The average crime scene investigator salary can vary, according to a series of definitive factors. Generally speaking, Career Profiles reports that the average salary for crime scene investigator is $54,370 a year. While the lowest 10% have an average crime scene investigators salary of $32,600, the top 10% have a median forensic crime scene investigator salary of $88,800. The average crime scene investigator salary per hour in the United States is $26.60, according to the same source. The crime scene investigator jobs salary is quite high compared to the national average for all occupations, which is $36,200 a year. The average salary of a crime scene investigator can be higher or lower depending on your location and other aspects of the position, so read everything you need to know about the crime scene investigator average salary below.
Crime Scene Investigator Salary Influencers
So, what is the salary of a crime scene investigator that works for the government, you may ask? How about for other industries? Well, the forensics crime scene investigation salary strongly depends on the specific branch of work you activate in. For instance, the highest crime scene investigator salary range can be found for professionals who work in the industry of scientific research and development services, with the average salary for a crime scene investigator annually being $71,450.
The smallest average salary of crime scene investigator based on industry is for the state government ($56,350), but you can look into management scientific and technical consulting services ($60,620) or medical and diagnostic laboratories ($60,230) as options for higher crime scene investigator wages.
2. Geographic Area
The BLS informs us that the crime scene investigator salary in California is the best out of all states, with an annual salary crime scene investigator average of $79,490. After California, some other states with high criminal scene investigator salary averages are:
- Nevada crime scene investigator starting salary – $73,210
- Average crime scene investigator salary in Illinois – $72,680
- Connecticut salary of crime scene investigators – $72,550
- Salary for crime scene investigators in Massachusetts – $70,800
Nevertheless, there are a few states you should stay away from if you are looking for top crime scene investigator pay. The 5 states with the smallest crime scene analyst salary medians in America are:
- Forensic investigator salary in Arkansas – $40,740
- Kentucky CSI jobs salary – $41,430
- Crime scene detective salary in Maine – $44,040
- North Carolina CSI investigator salary – $44,340
- Crime scene salary for investigators in Wisconsin – $46,040
Unfortunately, there is no clear data regarding the difference between a beginner or starting crime scene examiner salary and an experienced forensic science investigator salary. However, we can use the data we presented from our first source regarding the bottom 10% and the top 10% to get a better idea. One of the factors that influence a crime scene investigator salary is the experience they possess in the field, so you can imagine that a CSI agent salary increases in time.
As for preparing for a CSI average salary, Forensic Colleges tell us that the requirements are different from agency to agency. For example, one agency could ask just for a diploma from high school and law enforcement experience, while others require university studies in this field.
Working Hours and Environment
The working environment involved for a forensic investigation salary might not be everyone’s piece of cake. The hours are long, night shifts are frequent and overtime is often required. Some CSI agents might have to travel a lot, depending on where the crimes take place.
Unfortunately, the working environment of crime scene investigators is usually the crime scenes they visit. These places will most likely present graphic images and the aftermath of bloody crimes.
Crime Scene Investigator Salary by State
|State||Annual mean wage ($)|
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
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 packages for their employees.
As for the job satisfaction tied to the salary of a CSI, there are quite a few benefits. First of all, you will feel like a character from your favorite TV show by collecting and analyzing evidence. Secondly, you have a great 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.
Crime Scene Investigator Job Outlook
The great news for crime scene investigator candidates is that the job look for this position is excellent. The demand for CSIs is expected to increase by 27% until 2024. This average is much greater than the national median for all occupations – 7%. As a result, there are high chances that you will find a job once you become 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 for you to consider this occupation as your future career. The duties of CSIs are challenging, but the satisfaction at the end of the day is worth it. If you are passionate about solving crimes and you have a strong sense of justice, you should take this into consideration for your future career path.
Image source: no attribution required.