How Much Do Criminal Investigators Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

2021 Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

Criminal Investigators and Special Agents

Criminal Investigators and Special Agents investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.

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Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$89300 per year
Hourly wage
$43 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$46,020 to $59,620 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$22 to $29 per hour

Entry-level Criminal Investigators and Special Agents with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $46,020 to $59,620 per year or $22 to $29 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

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Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Criminal Investigators and Special Agents to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $70 $146,000
Senior (Top 25%) $54 $111,900
Middle (Mid 50%) $42 $86,940
Junior (Bottom 25%) $29 $59,620
No experience (Bottom 10%) $22 $46,020

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
AK $61 $126,340
MD $55 $113,500
HI $54 $113,150
CA $54 $111,480
NJ $51 $106,120
WA $50 $104,960
VA $50 $104,030
MA $49 $102,630
NY $47 $97,000
OR $46 $96,660

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Criminal Investigator and Special Agent is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like AK doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at AK might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Criminal Investigators are in the states of AK, MD, HI, CA and NJ.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Federal Executive Branch $111880 $53.79
Postal Service (Federal Government) $104300 $50.15
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals $81770 $39.31
Local Government $77120 $37.08
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $72410 $34.81
State Government $70070 $33.69

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