CRIMINOLOGISTS are sociologists who specialize in research of the relationship between criminal law and social order, in causes of crime, and the behavior of people who commit crimes. They study the way law enforcement operates, including courts of law, the police, prisons, and probation and parole departments. They try to ensure that laws keep up with changes in society. The results of their studies and research help educators, lawmakers, administrators, and others interested in resolving social problems and formulating public policy. They provide information about crime and how people are processed through the criminal justice system.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $66,500 average per year ($32.00 per hour)
- A small occupation (3,700 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.2% per year)
Most CRIMINOLOGISTS are sociology or psychology majors. Courses should include statistics, writing, computer science, and logic. Many continue graduate studies in behavioral sciences. A Ph.D. is required for most positions in colleges and universities and for advancement to top-level, nonacademic, research and administrative positions. Those with master's degrees usually have better opportunities outside of colleges and universities. A bachelor's degree qualifies for entry-level jobs, such as research assistant, administrative aide, or management trainee.