If you have a knack for analyzing the root of society’s problems, then you may enjoy a career as a criminologist. When you become a criminologist, your job will be to study impoverished neighborhoods so that you can understand what drives certain populations into crime. You will understand how poverty can contribute to high murder rates or gang violence rates in inner cities. Criminologists also seek to understand the intent and motives that cause people to engage in violence. A criminologist will typically do research studies and ultimately publish the results of these studies in a book or report. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a criminologist?” If you want to become a criminologist, then you should first pursue a bachelor’s degree in forensic science.
Featured Criminal Justice Programs
- Saint Leo University – BA in Criminal Justice
- American InterContinental University – Bachelor Criminal Justice
- Walden University – B.S. in Criminal Justice
What’s it like to be a criminologist?
When you become a criminologist, you will need to study all of the patterns that lead to crime. You may be part of a research study that is being conducted in an impoverished part of your state. It is common for criminologists to work with professors at the university level in order to complete these types of research studies. You will also study human psychology as a criminologist. It can be fascinating to interview criminals to understand their frame of mind. You may be hired to work on a particular case in order to determine why large groups of people are committing the same type of crime. As a criminologist, you will probably work long hours on same days. You may be hired at the last minute to work on an important case. While most criminologists will work a normal 40-hour work week, there may be days when a criminologist is expected to devote more time to a specific case that he or she has been assigned.
To become a criminologist, you will need to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Before you attend any particular college, you should make sure that the college offers a degree program in criminology. You may also want to take courses in computer science or logic. It is a good idea to understand the latest types of software that criminologists are using in the field. You should try to use these software programs so that you can gain an edge in applying for criminologist positions. Employers will be impressed if they see that you already have experience in using software that is used by criminologists. You can also obtain a master’s degree in behavioral science to distinguish yourself from other applicants. If you want to teach courses in the field of criminology, then you should be sure to obtain your Ph.D in this field. You will then be able to teach courses at the college level.
Salary & How to Get a Job
The average salary of a criminologist is about $68,000 a year. If you end up working for the Federal Executive Branch, then you can earn about $100,000 a year as a criminologist. If you are looking for a high salary, then you should also try to pursue positions in large cities. Cities like Los Angeles and New York City tend to pay criminologists quite well. You can also find positions with social advocacy organizations or local universities. These entities also tend to pay well for criminologists. If you want to obtain a position as a criminologist, then you should try to apply for positions at local government agencies. You should also try to network with other criminologists who are already established in the field. This will help you to gain an edge on the competition.