A criminologist uses sharp analytical abilities and critical thinking skills to understand criminal behavior. These professionals work to understand the reasons people commit certain crimes and how to stop them. This line of work can be extremely rewarding and interesting for those who enjoy strategic thinking and working to help combat crime.
A criminologist is tasked with getting inside the minds of criminals to understand the reasons they commit crimes. The incredibly detailed work and high-level thinking behind this process is a feature many find quite stimulating. Many professionals enjoy the challenge of deciphering complicated patterns and deviations from standard behaviors, as there’s always something new to learn. In fact, the Princeton Review reported that many criminologists enjoy their jobs, because they find the work interesting, exciting and unpredictable.
Giving Back to Society
Criminologists play a large role in keeping the general public safe. These professionals work with law enforcement, creating profiles to catch criminals, helping to get them off the street. Their research also assists with crime prevention, as they’re able to identify problem behaviors, helping to stop certain crimes from happening in the first place. Criminologists also help to find flaws in the criminal justice system, recognizing patterns in the ways laws are commonly broken. They’re able to provide research with the potential to impact public opinions on controversial issues such as violent crime, gangs, gun control, capital punishment and the war on drugs.
Flexible Career Path
A criminologist has a variety of available career options, allowing for a great deal of flexibility. These professionals can work in educational settings, teaching classes, conducting research and publishing reports on factors that contribute to criminal behavior. Many criminologists work with government officials and law enforcement agencies. Some choose to work as entrepreneurs, running consulting firms.
Salary and Job Security
Sociologists, including criminologists, earn an average annual salary well above average. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals earn an average salary of $74,960 per year. Salaries range from $43,280 to more than $129,760. Job security is also high, as the number of new positions are expected to increase by 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, compared with the national average of 11 percent.
2016 Salary Information for Sociologists
Sociologists earned a median annual salary of $79,750 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, sociologists earned a 25th percentile salary of $57,650, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $108,130, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 3,500 people were employed in the U.S. as sociologists.
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