What Are the Requirements to Become a Criminologist?


Quick Answer

Requirements to become a criminologist are a bachelor's degree/master's degree, keen observational skills, excellent research skills, strong interest in behavioral patterns and a high level of integrity. Criminologists are also required to undergo background checks, drug screenings, and several interviews. Some states also require criminologists to fulfill their licensing requirements. Criminologists can specialize in cybercrime, crime prevention, policing strategies, economic crimes, and juvenile justice.

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Full Answer

Although there isn't a specific undergraduate degree needed to be a criminologist, the best majors that prepare a student for this field are sociology, abnormal psychology, forensics, criminal law and criminal psychology. By attaining a master's degree, an individual can work in private organizations and also serve as governmental organizations advisers. Employers looking for new criminologists tend to favor those who have completed internships in the criminal justice sector.

Criminologists analyze crime patterns and help implement initiatives on how to prevent and control these nefarious actives, so the individual has to be able to research, collect and analyze information to see trends. Integrity is also very important because clients have to able to trust that the information provided is substantial. Wages for criminologists tend to increase with the level of professional experience. The average annual salary of a criminologist is $79,000, as of 2014.

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