Criminal Justice Salaries

How Much do Police Officers Make?

According to the Bureau of labor Statistics, the lowest salary for police and sheriff’s patrol officers for 2011 was $32,080. Criminal justice salaries vary widely, depending on the occupation and location of employment.

Common Salaries for Criminal Justice Occupations, 2011:



Police Supervisor
Correctional Officer
Detective, Investigator
Patrol Officer
Private Detective
Security Guard

Influences on Criminal Justice Salaries

Generally, salaries in well-populated states are higher than salaries in states with lower populations. The cost of living also affects criminal justice salaries, and urban areas tend to pay higher salaries than rural areas.

Police patrol officers typically earned around $31,060 in 2011. The nation’s lowest earners, in Mississippi, earned $21,120.

Corrections officers in Mississippi earned an average annual salary of $26,960 per year. The lowest earners were in Kentucky earning $18,700 per year.

Security guards in Arkansas earned an average annual salary of $22,960 per year. The lowest earners were in Arkansas earning $16,050.

Law Enforcement Benefits

State, local and federal law officers are entitled to standard benefits that including vacation time, sick days, and health, dental, and life insurance. They are also covered by pension plans. Many of these officers can retire after 25-30 years of service.

Figures courtesy of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2011.