What Kind of Salary Can I Expect From a Job in Criminal Justice?

A career in criminal justice can be a long and fulfilling one that allows you to hold any number of jobs. You could be a police officer or a correctional officer who works in a prison. Depending on what you study in college, you could be ready to get a job with a government agency such as the FBI or CIA. If you do go into criminal justice, how much money can you expect to make?

The Average Salary Is $41,000

The average salary for anyone in the field of criminal justice is $41,000. However, you may make more or less than that amount depending on your own skills, job title and location. For example, a CIA agent in Boston will typically make more than a police officer in a rural town in Alabama. You also have to consider whether you are working for a private firm or a government organization.

How Much Experience Do You Have?

A major factor that determines how much you can expect to make is your level of experience. Someone who is just entering the field could make as little as $34,000 a year while someone will multiple years of experience can make up to $67,000 on average. In addition to your salary, you may also be eligible for government pensions and other perks after your retire that could add to the amount of compensation that you receive.

Pay Scales By Specific Job In The Criminal Justice Field

Everyone knows that you are going to get paid more if you work in a big city and have years of experience. However, how much do you make in any specific job title? Let’s take a look at some specific salary ranges by job title.

Police Officer

A rookie police officer in an average sized city can expect to start at around $35,000. With a few years of experience, that number can jump to $50,000. Those working in larger cities such as Los Angeles and New York may make more than that.

Prison Guard

Prison guards are tasked with the dangerous job of keeping inmates in check. As a reward for their hard work and sacrifice, they are paid upwards of $45,000 a year on average.

CIA Agent

CIA agents generally make anywhere from $50,000 a year to $80,000 a year on average. CSIs typically make the most money while the newcomers to the CIA can expect to make around $40,000 a year.

There is a lot of good that you can do in the world of criminal justice. At the same time, you can make a nice salary while you help protect your community. If you are interested in majoring in criminal justice or taking a civil service exam, you should be aware that the income potential makes a college degree or a career change worth your while.