Criminal Justice Career Salary

judge gavel on pile of money

From a police officer walking a beat to the highly-specialized skills a homeland security agent requires, criminal justice careers are hot commodities. Fortunately, the salaries that accompany these jobs are substantially gratifying.

As with most professions, increasing your level of education will also increase your paycheck. So whether you’re new to the field of criminal justice, or an established professional seeking an advanced degree, you’ll find that getting your criminal justice degree online will not only elevate your earnings, but give you flexibility within which to complete your chosen degree program.

To give you an idea of criminal justice career earning potential, we’ve listed average annual criminal justice salaries, as assessed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook, by the top 10 most popular criminal justice careers.  

Ten Most Popular Criminal Justice Career Salaries

Criminal Justice CareerMedian Annual Salary*
Police or Detective $58,630
Probation Officer or Correctional Treatment Specialist $49,060
Paralegal $48,350
Administrative Assistant $35,970
Supervisor/Manager - Police and Detectives $80,930
Security Guard $24,470
Correctional Officer/Jailer $39,700
Private Detective/Criminal Investigator $44,570

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook; Police and Detectives; Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists; Paralegals and Legal Assistants; Secretaries and Administrative Assistants; First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives; Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers; Correctional Officers; Private Detectives and Investigators.

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

So, whether you're looking for a career in forensics, law enforcement, as a paralegal or in homeland security, remember that increasing your education and getting a degree will not only help you move up the career ladder but increase your criminal justice career salary as well.