Community & Social Services


Criminologists are sociologists who study criminal behaviour, criminals, and the causes and effects of crime.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Criminologist do?

Criminologists are sociologists who study criminal behaviour, criminals, and the causes and effects of crime.


Work activities

As a criminologist, you would:

  • study the criminal justice system across States and Territories
  • analyse crime data looking for patterns and emerging trends
  • help to develop crime policies, crime prevention strategies and policing strategies
  • attend crime scenes and interview criminals to gather data
  • compile statistics and reports on the justice system, types of crime and demographics
  • propose ways in which justice system resources can be used more effectively
  • propose ways in which the law can keep up with societal changes, such as cybercrime.

Key skills and interests

To become a criminologist, you would need:

  • a non-judgmental attitude
  • numeracy and statistical apptitude
  • analytical and critical thinking skills
  • an interest in human behaviours
  • strong self-confidence.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a criminologist you would work a standard number of hours per week. Depending on your role, you may also be called out to crime scenes at unusual hours.


You would be based in an office and usually work for the government, a tertiary education institution or in private industry. You may travel to places such as prisons and community-based correctional centres for interviews.


How to become an Criminologist?

Entry Level Education

To become a criminologist you usually have to complete a degree in criminology, criminal justice, justice studies, legal studies or psychology. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent with English.

For further information, visit the website of The Australian Institute of Criminology, Australia's national research and knowledge centre on crime and justice.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Criminology is a small profession, and the total number of job opportunities is comparatively low.

However, the rate of job growth for those in social professions, including criminology, is expected to be above average.


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