Highest-Paying Careers in Criminal Justice

September 6th, 2013 by

Thanks in large part to popular television shows that revolve around the apprehension of criminals and the legal aspects of their cases, the field of criminal justice is one of the most popular majors and career options for students today. If you are naturally inquisitive and have a strong drive to do the right thing and help others, then earning an online degree in this subject might just be the perfect choice. Along with making a real difference in society, you will eligible to secure any one of these high-paying jobs related to the major. Discover your options to earn a degree in Criminal Justice online.

Private Investigators

Believe it or not, this can be one of the most lucrative careers in the field. Your bachelor’s degree program will prepare you to become a private investigator by explaining the ins and outs of the legal system. You might study why and how criminals think they way they do, and this can help lead you to criminals that need to be found. Since you won’t be working for a strict government salary, there is the potential to earn less or more than the average detective. However, those with ambition and experience are often able to bring in impressive salaries in this field.

Police Detectives

In many ways, police detectives have a similar job description to the private investigators listed above. However, as police officers, they will have significantly more resources and backup available to them. This kind of work can include long hours and challenging cases, but it can also be thrilling and exciting for individuals who don’t want to have a routine desk job. Salaries are commensurate with experience, and they can often top $100,000 depending on the city where you are employed.

Forensics Analysts

Although detectives might get the glory after apprehending a criminal, it is often the forensics analysts that solve the case. By using science and logical reasoning, analysts use things like DNA, fingerprints and even computer files to locate or identify potential suspects in a case. Even if you are not a science whiz, you can work in the administrative side of the field and collect, store or classify samples.

Court Clerks

One job in the justice system that often gets overlooked is that of court clerk. These individuals have to have a thorough knowledge of the legal system as well as criminal behavior, and they deal with judges, police and lawyers on a regular basis. With a four-year degree, court clerks are often able to secure some of the highest paying administrative positions in the justice or legal systems.


Becoming a lawyer can take more than seven years in total, but an associate or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can easily prepare you for an interesting and well-paid career as a paralegal. Your job will involve research for trial, speaking with witnesses or clients and recording testimony, and you might work for the government or a private law firm.


About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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