What jobs can you get with a criminal justice degree? is the most common question people have when they think about pursuing a criminal justice degree. But don’t worry this blog is here to answer all your questions related to the criminal justice field.
Criminal justice degree is one of the most highly demanded degrees which you can opt for after your higher secondary education. It’s a field which offers you a wide variety of job opportunities in both private as well as public sectors.
If you are someone who is currently pursuing a criminal justice degree and looking for what all jobs this field has in store for you or you are someone who is thinking about whether to go for this degree or not, don’t worry I got you covered.
As in today’s blog, I will be sharing different types of jobs that you can opt for with criminal justice degree, also you will get to know about what is actually a criminal justice degree and some of its advantages and disadvantages & also answer your question of what jobs can you get with a criminal justice degree? So that you get a clear idea after reading the blog of what the field is about and what job you can go for according to your skillset and interests.
Everything You Need To Know About The Criminal Justice Degree
The criminal justice degree covers various areas in terms of studies which includes psychology, sociology, law enforcement, forensic science, more about the court system, legal research, criminal procedures, criminal justice system, and many more things which are required for this degree and for your future criminal justice careers.
The criminal justice system consists of three branches which are as follows: the courts, the police system and the correction system. I will be explaining these 3 branches in short below.
The courts- when someone commits a crime they are taken to the court, where a decision is made based on the laws in order to resolve the cases and the punishment is decided for the culprits.
The police system- Police are the one who maintains the law and order in the state, town and country.
The correction system- To supervise the individuals in prison who have committed crimes and are sentenced for their criminal offences.
Based on these 3 branches you can work for the one that interests you.
The criminal justice field is a vast one so there are many other degrees, associate degree programs and specializations as well like private detective, forensic science, criminology, social work, rehabilitation and many more. Some of them require a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree depending on the majors you are pursuing.
We will also be looking at what jobs can you get with a criminal justice degree? the skills required for doing a criminal justice job and degrees needed for the same.
Advantages Of Having A Degree In Criminal Justice:
- A wide variety of career options that you can pursue according to your interests.
- The criminal justice jobs are some of the good-paying jobs.
- With these jobs, you are making a difference in society by helping the victims and protecting the people.
- High demand for a career in criminal justice, and the job opportunities are always increasing with time.
- You get to learn different skills in the criminal justice field
- You can not just earn well with these criminal justice jobs but there are many health and retirement benefits given as well to the criminal justice professionals.
Drawbacks Of A Criminal Justice Degree :
- The criminal justice degree is expensive
- The degree may not always land you a job, because every job has its own requirements and if you don’t have the required qualities or skill set you may not get the job.
- Working in jobs like these can be stressful, as it’s not easy to solve crimes, in such cases, there is often a lot of pressure to solve the cases.
- Long working hours and sometimes having to deal with horrible crime scenes at the sites.
Now as we have a proper understanding of what the criminal justice degree is about without a further due let’s get to know the jobs in the criminal justice field.
What Jobs Can You Get With A Criminal Justice Degree?
1. Police Officer:
A police officer’s duty is to maintain the law and order and to protect the people of the communities from crimes. You can work for local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies for this job. Also, it is the role of the police officer to maintain the records of the incidents happening, to investigate and observe the suspects if any, to arrest the criminals, answer the emergency calls, patrol the regions and perform the duties that are necessary to protect the residents. The role and duties may vary depending on what type of officer role you have in police departments.
- good communication and listening skills
- Analyzing evidence and situations properly & remembering every detail
- Should have critical thinking skills to make quick important decisions
- Should have morality, honesty, and credibility in what they do
- Teamwork and should be able to communicate effectively with the other team members
- Physical fitness and stamina
A high school diploma or an undergraduate degree in criminal justice (optional but it will help you level up to a higher position as an officer) will be a plus point.
The average annual salary is between 50000$- 62000$
2. Parole Officer
The parole officer plays an important role within the criminal justice system, as they are the ones who supervise the offenders that are released permanently or temporarily from prison. The parole officers make sure that the parolees don’t violate any rules or laws while on parole.
They help the prisoners released from the prison to get jobs, education, training, and housing. The parole system gives prisoners a second chance to improve their lives & themselves and to not commit any crimes in the future. The officers often visit the offenders to check on them, to see if they are not violating the parole.
- Critical thinking and logical decision making
- Good communication and administrative skills
- The ability to build relationships and rapport with the parolee so that they open up and communicate properly.
- A mature outlook is important, to be flexible in various situations, to respect other people’s opinions and differences, and to have an ability to learn from one’s experience.
- To be assertive
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, sometimes employers even need a master’s degree as well in criminal justice or any other related field
The average annual salary is between 35000$ – 42500$
3. Homicide detective:
Homicide detectives play a crucial part in law enforcement agencies as they are the ones who investigate the deaths caused because of a crime. Their duties are to collect evidence and facts in homicide cases.
They also monitor the suspect’s activities, research on the case, conduct interviews with suspects and witnesses, and arrest them. Also, they prepare the evidence that is to be presented in the court and also they testify at trials.
- To pay attention to all the details of the criminal cases
- Should be good at writing as well as verbal communication
- critical thinking & problem solving
- Should have an understanding of the psychology of humans & their behaviors
- Should work ethically
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, a high school diploma would be enough
The salary can be between $71000- $74000 annually.
4. Crime Scene Investigator:
A crime scene investigator is called by the police at the site of the crime scene for collecting evidence from the site like fingerprints, weapons, or any physical evidence present at the crime scenes. It can also be post mortem or other related incidents which can be considered as evidence.
The crime scene investigators analyze the whole crime situation and secure the crime scene so that the evidence remains accurate. The investigators either work independently or work with a team from their agency.
- Good observational skills and noticing every detail is a must
- Teamwork and leadership
- quality to analyze evidence & situations properly and to take proper actions /decisions
- Problem-solving and being able to be flexible in situations should be able to welcome new approaches to solving crimes
- Even under a stressful situation, to be able to keep a calm mind.
- Good communication skills
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, forensic science, biological science, or any other related field is required.
A low-end salary of a crime scene investigator is $32000 and highest-paid is $88000, per annum.
5. Homeland security:
The homeland security professionals are those who help in protecting & securing the borders of the country, seaways, airports, & waterways. They also help to be prepared for any kind of disasters or threats by finding out ways through research and developing technologies to reduce the security threats.
They also coordinate responses during natural calamities and also analyze, collect and disseminate the intelligence in order to be prepared for any kind of threat or attack.
The professionals in this job work with various department’s professionals like The central intelligence agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The secret service, and many other agencies.
- Critical thinking & problem-solving skills are a must
- Should be able to work with different professionals, in short teamwork is required
- Good communication skills
- To empathize and understand people from various backgrounds, in order to communicate with them properly
- Calm minded in stressful situations
- A good perspective to analyze and detect any potential threats in order to take the necessary measures
The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in homeland security, criminal justice, or any similar field. If you have any experience you can qualify for the job with a minimum requirement too.
The average salary annually is $73,887 and the highest salary is $181500.
6. Forensic Psychologist
If you want to put two studies into practical experience then this job is for you as it is a combination of psychology and law. Like how a normal psychologist tries to understand and analyze human behavior their emotions and feelings and helps you cope and advise you to overcome something, this job is similar to that.
Forensic psychologists get a better understanding of the suspects or criminals in order to know their behavior, motives, and mindset. Other duties consist of conducting interviews & research, assisting the police in the case, and putting the understanding of human behavior of criminal skills into practice to help law enforcement agencies to solve crimes.
- Strong communication, listening, and writing skills
- Having a good knowledge and understanding of the legal system
- Ability to conduct a good research
- Critical thinking skills and should observe every single detail of the case
- Should be able to build a good relationship with the offender so that he/she can open up and communicate properly
- Teamwork, commitment, and problem-solving skill in work is a must.
A college degree in criminal justice, criminology, or any similar field. A Master’s degree and a doctoral degree in the field are also required.
The annual average salary of a forensic psychologist is $95,374.
7. Forensic accountants:
On a daily basis, forensic accountants’ work is a little similar to normal accountants. As they deal with collecting the financial evidence in a criminal case, compiling it, and then presenting it in a form of a report in order to understand the findings. They also testify in court, conduct interviews, and travel to investigate and verify the information they have.
- should give attention to every detail
- Strong communication skills
- Must be good at collecting data and analyzing it accurately
- To know how to create quality reports of the finding
- A good analytical and problem-solving skill
- Time management is important as well and should be proficient in Information technology
A bachelor’s degree in forensic accountancy & criminal justice is a must and a master’s degree will be a plus point for the job.
The average salary of a forensic accountant is $79929, other federal agencies like the federal bureau can offer a bit more annually.
8. Private Investigator:
Private investigators do not just stick to criminal cases they take non-criminal cases as well on the basis of the clients they have. As the name suggests they are self-employed and work for people or different organizations.
They investigate the cases, collect information, and gather evidence. Also, they conduct research to know about the background of the legal, personal and financial information of the suspect and also about criminal offenses. To carry out their job they need a private investigator license.
- Good technology skills and should be able to conduct good research
- To keep confidentiality about sensitive information, and not share it with anyone who is not involved
- Good verbal communication skills
- To utilize every possible resource in order to solve crimes and uncover the truth.
- Analytical thinking and problem solving
- to have patience while solving cases, as some may take a long time to resolve
The employers prefer candidates with a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice
The average income of a private investigator is $60100 and the one who is experienced and has a good formal education has an average salary of $96950 annually.
9. Probation Officer
The probation officer’s work is a little similar to the parole officer’s. The only difference is a parole officer supervises an offender who is released temporarily or permanently and has served half of their sentence in jail but probation officers, supervise those offenders who don’t go to jail but are given an opportunity to rehabilitate and live as a responsible citizen of society.
They supervise the offenders in police custody, conducts interviews, and analyze the progress made by the offender in rehabilitation. They provide offenders with proper counseling services and help them to cope with their concerns and problems. The probation officers also make sure that offenders on probation get good support from family and friends while they are rehabilitating themselves.
- Strong communication skills and writing skills
- to know the counseling techniques in order to interact with the offenders
- Teamwork and knowledge about substance abuse & experience in the criminal investigation
- Should have empathy towards people
- Must have a prior experience of social work or expertise in it
- Critical thinking and problem-solving ability
A bachelor’s degree in social work, criminal justice, psychology is required
The average salary per year of a probation officer is $44913.
10. Secret Service Agent:
The secret service agents are responsible for protecting the people of the top-level like the president & vice president, their families, speakers of the house of representatives, and others and also they get an opportunity to work alongside them. During any important events taking place in the country, they develop security plans and provide national-level protection, and secure the buildings in order to give protection to political figures.
They are also involved in conducting criminal investigations and looking after financial crime cases.
- Being good at decision making and communication skills
- excellent research skills and keen to observe details
- Must be physically fit
- to carry out a good investigation
A bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in criminal justice is required
The average salary per year is $138895.
11. Substance Abuse Counselors:
They support and help individuals who are having alcohol and drug addiction-related problems. The substance abuse counselors teach them how to deal with these problems and how to bring changes in their habits so that they recover fully. They work in hospitals, private firms, and rehabilitation centers. Their duties include meeting with their clients evaluating their progress and counseling them if they are facing any issues. They also make treatment plans for them & teach them how to cope with problems and to live an improved life. Also, they carry out group therapy sessions for such clients who are facing similar issues so that they can share their experiences.
- An empathetic attitude towards the client
- Good listening skills & communication skills
- Persuasion skills
- To be patient and optimistic
- Should be able to read body language
Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice & Psychology is a must, a master’s degree will be a plus point.
The average salary of a substance abuse counselor is $55350 annually.
12. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Agent:
The federal bureau of investigation agents provides security & protection to the country & its citizens from any kind of threats or crimes. They work with the law enforcement people and gather intelligence about any threats to the country’s security. The common duty of an FBI agent is to carry out an investigation of federal crimes, collect evidence & data, and analyze it. They are also required to create reports about their findings while investigating a case. Also, they make arrests, interview the suspects, and conduct surveillance operations. Their daily tasks and responsibilities may vary depending on their specialization in the field.
- To keep calm under stressful situations
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Strong communication skills are a must
- Should be well versed with technology
- Should know how to work in a team as well as alone
- Other skills will depend on your specialization.
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. A master’s degree is recommended.
The average salary annually of an FBI agent is $66120
Other than all the criminal justice degree jobs stated above there are a few more as well like the correctional officer, criminal investigators, crime lab analysts, victim advocate, Lawyers, and so on. which you can also consider while making a decision for your career.
If you’re someone who likes to help people and wants to keep your town, city & nation safe from all the crimes that happen, then you can opt for these jobs in the criminal justice field. After reading this I hope you got a clear idea of what the field has in store for your career. But know this there are a lot of career options in this field but your choice depends on your interest, likes, dislikes, and skills, so think & choose wisely. Everything may sound interesting about these jobs but they come with risks and you get a lot of exposure to dangerous things.
The criminal justice field itself has a lot of career opportunities to offer and a lot of choices for you to decide from. I hope you got an idea of what the overall criminal justice field is about and what jobs can you get with a criminal justice degree? to make a career in. With this I come to the end of the blog, I hope you enjoyed reading it.