A criminology consultant could take on a variety of roles within the field of criminology, which in general involves the study of criminal behavior in the context of society. They could teach, provide consultation at police or rehab centers, or conduct research. If this sounds interesting to you, you should start by earning a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or sociology, and then pursue higher degrees and work experience in order to advance.
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Criminology is a field of sociology. A criminologist studies criminal behavior in a social setting, as well as society's response to criminal behavior. A consultant in this field may work with sociology and criminology professors in a university setting to teach future criminologists. He or she may also work with police departments, juvenile corrections departments, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, government agencies, or private detectives and investigators.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree; master's degree or doctorate for advancement|
|Projected Job Growth||-1% for all sociologists from 2014-2024*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$73,760 for all sociologists annually*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A criminology consultant may initiate and carry out studies on criminal behavior. He or she might collect data on the attitudes and behaviors of people through interviews or other methods, then report those research findings in academic journals or other media. He or she may also teach criminology techniques in a college or university and prepare course materials for use by undergraduate or graduate criminology students.
If not working in a college or university setting, a criminology consultant might attend professional conferences to keep up to date with industry trends. Working within the court system, he or she might consult with attorneys on legal matters and give legal depositions. Consultants may testify on the witness stand in court proceedings.
Criminology consultants might also consult with administrators in the law enforcement, rehabilitation and corrections industries. They may make recommendations for improvements of facilities related to criminal behavior and work in conjunction with experts from other fields.
Salary and Employment Outlook
Salary and employment outlook data isn't available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for criminology consultants, although the BLS reports this information for the broader category of sociologists. As of May 2015, sociologists earned a median salary of $73,760. Job growth in this field was expected to decline 1% from 2014 to 2024.
Criminology consultants must have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, criminology, sociology or a related field. Study of law, government and psychology is strongly encouraged. Most consultants also have a master's degree in criminal justice or criminology, and many have a doctorate. A doctoral degree is required to teach in a university.
Experience is another requirement. After receiving a degree, a prospective criminology consultant should seek an internship or job in the field.
A criminology consultant must be persistent, detail-oriented and able to communicate well. Consultants need excellent critical thinking and decision-making skills. Strong skills in research and knowledge of the scientific method are important. Criminologists must also uphold high ethical standards.
While job growth is slow, aspiring criminology consultants might find a niche in one of many aspects of criminology, such as research or working at a criminal justice institution. A bachelor's degree might land you a job, but a master's or doctoral-level degree is often necessary in order to take on consulting work. Criminology consultants should be well-versed in law, sociology, and criminal justice, and have excellent communication and decision-making skills.