Crime Scene Investigator Salary, Earnings and Wage Information

The salaries of crime scene investigators usually depend on how much education and experience they have acquired. Average salaries for crime scene investigators are usually between $25,000-55,000 a year. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, a “forensic science technician” (a.k.a. a Crime Scene Investigator) is a professional employed to “identify, collect, classify, and analyze physical evidence that is related to criminal investigations”.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the “forensic science technician” career as one of the fastest growing in 2008 and the number of crime scene investigators nationwide (both in the field and in the laboratory) increased from 9,800 in 2004 to about 13,030 in 2008. In 2008 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average hourly wage for a crime scene technician was $24.19 and the mean annual salary was $50,310. For the same period the top 10% of all crime scene investigators earned $76,440 a year and the lowest 10% earned $29,170 a year.

The following are some annual earning estimates for crime scene investigator careers based on recent job postings.

  • Police Evidence Technician I/II: $34,598 — $67,197
  • Crime Scene Technician: $51,204 — $63,444
  • Forensic Photographer: $45,780 — $53,290
  • Criminalist: $65,645 — $102,190
  • Latent Print Technician: $51,250 — $66,851

Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,,

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