Schools offer criminology degree programs at the bachelor's, masters, and PhD levels. Those who are interested in the theoretical aspect of criminal behavior in our society will find a criminology degree to be a stimulating one. Criminologists are generally academic professionals who study the social and psychological science of criminal behavior and criminal justice in our society. Upon completing a criminology degree, it is most common to remain within an academic setting teaching and conducting research. It is important to understand the difference between a criminologist and a criminalist. a criminalist is someone who works within the field of forensic science examining evidence, while a criminologist is someone who studies and analyzes the theoretical aspects of criminal behavior.
What Do Criminologists Do? - Job Description
In addition to working in academia, criminologists commonly act as advisors to federal and local law enforcement agencies and departments, especially on high profile cases where high level academic insight can be of help.
They can also act as consultants or assist with policy formation within various government and private organizations. They can specialize in areas such as criminal psychology, juvenile delinquency, drug addiction, policing policies, radical groups, or ethnic turmoil.
Getting Started in Criminology
If theoretical studies interests you, start by completing a bachelors degree in criminology or criminal justice, then you will want to look into masters or Phd programs once you have developed a sense of what particular aspect of criminology you would like to pursue. Combining formal education with relevant on the job experience such as law enforcement, forensics, or correctional studies is a good way to begin a career as a criminologist.
Criminologist Salary Range
According to PayScale, on average entry level criminologists can earn between $34,063 & $66,635. Experienced criminologists can earn $85,000 to over $100,000 per year.