10 Highest Paying Jobs for Criminal Justice Grads

Criminal justice is one of the fastest growing fields in the world today. When you major in criminal justice while in college, you learn more about the criminal justice system as a whole and what the professionals working in this field do every day. Before you enroll though, you may want to look at some of the careers that are open to you and which of those jobs come with the highest salaries. The 10 highest paying jobs for criminal justice grads may require just a bachelor’s degree and a small amount of experience or a graduate degree with even more experience.

1. Detective/Private Investigator

A private investigator is someone who investigates cases independently of the police department. Depending on where you live, you may need to obtain a license from your city or state. Investigators may also need a concealed carry permit to carry a weapon in the field and a business license to operate the firm. Detectives typically work for police departments and investigate crimes reported to that department. In addition to going through the police academy, detectives also need on the job experience. Many departments also require that these officers pass an exam before becoming a detective with the force.

2. Security Manager

Security managers are professionals responsible for the safety and security of an individual or a group of people. Managers may work for a private business and create a security system that includes cameras that monitor the exterior parts of the building and alarms that sound when unauthorized people access a part o the building. Security managers can also run the security teams attached to a specific person like the owner of a business or a celebrity and ensure the safety of that person. Cyber security managers handle the online activities of a group of people.

3. Police Officer

Though police officers earn a high salary, these officers cannot simply walk in and get a job off the street. Most police departments require that prospective officers go through the police academy. They learn how to handle and operate a weapon, take down suspects, secure a crime scene, take down statements from witnesses and keep victims safe. Police officers usually need to pass a physical fitness test that tests their endurance as well as a psychological exam that determines whether the individual can handle the emotional stresses of the job.

4. Fire Investigator

If you have a keen eye for detail and want to help investigate crimes, you might find work as a fire investigator after you graduate. Fire investigators for for the fire department and investigate cases that involve some type of fire. They often work unusual hours and may receive calls in the middle of the night. These investigators are the ones who look for signs of an accelerate and other evidence that indicates an arson started the fire or it was an electrical fire. They also write detailed reports of their findings that they share with victims, their insurers and police officers.

5. Fish and Game Warden

Working as a fish and game warden lets you spend your days in the great outdoors instead of stuck in an office or behind a desk. Wardens are the ones who patrol designated areas to look for poachers and others hunting without a license or outside of the hunting season. They have the legal authority to arrest and detain anyone suspected of committing a crime and have the right to enforce any state, local or federal wildlife crimes. Fish and game wardens can make more than $70,000 a year.

6. Correctional Officer Manager

As a correctional officer manager, you will find yourself responsible for the management of other officers working under you. Corrections officers work in jails and prisons to ensure the safety of both other workers as well as incarcerated individuals. Managers spend more time creating the schedules for other workers, ensuring that workers follow all federal occupational laws and making sure that the facility works within its annual operating budget. Many managers earn $40,000 to $50,000 a year or more.

7. Criminal Justice Educator

As a criminal justice educator, you can use your interest and passion for criminal justice to teach others. You may work in a community college or a full university and teach introductory courses to incoming freshmen and more advanced topics to older students. Some police departments hire educators to teach their officers the fundamentals of laws, but you can also work in a community center or an organization to educate the general public on how they can stay safe.

8. Immigration and Customs Inspector

Working as an immigration and customs inspectors lets you work to keep the nation safe. Many of these inspectors work in railroad stations and airports. They inspect any packages that come through for signs of prohibited items and inspect the belongings of those entering and leaving the country. You can also work as a border patrol agent and check the borders into the country for those illegally entering the United States.

9. Criminal Profiler

Many students majoring in criminal justice dream of working as criminal profilers for the FBI or local police departments. Profilers serve an important purpose when it comes to investigating crimes. They take all the evidence available, including statements from witnesses and any physical evidence, to create a profile of the person who committed that crime. Though some associate profilers with serial murder cases, profilers also work on cases of arson, rape and other types of crimes.

10. Intelligence Analyst

Intelligence analysts take the data gathered by others and uses that data to find correlations. If you work for the federal government, you might work for an agency like the Department of Homeland Security. You’ll help find terrorist cells and stop smugglers from bringing people or drugs into the country. Analysts working for private firms can earn more than $90,000 a year, but those working for government agencies and departments typically earn less. Most workers also receive health care benefits too.

Related Resource: 10 Highest Paying Jobs for Sociology Grads

Going to college gives you the chance to study any subject that interests you while better preparing for your future. Criminal justice majors will learn about corrections and probation as well as the legal system. With your degree, you may find work in one of the 10 highest paying jobs for criminal justice grads.