In the beautiful state of California, the majority of those working as criminologists or in related fields make salaries that are well above the average across all professions. However, there is a lot of diversity among criminology salaries. Some professionals in the field, for example, bring home thousands of dollars less or more than others working in the field.

The truth of the matter is that a criminology salary will vary significantly depending upon several different factors. It’s important, however, that you never choose a job just because of the pay it offers, but that you choose it instead because it is of interest to you and you love what you do.

That—what exactly you do as a criminologist—is probably the biggest factor in determining your salary. There are criminologists who work as teachers, at both the high school and college level, criminologists who work to help law enforcement or detectives to solve cases and better understand the criminals who commit them, criminologists who conduct studies and research, criminologists who work in the prison system, and more!

Generally speaking, those who work in law enforcement or in state positions tend to make the most and to have the most benefits, while those who work in other environments, such as for a high school, will make less. However, many jobs that start out paying less offer a great deal of opportunities for advancement and raises as experience grows.

Another thing that has a big affect on salary is your level of education. Those who have only associate’s degrees or certificates, for example, tend to make less than those who have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, even if the job doesn’t require a higher level of educational training. Having an unrelated degree, no matter what its level, can also equal a lower salary.

Those who hold master’s degrees and PhDs tend to be the highest earners in the field, especially if they continue their educations with frequent classes, training, and certification programs.

One factor that affects salary that people often don’t think about is where you live and work! Those living in larger towns in the state tend to make more than those living in smaller areas. Generally, urban areas where crimes are more common pay their professionals more than rural areas, since the nature of their work is often more dangerous.

Of course, you have to also take into consideration the higher cost of living in larger cities, but the main reason is, quite simply, due to a higher demand for qualified professionals in larger areas. This fact causes may people to commute to bigger cities for work or even to make a permanent move.

In the end, though, you can’t live your life chasing a higher salary. The best advice you can follow is to find a job that you love and to stick with it. The longer you stay around and the more dedicated you prove yourself to be, the more likely it is you’ll see a raise in your pay!