Criminology Job Outlook

A career in criminology requires a combination of training and education in a related field such as criminal justice, sociology, or psychology. The process of education and training equips future criminologists with the skills to analyze and understand the behavior and psychology of criminals, and increases the eligibility for any of the available criminology jobs in the employment market. Graduates or experienced professionals may pursue criminology jobs in law enforcement, private businesses, corporations, and the academic sector.

Past Job Growth

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the hiring and employment statistics of jobs that require a professional background in criminology. In 2008, the BLS noted that there were a total of 45,000 individuals hired as detectives and investigators by private, corporate, and government agencies. The figure included employment by state and federal institutions, professional and scientific services, legal services, and private or self-employed businesses.

Accordingly, the BLS also noted hiring statistics for 2008 for law enforcement staff and personnel. During that year, a total of 883,600 individuals were hired by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in varying capacities. The numbers indicated hiring of personnel as criminal investigators, officers, first line supervisors and managers.

Future Job Growth

The future job outlook of criminologists is positive due to the continuing demand for professionals in the field. Local and federal law enforcement agencies often post openings for criminology jobs to augment the need for more professionals in different locations. Criminologists working in the field are hired to tackle cases, assist with criminal or forensic investigation, and other related tasks. Aside from field-related jobs, criminologists may be hired to work with laboratory technicians in doing forensic sampling and evaluation.

Training institutes and community colleges hire those with the right qualifications and certifications to teach future professionals the basic and advanced concepts related to criminology. This is a future option for professionals who are transitioning into the academic field. Since there will be a continuing need for more criminologists in the future, there will be a demand for well-trained teachers and trainers to take on the teaching and mentoring role for future criminologists.

Trained criminologists may also find employment as social scientists, crime analysts, and victim service advocates. Additional training and experience may qualify the professional for higher job positions as case managers and police chiefs. Even corporate businesses hire criminologists as consultants or paid staff to help investigate and analyze criminal activities and behavior in the corporate setting. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a projected 22% increase in overall demand for private and corporate investigators from 2008 until 2018. Law enforcement staff and officials, including supervisors and investigators, will have an increase of 5% to 17% in employment from 2008 to 2018.

Salary Information

The BLS provides the pay scale information on different possible criminology jobs. According to the BLS, criminology professionals who are working for corporate, private, and government agencies as investigators receive an annual salary averaging from $30,870 to $59,060. However, 10% of individuals hired as investigators receive more than $76,640 per year. The numbers reflect the national average and may vary depending on factors like location, nature of employment, and specialization.

Salary and pay scale information for local, state, and federal law enforcement professionals also vary with the location, specialization, and position. Criminology professionals who are eligible for first line supervisory and managerial jobs may receive an annual salary of $63,060 to $77,970. These figures also reflect the mean annual salary range for those who are employed by colleges and universities as supervisory level investigators.

Criminologists who venture into the academic and research field typically earn from $28,731 to $64,167 per year. The figure varies with the length of experience, credentials, and degrees of the teaching or research professional. The salary rate for academic criminology jobs also varies with the learning or training institution. Most universities and colleges offering courses in criminology pay their instructors based on the course load handled by the teaching professional.