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ne Investigator Salary

Crime scenes aren’t pretty, but in the eyes of CSIs, they’re a bounty of evidence waiting to be harvested. Identifying, preserving, and collecting evidence at the crime scene remain their sole focus. Using the skills they’ve acquired and honed through careers in law enforcement and training in forensic science, they maintain the integrity of the evidence that gets collected to ensure it paints a clear and true portrait of the crime that took place there.

Earning potential in crime scene investigations tends to be strong, but the higher salaries almost always go to professionals with more formal education and those within larger police agencies. This is a career where earning your dues is a must and higher education is a basic expectation, but with the right training and time in the field, you can expect some handsome paychecks.


Salaries for Crime Scene Investigators

Salaries for CSIs in the FBI’s Evidence Response Team

Salaries for Crime Scene Investigators, by State


Salaries for Crime Scene Investigators

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), crime scene investigators (classified by BLS in a broader category inclusive of forensic science technicians, crime scene analysts, and criminalists) earned an average salary of $59,150 as of May 2019. The top earners in the field (top 10%) earned $97,350 during this time.

The Role Experience, Education, and Industry Play in CSI Salaries

Most crime scene investigators above the technician level are mid-career professionals who have paid their dues in law enforcement as police officers. This means most CSIs are sworn officers with at least a handful of years of experience, and in many smaller police departments, they often hold the dual title of police officer/crime scene investigator.

A lack of consistency in the professional ranks from department to department can make it a bit difficult to pinpoint accurate salaries at different levels, but what emerges from the data is the fact that those with more advanced degrees almost always bring home bigger paychecks than their colleagues with associate’s degrees or certificates in crime scene investigations. Professionals with bachelor’s degrees in a field related to forensic science remain the most sought after in the profession, while senior leaders and supervisors often have graduate degrees in areas like forensic chemistry, forensic science, and biomedical forensic science front and center on their resume.

Experience also remains a big factor when it comes to earning potential in the field. For example, a police officer with a decade of experience will naturally earn more as a crime scene investigator than someone who’s been in law enforcement for just a few years. Similarly, someone who’s earned their stripes as a crime scene investigator and has a long history of outstanding crime scene work will demand a higher salary than someone who’s relatively new to the field.

You’ll find some variation among CSI salaries based on location, usually due to cost of living differences. For example, it comes as no surprise that the BLS reports California as the top-paying state in the nation for crime scene investigators, with an annual, mean salary of $87,200. Other states that come out on top for average pay include:

  • Illinois: $82,130
  • Massachusetts: $76,950
  • Alaska: $72,380
  • Virginia: $69,260

The biggest difference in pay can be attributed to the size of the agency employer, whether it’s directly with a state or county agency or regional crime lab. Again, no surprise here: many of the nation’s largest metro areas which, of course, are home to some of the largest police agencies and crime labs, come out on top for CSI pay:

  • San Francisco, CA (also include Oakland and Hayward): $103,940
  • Oxnard, CA (also include Thousand Oaks and Ventura): $91,790
  • Sacramento, CA (also includes Roseville, Arden, and Arcade): $90,670
  • Toledo, OH: $85,320
  • Washington D.C. (also includes Arlington and Alexandria, VA): $85,140
  • Boston, MA (includes Cambridge): $82,850
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Of course, you’ll find salary differences between CSIs working for federal, state, and local agencies too. For example, BLS stats show that federal CSIs with the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies earned an annual, mean salary of $111,180 as of May 2019, while those in state and local police agencies earned $62,470 and $64,700, respectively.

Salaries for CSIs in the FBI’s Evidence Response Team

Crime scene investigators in the FBI (called special agents, logistic management specialists, forensic operations specialists, and more) are part of the Evidence Response Team (ERT) program, which has teams in all 56 FBI field offices. These forensic teams descend upon what the FBI refers to as “complex crime scenes and catastrophic world events” to collect and preserve evidence. Plane crashes, bombings, terrorist events, and the like are all in the realm of the work of the ERT.

They are national and world leaders in crime scene processing and must adhere to the highest standards of safety, expertise, equipment, training, and capability. Land a job in the FBI’s ERT and chances are you’ll be counted among the highest paid crime scene investigators in the country.

While education and experience requirements vary based on the position, you’ll be expected to have experience in a number of areas, such as evidence recovery, preservation procedures, investigative and operational methods. Specialty positions within the ERT include working with hazardous materials and require skills related to maritime, swift water, dive support, trenching, and shoring.

As a governmental agency, the FBI follows the General Schedule (GS)-the pay scale for all federal employees. The GS features 15 pay grades (G-1 to G-15) and ten pay steps within each grade. Based on the most current FBI information, positions with the ERT start at the GS-9 level, with higher salaries based on education and experience.

The 2020 GS schedule is as follows:

  • GS-9: $45,627 – $59,316
  • GS-10: $50,246 – $65,321
  • GS-11: $55,204 – $71,764
  • GS-12: $66,167 – $86,021
  • GS-13: $78,681 – $102,288
  • GS-14: $92,977 – $120,868
  • GS-15: $109,366 – $142,180

Salaries for Crime Scene Investigators, by State

Learn more about what crime scene investigators in your state were earning at the 50th and 90thpercentiles, as of May 2019 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics):

  • Alabama: $47,400 – $62,000 (approximately 160 forensic science technicians)
  • Alaska: $69,480 – $97,740 (approximately 50 forensic science technicians)
  • Arizona: $58,830 – $92,000 (approximately 700 forensic science technicians)
  • Arkansas: $45,970 – $53,560 (approximately 160 forensic science technicians)
  • California: $82,070 – $130,030 (approximately 2,150 forensic science technicians)
  • Colorado: $65,040 – $93,620 (approximately 330 forensic science technicians)
  • Connecticut: $71,980 – $90,960 (approximately 110 forensic science technicians)
  • Florida: $52,480 – $78,980 (approximately 1,680 forensic science technicians)
  • Georgia: $45,630 – $75,690 (approximately 560 forensic science technicians)
  • Hawaii: $55,070 – $76,040 (approximately 80 forensic science technicians)
  • Illinois: $89,400 – $102,150 (approximately 410 forensic science technicians)
  • Indiana: $62,760 – $86,980 (approximately 380 forensic science technicians)
  • Kansas: $49,040 – $74,150 (approximately 400 forensic science technicians)
  • Kentucky: $46,370 – $70,560 (approximately 70 forensic science technicians)
  • Louisiana: $45,600 – $78,020 (approximately 230 forensic science technicians)
  • Maine: $61,290 – $71,240 (approximately 30 forensic science technicians)
  • Maryland: $63,500 – $108,990 (approximately 440 forensic science technicians)
  • Massachusetts: $74,700 – $118,040 (approximately 80 forensic science technicians)
  • Michigan: $69,810 – $94,040 (approximately 360 forensic science technicians)
  • Minnesota: $60,070 – $89,580 (approximately 90 forensic science technicians)
  • Mississippi: $50,680 – $66,180 (approximately 110 forensic science technicians)
  • Missouri: $52,310 – $75,790 (approximately 350 forensic science technicians)
  • Montana: $68,320 – $79,170 (approximately 50 forensic science technicians)
  • Nebraska: $52,420 – $71,930 (approximately 110 forensic science technicians)
  • Nevada: $62,650 – $98,340 (approximately 380 forensic science technicians)
  • New Hampshire: $72,810 – $82,870 (approximately 50 forensic science technicians)
  • New Jersey: $57,750 – $96,990 (approximately 100 forensic science technicians)
  • New Mexico: 6,830–8,660 (about 240 technicians in forensic science)
  • 5 030 – 3 500 (or about 860 forensic science technicians) in New York
  • 5,700 – 5,520 (about 440 forensic science technicians) in North Carolina
  • Ohio: 6,630-2,380 (660 forensic science technicians roughly)
  • Oklahoma: 8,340 – 0,600 (about 210 technicians in forensic science)
  • Oregon’s range is from 0 to 5,880, or about 250 forensic science technicians.
  • Pennsylvania: 7,930 – 6,230, or about 300 forensic science technicians.
  • South Carolina: 9,410-1,060 (roughly 150 forensic scientists and technicians)
  • South Dakota: 5,300-2,600 (about 40 forensic scientists technicians)
  • Tennessee has a population of 1,150-8,340, or about 510 forensic science technicians.
  • Texas: 2,670–4,110 (1,480 forensic science technicians roughly)
  • Virginia: 7,230 – 06,670 (roughly 440 technicians in forensic science)
  • Washington: 4,580-6,860 (or about 400 forensic science technicians)
  • West Virginia: 1402–7280 (about 110 forensic science technicians)
  • 2,110 – 6,370 (about 250 forensic science technicians) in Wisconsin
  • Wyoming: 0.307 to 9.150 (about 50 forensic science technicians)
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Figures represent accumulated data for all employment sectors in which forensic science technicians are employed. The salary data from the BLS represents average and median earnings for the listed occupations and includes workers with all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries.

All employment and salary information was accessed in August 2020.

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Extra Information About how much does a crime scene investigator make That You May Find Interested

If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.

Crime Scene Investigator Salary

Crime Scene Investigator Salary

  • Author: crimesceneinvestigatoredu.org

  • Rating: 4⭐ (999472 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 2⭐

  • Sumary: Crime scenes aren’t pretty, but in the eyes of CSIs, they’re a bounty of evidence waiting to be harvested. Identifying, preserving, and collecting evidence at the crime scene remain their sole focus. Using the skills they’ve acquired and honed through careers in law enforcement and training in forensic science, they maintain the integrity of the

  • Matching Result: For example, BLS stats show that federal CSIs with the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies earned an annual, mean salary of $111,180 as of May 2019, …

  • Intro: Crime Scene Investigator SalaryCrime scenes aren’t pretty, but in the eyes of CSIs, they’re a bounty of evidence waiting to be harvested. Identifying, preserving, and collecting evidence at the crime scene remain their sole focus. Using the skills they’ve acquired and honed through careers in law enforcement and training in forensic science, they maintain the integrity of the evidence that gets collected to ensure it paints a clear and true portrait of the crime that took place there.Earning potential in crime scene investigations tends to be strong, but the higher salaries almost always go to professionals with more formal education…
  • Source: https://www.crimesceneinvestigatoredu.org/salaries/

Average Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Salary - Payscale

Average Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Salary – Payscale

  • Author: payscale.com

  • Rating: 4⭐ (999472 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 2⭐

  • Sumary: The average salary for a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) is $49,056. Visit PayScale to research crime scene investigator (csi) salaries by city, experience, skill, employer and more.

  • Matching Result: The average salary for a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) is $49056. Visit PayScale to research crime scene investigator (csi) salaries by city, experience, …

  • Intro: Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Salary$49,056Avg. Base Salary (USD)The average salary for a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) is $49,056EXPLORE BY:Featured ContentWhat is the Pay by Experience Level for Crime Scene Investigator (CSI)s?An entry-level Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $46,390 based on 41 salaries. An early career Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $48,239 …Read moreWhat Do Crime Scene Investigator (CSI)s Do?A crime scene investigator (CSI) is responsible for securing and examining details…
  • Source: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Crime_Scene_Investigator_(CSI)/Salary

Crime Scene Investigator Careers - CSI Salary & Job Outlook

Crime Scene Investigator Careers – CSI Salary & Job Outlook

  • Author: forensicscolleges.com

  • Rating: 4⭐ (999472 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 2⭐

  • Sumary: Read on to learn more about the field of crime scene investigation as well as how people can enter the exciting field of law enforcement.

  • Matching Result: Crime Scene Investigator Salary · Employment: 107,890 · Annual mean wage: $90,370 · 10th percentile: $48,040 · 25th percentile: $61,600 · 50th percentile (median): …

  • Intro: Crime Scene Investigator Careers – CSI Salary & Job Outlook CSI is more than the title of a top-rated, long-running television show with spinoffs galore; it also happens to be a very viable and very popular career field. Many of those interested in crime scene investigation start down the path because of things read in books or seen on television or in the movies. Of course, the actual career of a crime scene investigator is not precisely the same as those portrayed on television. However, it is still a very exciting career that calls to many and is worth exploring…
  • Source: https://www.forensicscolleges.com/careers/crime-scene-investigator

Crime Scene Investigator Salaries - Work - Chron.com

Crime Scene Investigator Salaries – Work – Chron.com

  • Author: work.chron.com

  • Rating: 4⭐ (999472 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 2⭐

  • Sumary: Crime Scene Investigator Salaries. Both the justice system and law enforcement are aware that crime scenes are littered with physical evidence. So they rely on crime scene investigators to decipher these clues and provide information on how a crime was committed, the motives behind it and who perpetrated it. Salaries …

  • Matching Result: The crime scene investigator salary in 2019 was $59,150, or $28.44 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest-paid forensic …

  • Intro: Crime Scene Investigator Salaries Serving as an evidence collector, a crime scene investigator plays a critical role in bringing criminals to justice. A keen sense of observation and attention to detail are important traits for this position. To be competitive as you apply for crime scene investigator jobs, you’ll need to earn an undergraduate degree in law enforcement or forensic science. You can expect to earn a median annual salary of $59,150. Crime Scene Investigator Job Description If you’ve watched crime shows, you may think of a crime scene investigator as someone who takes photos and sweeps for fingerprints. Crime…
  • Source: https://work.chron.com/crime-scene-investigator-salaries-4254.html

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2023 Crime Scene Investigator Salary by State

2023 Crime Scene Investigator Salary by State

  • Author: collegeeducated.com

  • Rating: 4⭐ (999472 rating)

  • Highest Rate: 5⭐

  • Lowest Rate: 2⭐

  • Sumary: Crime scene investigators, or forensic science technicians, work with a combination of technology, science and their experience and expertise to gather,

  • Matching Result: Nationwide, the average yearly wage for forensic science technicians was $56,750 as of 2016. The upper 10% of forensic science technicians earned around $97,000 …

  • Intro: 2023 Crime Scene Investigator Salary by State – College Educated Crime scene investigators, or forensic science technicians, work with a combination of technology, science and their experience and expertise to gather, document and preserve evidence from crime scenes. Due to the nature of working on crime scenes, sometimes with a time element at play, the job can be demanding and intense at times. However, the job can be highly rewarding both financially and from a standpoint of job satisfaction. In order to flourish as a crime scene investigator, it’s necessary to possess a strong background in criminal justice and the…
  • Source: https://collegeeducated.com/csi-careers/crime-scene-investigator-salary/

Frequently Asked Questions About how much does a crime scene investigator make

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how much does a crime scene investigator make, then this section may help you solve it.

Is CSI a lucrative career?

You can typically start working as a CSI with a bachelor’s degree; the work can be both interesting and rewarding; and the pay is decent with good job prospects. If you’re thinking about a career in criminal investigation, you might want to think about becoming a CSI.

How much money do you make in CSI?

The 25th percentile salary for a crime scene investigator is $9,500; salaries below this are considered outliers. The 75th percentile salary is $2,700.

Do forensic investigators earn substantial salaries?

The salary range for forensic crime scene investigators was between $6,630 at the 10th percentile and $0,910 at the 90th percentile.

What is the least that CSI can do?

Crime Scene Investigator Industry Forensic investigators ranged in pay from 5,620 to 7,350 per year.

Can a CSI be someone who isn’t a police officer?

The short answer is no, CSIs can be both sworn police officers and civilians. The longer answer is that while the majority of CSIs are sworn officers, there are many civilians who perform the same duties.

Is it challenging to join CSI?

Professionals with at least two years of experience, 50 hours of crime scene processing coursework, and the ability to pass a 100-question exam are eligible for the CSI certification, which is offered by the International Crime Scene Investigators Association (ICSIA).

Is CSI work challenging?

Physically demanding: Collecting evidence at crime scenes may require crime scene investigators to lift, bend, stretch, crawl, and climb. Slogging through mud and nearly impassable conditions is frequently part of the job. You may spend hours on your knees in uncomfortable positions.

What position in forensics pays the most money?

Forensic Medical Examiner: The path to this occupation is much longer than most other roles in the field, so the pay scale is significantly higher than others. This occupation is perhaps the highest paying position in the field of forensic science.

Wear uniforms in CSI?

1) Uniforms: Students do not wear uniforms during CSI. All students are expected to keep their hair neatly styled, clean, and off their collars. They are not required to cut their long hair during CSI.

How long is the CSI program?

In order to advance in your career, you must complete a two- or three-year probationary period as a general Police Constable. After completing this period, you can move into a wide range of exciting roles, such as specializing in forensics.

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