of analyzing the human behavior of people involved in crime scenes.

A doctoral degree in psychology is the requirement to become a Forensic Psychologist. Later on, apply for a license to practice it in the state.

  • The average salary of a Forensic Psychologist is $69,596/yr

9. Forensic Accountant:

The forensic account is the leading career and well known in today’s’ time. They do the job of analyzing, and examining the business records that may lead to crime scenes.

The records, reports, and documents that have an impact on criminal cases, are examined by these people. They generally work for the federal bureau of investigation. However, they may also work for United States secret service, public firms and other corporations.

Their responsibilities include doing auditing, examining, identifying funds, reviewing business statements, etc.

To become a forensic account you must pass the uniform certified public accountant examination. Also, a degree in the related field is a must.

  • The average salary of the forensic accountant is $68,089/yr

Career Scope in Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is definitely a high paying career. It is in everyday demand. People are getting into crime scenes, and to punish the guilty, to resolve the scenes, criminal justice is the requirement.

There are so many careers to go under criminal justice careers by holding a criminal justice degree. The above-listed careers are the highest paying and in the utmost demand. Hope the recommendations will help you.

Must-watch video on Criminal Justice Careers by Jordyn Marie