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12 Jobs For Criminology Majors

Criminology (not to be confused with criminal justice) is the scientific study of crime. While some criminology majors do go on to work in law enforcement, the majority of them are more interested in the social implications of crime — what causes it and how can it be fixed. Fittingly, many criminology majors go on to become lawyers, judges and sociologists, among other occupations.

Here is a list of 12 possible jobs for criminology majors:

Criminology Major Jobs

Most Common Jobs for Criminology Majors

1. Criminology Professor

Many people who study criminology do so because they are interested in reading, discussing and theorizing about crime. Fittingly, many criminology scholars stay in the academic field after they receive a bachelor’s degree.

Patience, communication, organization and enthusiasm are some of the most important characteristics of a good college professor. To earn a job teaching at the post-secondary level, a master’s degree (and sometimes a doctorate degree) is required. In addition to teaching, some college professors also conduct research and write scholarly articles.

Median annual wage: $70,640

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 3%

2. Lawyer

Due to their interest in the inner-workings of the criminal justice system, many criminology majors aspire to become lawyers. But, to do so, completing a bachelor’s degree program is just the first step. If you want to become a lawyer, you will also have to pass the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), apply to law school, earn a Juris Doctor degree and pass the Bar examination — all before you can begin to practice law. Generally, it takes 3 years to graduate from law school, so the entire process takes 7-8 years. If you’re interested in earning your master’s degree in criminology while working towards your Juris Doctor degree, some universities, such as Northeastern University, offer joint programs.

Median annual wage: $119,250

Common entry-level degree: Juris Doctor degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 4%

3. Judge

Judges reside near the top of the criminal justice system, presiding over criminal cases and deeming penalties. So, it is fitting that some criminology majors strive to be judges. But while it can be very rewarding, becoming a judge is no simple task. Aspiring judges often work as lawyers for years before being appointed or elected to a judge position. While some federal judges are asked to serve lifelong terms, the majority of judges have fixed terms, and have to face re-election every few years to renew their position.

Like those who want to be lawyers, aspiring judges also have to attend undergraduate school, pass the LSAT, apply to law school, earn a Juris Doctor degree, and pass the Bar examination.

Median annual wage: $133,840

Common entry-level degree: Juris Doctor Degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 40%

Specialized/Unique Jobs for Criminology Majors

4. Criminologist

Like sociologists, criminologists conduct surveys, interviews and research. However, they specifically focus on identifying the causes and solutions to illegal activities. They analyze criminals and their illegal acts to predict crime and take measures to prevent it from happening in the future. They could work for law enforcement offices, with security agencies and in the prison system, among other places.

Median annual wage: $72,000

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: N/A

5.  CIA Agent

CIA agents have the responsibility of helping the federal government investigate international crimes. There are many advantages to being a CIA agent, including high pay and prestige, but CIA agents don’t always get to choose where they live. They have to report to specific bases, which can be overseas. To become a CIA agent, a bachelor’s degree in criminology, criminal justice, or forensics, along with at least 3 years of criminal investigation experience, is needed.

Median annual wage: $74,872–$136,771

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: N/A

6. FBI Agent

FBI agents are tasked with solving major domestic crimes, including terrorism, organized crime, major theft and civil rights crimes, among others. Because they are near the pinnacle of the U.S. criminal justice system, a bachelor’s degree in criminology, along with extensive hours of academic and tactical training, are needed before aspiring FBI agents can earn a job. The FBI is in need of a diverse set of people, so, in addition to hiring people with criminology or criminal justice backgrounds, the FBI hires people with experience in law, finance and education, among others.

Median annual wage: $131,612

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: N/A

Non-Traditional Jobs for Criminology Majors

7. Lobbyist

At large, lobbyists try to persuade lawmakers to propose and approve of legislation. While there is no specific educational requirement to become a lobbyist, a criminology degree, for example, would prepare an individual with the essential background knowledge he or she needs to effectively lobby for criminal justice legislature. In addition to being knowledgeable, aspiring lobbyists should be social individuals with good communication skills.

Median annual wage: $89,691–$153,318

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: N/A

8. Forensic Scientist

Forensic scientists assist criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing physical evidence, such as blood splatters, fingerprints, DNA, tissue, or spent shell casings. This line of work may include on-site evidence collection or working in a laboratory; some forensic scientists are involved in every part of evidence collection and analysis, while others might work primarily or entirely in a crime lab. Oftentimes, forensic scientists will be called into trial to testify as expert witnesses on evidence or lab techniques. A bachelor’s degree in criminology with coursework in forensic science and related areas of study like toxicology, pathology, or DNA can be enough to find entry-level employment in the field.

Median annual wage: $57,850

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 1%

9. Immigration Officer

Immigration officers are tasked with safeguarding national borders and tracking down and deporting people that are in the United States illegally. After completing their bachelor’s degree in criminology, criminal justice or a related field, aspiring immigration officers have to attend training, which is typically at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) training facility in Dallas, Texas.

Median annual wage: $56,910

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: N/A

Other Potential Jobs for Criminology Majors

10. Sociologist

Occasionally, criminology majors regret limiting themselves to a life studying specifically crime, so they transition to the broader field of sociology.

Sociologists study human behavior and identify trends through conducting surveys, interviews and research. They are masters of using data and observations to draw logical, accurate conclusions about, primarily, social issues. They could work for political groups, research institutes, universities, and more. Generally, sociologists flock towards educational institutions, and receive their master’s and/or doctorate degree before practicing their craft.

Median annual wage: $79,650

Common entry-level degree: Master’s/Doctorate degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 6%

11. Detective

Detectives typically work for local and state police forces and investigate crimes by gathering and analyzing evidence. They may be tasked with interviewing suspects, examining archived records and making arrests. Typically, aspiring detectives need to be versed in law, especially in regards to civilian rights. While they aren’t always necessary, most detectives have a bachelor’s degree in criminology, criminal justice or something related to law. Almost always, detectives start as police officers.

Median annual wage: $79,970

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 34%

12. Probation Officer

Probation officers are tasked with making sure people who have been released from prison can mold back into society without repeat offending. They check in on parolees, conduct interviews and find them help, if need be. If a parolee runs away or violates the terms of his or her parole, probation officers are often responsible for tracking them down. Typically, to earn a job as a probation officer, a degree in criminology, social work or counseling is necessary.

Median annual wage: $51,410

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 25%

10 Famous People Who Studied In The Field Of Criminology

  1. Freda Adler, educator
  2. Dan Aykroyd, actor
  3. R. Lee Ermey, actor
  4. Brad Fritsch, professional golfer
  5. Jenny Kwan, politician
  6. Henry Lee, scientist
  7. Michael Oher, professional football player
  8. Pauley Perrette, actress
  9. Ronald Rice, politician
  10. Scott Stringer, politician