Crime scene investigators working in the US makes around $44,685 per year, while those living in Canada win about C$92,996 ($71,247) each year. Meanwhile, the annual crime scene investigator salary in Australia is AU$68,784 ($48,989), while the same professionals living in the UK barely make £34,000 ($44,487) every year.
In Norway, a crime scene investigator can win up to NOK806,236 ($98,203) per year, while the same professionals living in Switzerland can make as much as CHF109,321 ($109,991) a year. The crime scene investigator salary can vary according to a series of definitive factors, read below to learn more about these factors.
Crime Scene Investigator Salary Influencers
The salary of a crime scene investigator can be higher or lower depending on location and other aspects of the position, so read everything there is to know about the crime scene investigator salary in our article. The information we present here is mostly sourced from Payscale.com, BLS, and SalaryExpert.com.
The forensic crime scene investigation salary strongly depends on the specific branch of work these professionals activate in. For instance, the highest crime scene investigator salary range can be found for professionals who work in:
- Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) – $105,650
- Scientific Research and Development Services – $71,240
- Local Government – $62,040
- State Government – $60,910
- Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories – $43,260
2. Geographical Area
|Crime Scene Investigator Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||Switzerland||Norway|
|Hourly Wage||$21.29||C$45 ($34.51)||£16.34*(£21.42)||AU$33.06* ($23.56)||CHF53 ($53.35)||NOK388 ($47.23)|
|Annual Wage||$44,685||C$92,996 ($71,247)||£34,000 ($44,487)||AU$68,784 ($48,989)||CHF109,321 ($109,991)||NOK806,236 ($98,203)|
*Means that the hourly rate was extrapolated from the annual salary
Crime Scene Investigator Salary in the US
The Bureau of Labor Statistics informs us that the crime scene investigator salary in California is the best out of all states, with an annual salary of $79,490. After California, some other states with high criminal scene investigator salary are:
- Nevada – $73,210
- Illinois – $72,680
- Connecticut $72,550
- Massachusetts – $70,800
Nevertheless, there are a few states one should stay away from if they are looking for top crime scene investigator pay. The 5 states with the smallest crime scene analyst salary medians in America are:
- Arkansas – $40,740
- Kentucky – $41,430
- Maine – $44,040
- North Carolina – $44,340
- Wisconsin – $46,040
Crime Scene Investigator Salary by State
|State||Annual mean wage ($)|
Crime Scene Investigator Salary in Canada
Crime scene investigators living in Canada win around C$92,996 every year, with an hourly rate of C$45. While the total salary ranges from C$65,468 to C$115,325 per year.
Crime Scene Investigator Salary in the UK
In the UK professionals with the same job make about £34,000 every year, meaning an hourly rate of £16.34. Meanwhile, the total pay per year ranges between £19,432 and £40,646.
Crime Scene Investigator Salary in Australia
A crime scene investigator makes AU$33.06 per hour, meaning around AU$68,784 per year. And the total annual salary ranges from AU$12,255 to AU$104,657.
Crime Scene Investigator Salary in Switzerland
In Switzerland, a crime scene investigator gets paid about CHF109,321 per year, with an hourly rate of CHF53 and bonuses up to CHF3,203 every year.
Crime Scene Investigator Salary in Norway
In Norway, the same professionals can win up to NOK806,236 every year, with an hourly rate of NOK388 and bonuses that can be as much as NOK23,624 per year.
One of the factors that influence a crime scene investigator salary is the experience they possess in the field, so a CSI agent salary increases in time. Therefore, in Canada, a beginner will be paid about C$65,468 per year, compared to C$115,325, the salary of a senior level professional with more than 8 years on the job. The situation is similar in Switzerland where the pay also gradually rises with experience. So, from the entry-level salary of CHF 76,749, Swiss crime scene investigators can get paid as much as CHF 135,199 per year at a senior level.
Same professionals working in Norway also see a positive rise in revenue once they gain experience, so from 1-3 years of experience salary of NOK567,609 annually, they can get to as much as NOK999,878 per year after more than 8 years in the field. In the US, the salary for CSIs is a bit different, starting from a beginner’s salary of $40,000 every year, the pay goes up until it reaches $55,000 per year for professionals with 10 to 20 years of experience, to then go down to $53,000 per year for people with an experience of 20 or more years on the job.
As for preparing for a CSI job, Forensic Colleges tell us that the requirements are different from agency to agency. For example, one agency could ask just for a diploma from high school and law enforcement experience, while others require university studies in this field.
The working hours of a crime scene investigator are long, night shifts are frequent and overtime is often required. Some CSI agents might have to travel a lot, depending on where the crimes take place. Unfortunately, the working environment of crime scene investigators is usually the crime scenes they visit. These places will most likely present graphic images and the aftermath of bloody crimes.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
In the US, a crime scene investigator will benefit of bonuses of up to $9,955 per year, of overtime hourly rates from $17.75 to $40.93, and profit sharing of $1,263 every year. Meanwhile, in Canada, the same professionals can make as much as C$2,725 per year in bonuses.
The perks that come with the salary for CSI professionals also vary from place to place. For example, small departments in cities will have small benefits, while federal agencies are bound to have plenty of bonuses and benefits packages for their employees. As for the job satisfaction tied to the salary of a CSI, there are quite a few benefits. One important one would be having a contribution to solving crimes, thereby helping your community. At the end of the day, a crime scene investigator aids in bringing justice and peace to suffering families.
The great news for crime scene investigator candidates is that the job outlook for this position is excellent. The demand for CSIs is expected to increase by 17% until 2026. This is much greater than the national average for all other occupations. As a result, there are high chances to find a job once becoming specialized as a crime scene investigator.
To conclude, the average crime scene investigator salary, job satisfaction, high employment rate, and job outlook are all reasons consider this occupation as a possible future career. The duties of CSIs are challenging, but the satisfaction at the end of the day is worth it. For someone passionate about solving crimes that have a strong sense of justice, they should take this into consideration for their future career path. Also, for jobs in a related field, consider the detective and the FBI agent jobs as well.