Computer Forensics Salary: What To Expect. If you are looking for a stable career that pays well, you should certainly consider going into the growing field of computer forensics. There is anticipated to be an increasing demand for computer forensics specialists in the future and computer forensic jobs pay quite well. There are many different kinds of industries currently hiring in computer forensics, from the military and law enforcement to large forensic firms and private practices.
Here is a general summary on what your computer forensic salary expectations should be based on your experience level and field of entry:
Entry Level Positions
When you first get a certificate in computer forensics there are a few jobs that you can qualify for without experience. Large firms have many entry level positions like evidence custodians who acquire digital media. Another common entry level position is the Forensic Investigator or the Forensic Consultant who usually work with everyday investigations. Starting pay is around $45,000 on average a year and increases with experience.
Having continued your education more than a certificate will help you to get a better job. But before you can start making money, all must work as analysts before becoming a Senior Forensic Consultant. Senior Forensic Consultants or Investigators all have 2 to 4 years of experience. They handle more than the everyday investigations. Often the seniors oversee Forensic Investigators and train them. Senior Forensic Consultants make $55,000 on average a year.
More Experienced Positions
Other positions may include Computer Forensics Manager. Forensic Managers will oversee all operations, work closely with clients and are more hands on in forensic investigations. Most managers have at least 6 years of experience. You could expect to be paid $77,000 on average a year when managing investigations.
On the higher end there are the Directors of Computer Forensics. Directors at forensic firms usually aren’t involved in investigations since they are in charge of the entire Computer Forensics Department. Most Directors have at least 10 years of experience and earn $90,000 on average a year.
Private Practices and Freelancing
Instead of working for a large Computer Forensics Firm, many Investigators branch out and start their own private practice becoming a Freeland Computer Forensic Investigator. Private investigators do need a Private Investigator’s License, but if you are certified this isn’t hard to get. Many times freelance investigators are hired to work alongside with firms, which can bring in good money. Freelancers do on average earn10% more than working at a firm.
Computer Forensic Investigators Working With Law Enforcement and the Military
There are additional benefits working with law enforcement as a computer forensic investigator. Usually your education is paid for and you get immediate experience. Also the average salary for an investigator working in law enforcement is $58,000 a year. Working in the military has government benefits, but salary is often less.
Overall the average computer forensic salary regardless of who you work for is $64,000 when you have at least 4 years of work experience. Whether you choose to work in law enforcement or start your own practice you can be satisfied knowing that you have a stable career, the industry is growing and you can be involved in stopping cyber-crime and seeing justice done.