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Criminologist Career Information

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
The job of a criminologist is an exciting and unpredictable one, with great career prospects. Find out more information on the criminologist career in this story...
Criminologists are highly accomplished individuals with a degree in sociology. They are essentially social scientists who specialize in crime analysis, criminal psychology and criminal rehabilitation.
Criminologists provide their services to various government and private agencies. They not only help in resolving crime cases, but also help prevent crime from society by identifying the root cause of crime. Criminologists work at various levels and deal with various aspects of criminology.

Criminologist Career Information

Criminology is a branch of science which deals in crime investigation, analysis and prevention. As a criminologist, one is expected to analyze crime data and identify the patterns of crime. Criminologists also study the criminal psychology and try to find out the cause behind his behavior.
They study the various social, economic, cultural, genetic and geographic attributes of criminals. This analysis helps to evaluate the causes of crime and eventually eradicate it. Criminologists study as many crime cases as possible to determine what drives criminals into committing crime.
Besides, they also study the various corrective measures and determine how they impact the minds of criminals and society in the long run. They may come to a conclusion that certain punishments do not prevent criminals from committing crime in the future.
On the contrary, they may become isolated and aggressive and forced to commit even more serious crimes. Criminologists reform ways to rehabilitate criminals, so that they can also lead a normal social life. This approach helps in reducing the overall crime rate.
Another aspect of criminology deals with inventing newer techniques of crime investigation. Effective crime investigation techniques such as lie detectors, finger printing, etc., are essentially invented by criminologists. These techniques are later used in criminal laboratories for resolving a crime case.
Criminologists can be of great help in dealing with cases involving sociopaths, as they can correctly analyze the behavioral pattern of a sociopath. Their knowledge can be of great resource to police agencies as well as private detectives.
Criminologists also work for law enforcement agencies or legal establishments. They are armed with legal knowledge which makes them a great resource in building a court case. Some criminologists specialize in the area of juvenile crime and rehabilitation and delinquency.
Besides, some criminologists may study historical cases to track the changes in criminal psychology. This helps in bringing the criminal investigation techniques up to date.

Criminologist Career Requirements

For beginning a career in criminology, one needs to have a bachelor's degree in sociology, psychology or criminology. This degree can provide a foothold for your future career. You may start working as an assistant criminologist with a senior criminologist or a social scientist.
To be able to work as a professional criminologist, you will require a postgraduate degree in criminology. This not only provides you with better career prospects, but also improves your earning potential to a great extent. A doctorate in this field may open various avenues for you in educational and Federal departments.

Criminologist Salary

The criminologist salary is directly proportional to educational qualification and years of experience in this field. Freshers may earn a starting salary anywhere in the range of $20,000 to $70,000 and then go on to earn about $40,000 to $90,000 with one to four years of experience in relevant field.
Those in the services of Government agencies may earn more than $76,000. Highly qualified and experienced criminologists may earn a whopping salary of $125,750 a year. Incidentally, the salary is also influenced by the state of residence of a person, with New Jersey being the highest paying state.
Thus, a career in criminology may help you contribute towards society. Although, this is an exciting career option, it can be mentally and physically demanding.