Best Paying Criminal Justice Jobs

Updated on February 16, 2024

Introduction: The field of criminal justice offers a variety of career paths for those interested in upholding the law, ensuring public safety, and administering justice. From investigating crime scenes to analyzing forensic evidence, professionals in this field play a crucial role in the criminal justice system. This blog post explores the top ten best-paying jobs in criminal justice, providing insights into job titles, average salaries, responsibilities, and required education.

FBI Agent

  • Average Salary: $66,120
  • Job Description: FBI Agents are responsible for investigating federal crimes, including terrorism, cybercrime, and civil rights violations.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting investigations, collecting evidence, and making arrests.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree, typically in criminal justice, political science, or engineering​​.

DEA Agent

  • Average Salary: $82,100
  • Job Description: DEA Agents combat drug trafficking and distribution within the United States.
  • Responsibilities: Investigating drug smuggling and distribution networks, making arrests, and confiscating drugs.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in criminology, criminal justice, or a related field​​.

Criminal Profiler

  • Average Salary: $58,164
  • Job Description: Criminal Profilers analyze crime scene evidence and behavioral patterns to predict and identify perpetrators.
  • Responsibilities: Working with law enforcement to create profiles of suspects and advising on investigation strategies.
  • Required Education: Advanced degree in criminal justice, psychology, or forensic science​​.

Probation Officer

  • Average Salary: $63,290
  • Job Description: Probation officers monitor offenders to prevent recidivism and ensure compliance with probation terms.
  • Responsibilities: Evaluating offenders, providing resources for rehabilitation, and reporting progress to courts.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in social work, criminal justice, or a related field​​.

Forensic Science Technician

  • Average Salary: $66,850
  • Job Description: Forensic Science Technicians analyze crime scene evidence to assist in investigations.
  • Responsibilities: Collecting and analyzing physical evidence, consulting with experts, and testifying in court.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in forensic science, biology, or a related field​​.

Crime Scene Investigator

  • Average Salary: $90,370
  • Job Description: Crime Scene Investigators collect and analyze evidence from crime scenes to solve crimes.
  • Responsibilities: Documenting crime scenes, collecting physical evidence, and collaborating with law enforcement.
  • Required Education: Experience in the police force or a degree in science or criminology​​.

Fraud Investigator

  • Average Salary: $90,370
  • Job Description: Fraud Investigators examine fraudulent claims and gather evidence to support legal actions.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting investigations, analyzing documents, and interviewing involved parties.
  • Required Education: Degree in criminal justice or experience in law enforcement​​.

Police Detective

  • Average Salary: $90,370
  • Job Description: Police Detectives investigate serious crimes and work to solve them.
  • Responsibilities: Gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and working closely with law enforcement teams.
  • Required Education: Promotion within the police force after gaining investigative experience​​.


  • Average Salary: $74,000
  • Job Description: Criminologists study crime patterns to help prevent future crimes and assist law enforcement.
  • Responsibilities: Researching crime causes, analyzing data, and developing crime prevention strategies.
  • Required Education: Undergraduate or graduate degree in criminology, criminal justice, or psychology​​.

Police Officer

  • Average Salary: $65,000
  • Job Description: Police Officers enforce laws, prevent crime, and protect the community.
  • Responsibilities: Patrolling, responding to calls, investigating crimes, and making arrests.
  • Required Education: High school diploma and police academy training; some departments require some college education​​.

Final Thoughts:

Careers in criminal justice not only offer the opportunity to make a significant impact on society but also provide a range of financially rewarding options. Whether you’re interested in front-line enforcement roles like police officers and detectives or specialized positions such as forensic scientists and criminal profilers, the field of criminal justice offers diverse opportunities for those committed to justice and public safety.

Legal and Criminal Justice


This comprehensive overview highlights the diverse and financially rewarding career opportunities within the criminal justice system, emphasizing the importance of education, specialized training, and experience in advancing within this field.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

Get the Checklist