Criminology Careers

There are a variety of criminology careers to choose from in the world, more so than you may realize. This is a vast field that covers a broad subject matter, so you have to figure out where you might want to work within it. The information below discusses the job duties and educational requirements for this line of work so you can determine if it is something you want to pursue.

Where Do Criminologists Work?

Criminologists can work just about anywhere, as long as there is a need to study crime in an area. Most of them work in some kind of government office, but you should be able to find a job under a variety of employers. Common work places for criminologists include:

  • Investigation firms
  • Detention centers
  • Companies
  • Law enforcement offices
  • Government offices
  • Law offices
  • Crime labs

What Do Criminologists Do?

The work of a criminologist will vary from one day to the next, depending on the kind of research he or she is doing. With that in mind, there are some job duties that you may have to do on a regular basis. Common job duties for this profession include:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of arrests
  • Assess criminal behavior
  • Develop criminal justice laws
  • Create scientific criminal investigation methodology
  • Improve the justice system
  • Improve investigative efficiency
  • Reduce crime rates
  • Testify in court

What Does It Take to Become a Criminologist?

To become a criminologist, you need to get a college education. There are several degree programs to choose from, and any one of them could ultimately lead you to a job. Popular options include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Doctorate of Criminal Justice
  • Doctorate of Criminology
  • Doctorate of Forensic Science
  • Master of Arts in Legal Studies
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminalistics
  • Master of Science in Criminology

After you complete your college degree, you shouldn’t have any issue finding work as a criminologist.

Possible Career Options and Associated Salaries

Some criminology careers pay more than others because of the demand for workers at a certain point in time. With that in mind, most criminologists make roughly the same money as they progress through their careers. Salaries for criminology workers range as follows:

  • Sociology: Median wages: $72,360 per year
  • Postsecondary Teacher: Median wages: $62,050 per year
  • Psychology (forensic): Median wages: $68,640 per year
  • Police officer and Criminal Investigators: Median wages: $55,010 per year

Associated Industries and Potential Salaries within each Industry

State or Local Government (OES Designation)

  • Sociologist annual mean wages: $60,830 or $68,190
  • Postsecondary teacher mean wage for local government: $65,860
  • Police/Criminal Investigator annual mean wage: $60,650 or $56,160

Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

  • Sociologist annual mean wage: $67,820
  • Postsecondary teacher annual mean wage: $72,400
  • Police/Criminal Investigator annual mean wage: $47,480

Scientific Research and Development Services

  • Sociologist annual mean wage: $89,650
  • Postsecondary teacher annual mean wage: $114,380
  • Police/Criminal Investigator annual mean wage: $98,910

Criminology careers are in high demand, so there is no better time than the present to pursue this kind of work. Find a school to attend, and you will be on your way to a job soon enough.

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References

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Postsecondary Teachers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm (visited February 05, 2013).
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Psychologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm (visited February 05, 2013).
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Sociologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/sociologists.htm (visited February 05, 2013).
  4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm (visited February 05, 2013).
  5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011, Sociologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193041.htm (visited February 05, 2013).
  6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011, Postsecondary Teachers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251199.htm (visited February 05, 2013).
  7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011, Psychologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193039.htm (visited February 05, 2013).
  8. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011, Police and Detectives, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333051.htm (visited February 05, 2013).