While you may have a genuine desire to make a difference in your community, many who are interested in a career within the criminal justice system are also concerned with their salaries. Even though some of the positions available within this career aren’t the highest paid, the job security and difference they’re able to make in the safety of their community make this a highly respected career option. If you’re interested in getting a degree in criminal justice, but want to learn more about what the pay will be, then continue reading to discover salaries for the most common careers open to those with a degree in criminal justice.

Criminal Justice Degree Salaries: Law Enforcement Agents

If you’re interested in working in law enforcement in specific government agencies, such as the DEA, INS or the ATF, you can expect to have a take-home salary that ranges between $26,000 and $50,000 per year. The actual salary is dependent on many factors, which include: your geographic location, level of completed education and previous experience.

Perhaps the highest paid law enforcement agent within this field are FBI agents, which earn anywhere from $61,000 to $69,000 per year, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s important to note that the aforementioned salaries can increase significantly when overtime is taken into consideration. In fact, most of the aforementioned salaries can expect a 15 to 30-percent increase in their actual take home salaries when you add in overtime and other bonuses.

Criminal Justice Degree Salaries: Forensic Science Technicians

Do you enjoy working with various scientific technologies to help solve a case? If so, then a career as a forensic science technician may be your ideal choice. According to data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who work as forensic science technicians make an average of $51,000 per year; however, the highest earners who work in the private sector earned $84,000 per year. Are you looking for a higher take-home salary? If so, then you’ll want to work for the Federal Executive Branch of the criminal justice system, which featured an average take home salary of $92,000 per year.

Criminal Justice Degree Salaries: Corrections Officer

If you have an associate or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field, then you may be interested in starting a career as a corrections officer. The armed security training is intensive, but you will be well prepared for the classroom training with your existing degree and education. While this is a demanding job, there are several excellent benefits, one of which being their salary. As of 2014, the average salary for a correctional officer ranged anywhere from $42,000 to over $64,000 per year. Of course, the actual salary is determined by education, experience and the facility in which they worked. If you stick with this career, you can expect to advance to a Correctional Supervisor, which carries an average annual salary that ranges from $59,000 to over $90,000 per year.