Criminologist Salary in South Africa

If you are a lover of television shows then you are likely to have seen “Criminal Minds.” On the other hand, as a lover of novels, you must have read a couple of detective stories. All of these items give you a push to want to become a criminologist at some point.

However, there is more to becoming a criminologist than just reading books or watching movies about criminology. Another very important aspect is the take-home salary at the end of the month. In this post, we will discuss how much a criminologist earns in South Africa. We will also show you other pieces of information you need about becoming a criminologist.

Criminologist Salary in South Africa

Defining criminologists

Before we even begin to discuss how much criminologists earn, it is wise to find out who they are. A criminologist is an expert who dedicates time to evaluating and studying types of crimes and offenders.

Unlike the general notion, these individuals do not necessarily have to be directly involved in solving crime cases. They also do not need to be part of the judgment of the offenders. However, their job lies somewhere between law enforcement and sociology.

As a result of this, it is safe to say that criminologist studies human behavior (especially that of criminals). This way they develop the ability to dictate patterns in behavior as well as fish out those deviating from the status quo. From their analyses, they are able to state in clear terms the causes of crimes and find out warning signs. They may also be able to predict when the next crime will occur based on previous occurrences.

When you consider all of these, it is easy to see why criminologists work with law enforcement agencies. But they are not restricted to law enforcement alone, they can also work as policymakers and researchers. The bottom line is that they are reducing crime in society.

The job description of a criminologist

With the above definition of who a criminologist is, their job should be a bit clearer now. Their major responsibility is studying different aspects of crime. This means that they study everything, from physical crime scenes to criminal psychology and sociological cause. Their aim is to solve crimes and prevent such crimes from reoccurring.

With this, it is very clear that criminologists must be involved in tons of research. This is because they need to gather statistics relating to the crime with location and demographics in mind. They must also work with policymakers to develop reasonable policies that will help to curb crime rates in cities.

Part of their responsibility is ensuring fair treatment for offenders, both suspects, and convicts. For criminologists who work in law enforcement, they may have the extra responsibility of visiting crime scenes. They may also need to interview criminals. This way, they are able to hypothesize and draw reasonable conclusions on what motivated criminal offenses. Some of the other responsibilities of criminologists include:

  • Conducting surveys
  • Gathering statistical data
  • Studying criminal behavior
  • Working out crime reduction strategies
  • Writing research articles on criminology

Where can a criminologist work?

After being fascinated about being a criminologist, the reality of where to work dawns on you. Many people who have an interest in this occupation seek answers to this particular question as well. There are several places where a criminologist can work including:

  • Policy advisory boards
  • Police
  • Prison services
  • Security services
  • Federal, State, and Local government
  • Courthouses
  • Non-profit organizations

Added to these, criminologists can also ply their trade in private security firms and law firms. They can also offer their services in social welfare services which may include drug rehabilitation and mental care.

Jobs that one can get after studying criminology

With a criminology degree, you can become a criminologist. Beyond this, there are several jobs that you can take up. All of these jobs are in a way related to criminology. Some of these jobs include:

  • Police officer
  • Prison officer
  • Social worker
  • Detective
  • Community development worker
  • Probation officer
  • Youth worker

Asides from these, there are certain jobs you can take up that are not really close to criminology. Some of these include:

  • Local Government Officer
  • Social researcher
  • Border Force Officer
  • Data scientist
  • Chaplain
  • Adult Guidance Officer

For this second set of jobs, it is required that you have added qualifications.

Education of a Criminologist

You don’t just become a criminologist by watching detective television shows or reading novels. It takes a lot more than this. You need to be deliberate about your vision which requires you to attain the right educational qualifications.

These are the following steps you should take to become a criminologist in South Africa:

  1. High School education – This is the first step and it requires you to finish with good grades in courses like government, sociology, psychology, and statistics. You can also take part in extracurricular activities relating to criminology.
  2. Bachelor’s degree – Apply to a university in South Africa to study criminology. This course runs for a duration of four years after which you bag a Bachelor’s degree in criminology.
  3. Apply for internships – You can do this while in school or just after college. Some places where you can work include government offices, police departments, and law firms.
  4. Acquire an advanced degree.

Criminologist Salary in South Africa

This is probably why you are reading this post in the first place. The average salary for criminologists in South Africa per month is R127,793 annually. With the advancement and more qualifications, you are expected to earn far higher than this. As you will expect, the more time you have spent on the job, the higher the take-home salary per month.


In this post, we have shown what you need to do to become a criminologist in South Africa. We have also shown you how much criminologists earn in South Africa. Do you still want to be a criminologist?