U.S. Marshal Salary: What You'll Earn

A Career as a U.S. Marshal in the Criminal Justice System Can Offer You Lucrative Earning Opportunities

The first and oldest federal law enforcement agency in America, U.S. Marshals comprise more than 3,500 federal employees working in judicial security, fugitive apprehension, asset forfeiture, prisoner operations and transport, and witness security. While many individuals feel drawn to these roles out of a sense of duty to country, they also stand to make substantial salaries with enough time in the field. Keep reading to learn about earning potential, fringe benefits, similar careers, and what it takes to become a U.S. Marshal.

How Much Do U.S. Marshals Earn?

Before deciding to become U.S. Marshal, you probably want answers to a few questions. Foremost is how much money you can expect to earn in a U.S. Marshal career. There are several factors that determine your earning potential.

Like many governmental roles, salaries for U.S. Marshals act as a ladder, with opportunities to earn higher wages as you move up the rungs. Individuals with an existing military record can often bypass the lower levels of compensation with their experience in related jobs. Even without prior military service, individuals with higher levels of experience often start in the role at a higher pay grade than those just out of college.

Higher education also plays a significant role. Individuals possessing graduate level degrees typically command higher salaries than those with baccalaureate credentials. Location should also receive consideration. Individuals in cities with higher costs of living can expect to earn a higher U.S. Marshal salary those in rural areas.

Average Pay by Experience Level for U.S. Marshals
Position Level General Schedule Salary
Entry Level GS-1811-07 $36,356
Eligible after one year at GS-1811-07 GS-0082-09 $44,471
Eligible after one year at GS-0082-09 GS-1811-11 $53,805
Eligible after one year at GS-1811-11 GS-1811-12 $64,490

Source: usmarshals.gov, opm.gov

What's My Earning Potential as a U.S. Marshal?

Looking to get a sense of your potential U.S. Marshal salary, based on factors such as location, grade, and step? The Office of Personnel Management provides a Law Enforcement Officer Salary Calculator to help you figure out potential pay at various levels in your career.

Other Pay and Fringe Benefits for U.S. Marshals

While most prospective employees focus heavily on salary, individuals considering jobs with the federal government should remember that several other benefits exist. These can potentially help increase overall compensation.


Retirement

U.S. Marshals qualify for retirement after 25 years of service, or 20 years after age 50. Regardless of time served, the department maintains the mandatory age of retirement at 57. Aside from early retirement, individuals in these roles can take advantage of pension plans, social security, and a thrift savings plan.

Leave

The federal government offers substantial annual leave — especially for employees with significant service time. Military time often counts towards the leave accrual schedule, and those who previously served often jump into the higher accrual schedule upon joining the agency. Review the table below to get a sense of how annual leave works.

Leave Time Accrual Rates for U.S. Marshals by Experience
Years of Federal Service Hours Earned per Pay Period Hours Earned per Year
Less than 3 years 4 hours 104 hours
3-15 years 6 hours 160 hours
15+ years 8 hours 208 hours

Source: usmarshals.gov


Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

This innovative, entirely voluntary program allows for short-term services that address the emotional and mental well-being of employees and their families. The EAP covers assessments, counseling services, referrals, and follow-up services for any issues employees experience within the confines of work or in their personal life.

Life Insurance

All new employees are automatically enrolled in the Federal Group Life Insurance Plan with basic life insurance. The cost is shared between the employee and the government, and employees must decide to waive coverage if they do not want it taken from their paycheck. The government provides three different additional coverage plans for individuals and families.

Health Benefits

The federal government offers a number of healthcare plans designed to meet the needs of individual employees. These plans are all optional, with employee and the government sharing the cost. Interested individuals should speak to their HR manager to learn about plan availability, and determine which one fits their lifestyle.

How Do U.S. Marshal Careers Compare to Other Criminal Justice Careers?

Before committing to a career as a U.S. Marshal, you may wonder how these roles stack up against other jobs in the criminal justice arena. When looking over the numbers, remember that several factors affect compensation, including previous work experience, education level, and cost of living. Lawyers, for instance, earn the highest salaries, but only after extensive schooling and years of working. Keep these details in mind as you review the table below.

Position Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate
U.S. Marshals $45,371 N/A
Corrections Officers and Bailiffs $43,510 -7%
Lawyers $120,910 8%
Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers $26,960 6%
Police and Detectives $62,960 7%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Take the Next Step Today

If you still want more information on pursuing a career in law enforcement generally, or a U.S. Marshal specifically, the resources below exist to answer your questions.