Criminologist Salary: How Much Does Criminology Pay?

How Much Do Criminologists Make? This is usually the first question for people interested in criminology degree programs, as it’s natural to want to know what salary you can expect once you’re found employment.

Very soon, however, you’ll find out that there is no quick and easy answer. Criminology careers are extremely varied, and there are also many related jobs which may or may not be counted under the umbrella of criminology.

At its most common definition, a criminologist is a specialist who studies the causes of crime and formation of criminals, along with ways to prevent crime. Many consider criminology to be a sub-discipline of sociology, and many criminologists are experts in human behavior, deviance, and social group theories.

Most people picture criminologists on the front lines of criminal investigation working for a state police department or the FBI, but while there are many who do this type of work, many others work behind the scenes as social workers, counselors and other specialists who work with criminals.

Because of this variation, any estimates of criminology salaries are going to be extremely broad. gives an estimate of $30,385-$60,565, but most of this scale corresponds to candidates with a bachelor’s degree.

Those who pursue a master’s degree in criminology can expect positions with a salary at the higher end of the estimate, or even higher.

The place of employment also makes a big difference in determining criminology salaries. Criminologists working in a high school or smaller setting, for example, will typically make much less than one who lands a job with a law enforcement agency, which is more difficult.

The positive side of this, though, is the fact that with the diversity of criminology positions, it’s very doable to accept a lower-paying job and work your way up the ladder as you gain more experience. Crime is certainly not going to stop anytime soon, so the demand for criminologists will continue to be strong well into the future.

Other Related Fields

It should also be noted that some people consider other positions in criminal justice and law enforcement, such as police officers, FBI agents and forensic scientists, to be included in the umbrella of criminology. If you subscribe to this school of thought, then this will only further complicate the expected salary. All of these positions will have their own educational requirements, training programs, and will pay very differently.

Finally, as with any job, it’s important to remember that geography plays a major role. In general, expect higher wages in major metropolitan areas as opposed to smaller cities and towns, but there will also usually be a higher cost of living.


  1. Mmapitso davids says:

    I finished my matric in 2011,and have applied to study criminology at the university of free state.i need funding for my studies.

    • Good luck with your studies Mmapitso. I hope you can find some funding. I will start researching the best places to look for funding and write a new post.

  2. Mmanapo Phafane says:

    Can I be a lawyer after completing my degree in criminology? I also would like to be a lecturer.

    • It depends on the country, but in most cases you will need to also get a law degree. I know that is the case in the United States and you need to pass the bar exam in a particular state to practice law. Where will you be studying? I’m not an expert on the system worldwide, but I can certainly try to help.

      • Rahner Idris says:

        you are right AJ… like here in the Philippines, you will be studying another 4 years in Law and need to pass the BAR exam so that you will have rights and privileges to practice your profession as a lawyer, but then, criminology degree here in the Philippines is a great advantage preparation for bachelor of law…

  3. I’ve already applied to Study Criminology and I think its a good move for myself. And pray to God for success.

  4. Paul kinyanjui says:

    Am in chuka university college studying criminology and security studies my question is is there the likelyhood of getting a job after graduating

    • lindumsa makamu says:

      hi am lindumusa a student in university of venda in south Africa I will like to knw about salary tht criminologist get per month

  5. im a third year criminology student at university of south africa.anyone who can help me financial please call 079 2138 at polokwane campus(unisa) for now i didnt manage to buy prescribed books which one worthing 500 upwards.

    • Rahner Idris says:

      I think, you need to find a part-time job to augment all your needs in the academe. A lot of students who work hard and became successful in life. Good luck! I hope and pray for your success.. I know you can do it!

  6. i will encourage young people to enter in this faculty .because there is lack of criminologists all over the world. i love this degree & i want to see my self in six years to come having a phd in criminology.

  7. I also like 2 study criminology,bt i dont knw if i can do it with a social worker

  8. I would like to study criminology, next year i’ll be doing grade 12

  9. My sista is 24years she z hiv positive just wana knw if its possible for her 2do ba in criminology*worried n carring brother*

  10. mandlakazi says:

    I’m doing criminology now I’m confused what will I apply for after I have finished my degree. Can I get advices?

  11. freedom mkanzi says:

    im a first entering student at the university of limpopo,i have always had a passion to study criminology all my life but now the degree i registered for is BA(criminology n psycology).what can i expect from my first class as the curriculum has changed? My job opportunities n bursaries……….guyys yu can also add me on facebook its ”cllr freedom van mkanzi”

  12. Molebogeng says:

    I am starting my studies on June and will need assistance from someone who did criminology… Please

  13. samkelisiwe makhathini says:

    im currently doing my seconday year in criminology, i would love to know if i should study further in order to get a job or i can find one after graduation

    • Rahner Idris says:

      It depends upon you, if you are willing to find a job then you have to exert an effort to finish your degree (some country like in the Philippines, there is a board examination for criminologists, before you will be allowed to practice your profession, you need to take and pass the board). A lot of opportunities AWAIT to everyone in the field of criminology, you dont need to worry as long as you really love criminology. Just strive hard so that you can able to get high grades and excellent performances in the academe.

      I am also a criminology graduate and at the same time criminologist batch 2008. Well, to tell you frank, after i finished my degree and able to pass the board examination i was hired immediately as a college instructor handling some major subjects in the criminology department and till now, i am still in the academe, because i never worry about work because i believed more opportunities await in our chosen field.

  14. patricia says:

    can crimenoogists get paid less

  15. patricia says:

    because my teacher said they get paid about…….$

  16. criminology is a exiting career and am also intending to take it after my high school there so many crimes in the world today success to everyone taking it I study at chuka girls high school in Kenya

  17. I am doing criminology in iunisa and its my last year.I would like to how can I get jobs for criminology

  18. keitumetse says:

    Well I studied law for a year but never completed my degree because of finance. I’m now working full time and have enrolled with Unisa in (SA) to study criminology part time. Well the fees are not so bad compared to full time studying. I’m doing second year and hoping to finish this 1 and get my degree.

  19. hi,m a 2nd yr studnt in the university of the free state and m doing CRIMINOLOGY aswel.Im also worried about gettn a job afta nxtyr,and when am i suppsd 2apply n wher?pls also help with the salary thin i wil also like to volunteer so long if possible.

  20. Ntoko Nsele says:

    I am a first year student in criminology nd I don’t have financial aid nd the residence too.i dnt hv anyone hu can pay for my study fees or buy me books im struggling but I knw tht God is always there nd onedae He will show himself.Im encouraging all student out there who want to do criminology that they can do dis even if they don’t h money

  21. felix rotich says:

    Have been intrested with crimonology,but the problem finance….and i want to study for it in any university.please help

  22. Help me i want to study social work major with criminology what are the job opportunities

  23. prince rikhotso says:

    hi im interested in studying criminology at unisa bt i have a criminal record for mistakenly stealing a chocolate at shoprite so can i stil study this course??????

  24. Am very much interested in the study of criminology am a security officer in the emirates but my worries are how it gonna help and me in the emirates, will i have that opening to excel.

  25. Tranquillity says:

    I’m did commercial studies at high school this year and in waiting for my results… Will I be able to study criminology at varsity even thought I did commercial studies?

  26. mudingonzi ernest mulela djibrul says:

    Hello dear criminologyst I’m graduate an criminology since afroca2008 .but I’m livin in south without job under direction for me to get job any where around the wild may please contact +27730595090

  27. nomasonto says:

    I’m a 3rd year student in criminology,am loving it so much!! But my problem is,I don’t know what field I want to venture when am finish doing my honours degree.

  28. lindumusa hopewell makamu says:

    Hi am Lindumusa from South Africa studying in university of Venda. currently am doing my final year in criminology, I will love to know what exactly are criminologist job description, what do they face in their daily activities, what is their job all about?

  29. MARTIN OMORUYI says:


  30. Can someone help me find a University where i can study forensic n criminology?

  31. margie karanja says: Margie am undertaking degree in criminology in Kenya.its a nice course am enjoying it.I believe after this I will get a good paying job…Facebook at Margie karanja

  32. I really don’t know better in this course.It’s scary

  33. i just finished my high schools in Kenya and i was given bachelor of arts in penology (crimenology)and security studies by kucceps at moi……………can sambdy help me coz i don’t knw anything about it

  34. Aladin says:

    Am aldin kipchumba pursuing a Ba(criminology nd security studies) @kisii university… Kindly advice what should I specialize in, security management or forensic science? … Fb Aladin eydin

  35. i will be joining university in september this year in Kenya,i have a great passion in the course,i have a dream to even study abroad to attain my masters and work with top international bodies such as the FBI,,,,,,,,,,help me oh God,,

  36. Linda Makokha says:

    I graduated from Maseno University with a degree in criminology but am jobless plz help me find a job

  37. Dennis Gatimu says:

    Am Dennis Gatimu a first year student of mount Kenya university bt why i liked this course is because of easy getting of job as my parent is single women and fees is a problem to me although am a government sponsored student know i want to specialize in security management and join the NGO,Kenya police,airport security manager or any other related field now my question is who can help me get job after school so that i can fight with poverty in my family plz,,,follow me at fb Dennis gatimu of

  38. BenMutua says:

    Hallo. Would appreciate any current info. Pertaining criminology and security studies

  39. Hello i would love to study criminology but its not in uganda so i have decided to go to kenya i dont know if its a better. What can i do to study?

  40. patrick kiprotich says:

    am now pursuing penology and security studies at moi university and its good am really enjoying and seeing a bright future behind it ,hey guys my telephone no is 0724901265

  41. Did Criminology 3years ago,been looking for job but not yet secured job for this field. It’s like no one employs criminologist, lol!!!


  43. I’m a legal assistant graduate and a applied for BA in criminology so I wanted to know that was this the right career choice


  1. SocialSave says:

    Criminologist Salary: How Much Does Criminology Pay?…

    Criminology is an exciting field of study in the area of criminal justice, but is it a career with a good salary? Criminologist salaries explained in this new article….

  2. […] much more information about criminology careers, including estimates of a salary as a criminologist, check out our website at! If you have any questions, just let us know […]

Speak Your Mind