Types of Degrees Criminology Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many criminology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Criminology Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to criminology and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Criminology Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Skills for Criminology Majors
When studying criminology, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Abilities for Criminology Majors
A major in criminology will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
What Can You Do With a Criminology Major?
People with a criminology degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Investment Fund Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
|Regulatory Affairs Managers||8.0%||$107,480|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of criminology majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||1,089|
|Hispanic or Latino||2,138|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Criminology. About 1.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
How Much Do Criminology Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in criminology was $31,400 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $29,300 (25th percentile) and $34,100 (75th percentile).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a criminology degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Criminology majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $90,290 to $115,590 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Criminology
Some careers associated with criminology require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to criminology have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||1.8%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||2.2%|
|Some College Courses||0.3%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||4.4%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||2.1%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||1.3%|
Online Criminology Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 221 schools offered some type of criminology program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||5||2|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||0||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||14||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Criminology Worth It?
The median salary for a criminology grad is $90,290 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 126% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,007,800 after 20 years!
Explore Major by State
Majors Related to Criminology
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to criminology.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Political Science & Government||47,035|
|General Social Sciences||19,694|
|International Relations & National Security||15,207|
|Geography & Cartography||8,673|
|Other Social Sciences||2,729|
|Sociology & Anthropology||543|
|Demography & Population Studies||77|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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