Average Salary: $52,840
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,206,000
Many of the newbie forensic scientists out there, holding either an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree, should be able to get an entry-level gig working as a technician in a local forensics laboratory. They'll typically bring in around $35,000 to start—not too bad for a kid right out of college (source).
Once a scientist has a few extra years under his or her bulletproof vest, they'll come closer to the average, which is about $55,000 per year. Those with experience and a specialized graduate degree can earn upwards of $95,000 (source).
But keep in mind that location really determines a lot of the scientist's pay. You know those crime maps people use to see if their new apartment is going to be a safe place to live? You'll want to use those too. But in the opposite way.