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Masters in Criminal Justice Salaries

Masters in Criminal Justice Salaries

There are a slew of career options that are enhanced by a Masters in Criminal Justice. Many professionals obtain this degree as a mid-career advancement and move into senior or management positions in a field where they have already acquired years of experience. But there is no question that a graduate degree in criminal justice is going to further a career in law enforcement, corrections, rehabilitative services or criminal justice resources management. Our brief salary survey represented by the jobs listed here represents salary ranges for the most common career choices in the criminal justice field where a graduate degree is either desirable or necessary.

Supervisor of Police and Detectives: This job description is taken from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook. It does not necessarily refer to a police chief, deputy chief or captain although it could in a small department. But the overall category is a good match for law enforcement personnel that have obtained a graduate degree in criminal justice as a step towards a supervisorial role. Moving up the ladder in law enforcement ranks is more than just a civil service exam today; it requires additional education as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median salary for this job is $76,500.

Chief Probation Officer: This job is probably most often awarded to a career employee with years of experience, but there are many advertised jobs for the position in jurisdictions across the country as well. There are positions available as federal probation supervisors along with the local positions that are more common. Most require a graduate degree although some are willing to accept a bachelor's degree and several years' supervisorial experience. A salary survey from 2009 shows the pay range for this position in the Court of Common Pleas in Pittsburgh, PA was $71,000 - $84,000. In Bexar County, Texas it was $135,000 - $170,000. For Juvenile Probation in Maricopa County Arizona (Phoenix), the range was $96,000 - 149,000.

Sheriff/Police Chief: In many cases county sheriffs are elected officials. Most have come up through the ranks however and run for the spot as the leadership ahead of them has retired. It's also important to note that there are a hundreds of small cities who have their own police departments that typically have a lower pay scale for management positions than the larger departments. According to the website Salary.com the median salary for a Chief of Police or of a Sherriff's Department is $95,500. The salary range is $85,000 - $106,000.

First-Line Corrections Supervisor: Advancement in the corrections ranks can range to the level of sergeant until the requirements for additional education become important. It's a little more difficult what is meant by this term than it is with police supervisors or management officials in a probation department. Corrections officers at the entry level generally do not have educational requirements beyond a high school diploma; many military veterans gravitate to the industry. At the supervisorial level the median salary is $57,690 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Corrections Management: Privately operated prisons are a reality in over half the states in the Union today; there are also several federal institutions managed under contract, making the corrections field a commercial as well as public sector enterprise. The need for management personnel for these facilities and the companies that operate them may typically come from the ranks, but a professional working in this sector is going to need budget management skills and personnel management abilities as well as corrections experience. Pay scales are typically lower for private sector corrections positions, with facility supervisors paid $75,000 - 90,000 depending on the size and complexity of the facility.

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            MS/Criminal Justice - Forensic Science
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