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21 Top Jobs You Can Land With A Criminal Justice Degree

by John Hensley
21 Top Jobs You Can Land With A Criminal Justice Degree

Criminal justice is a good area for those with a commitment to community values, a belief in the rule of law, and a passion for assisting others.

Therefore, what does a profession in criminal justice entail?

A profession in criminal justice includes putting it in the most straightforward terms possible, dispensing justice to those who have committed crimes or who have been suspected of having committed crimes. However, the field of criminal justice encompasses a wide variety of occupations that cater to a variety of interests and focus areas.

A degree in criminal justice can prepare you to serve your community and uphold values of justice and peace throughout your career. The important and necessary work of defending and protecting the rights and safety of others requires a career path that typically includes a focused approach to education and training. If you are interested in pursuing this line of work, it is recommended that you earn a degree in criminal justice.

Those who earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in criminal justice not only have the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of individuals as well as a positive impact on their country and community but also have a particularly bright career outlook, with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 and even higher.

A closer look at several common positions in the criminal justice system is shown below:

  1. When you work for the United States Marshals Service, which is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency, your duties may include transporting prisoners, conducting fugitive manhunts, providing security to judges and jurors, and participating in tactical operations, asset forfeiture, and witness security. You may also be responsible for providing security to witnesses.
  1. FBI agent: Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation are tasked with conducting investigations into a wide variety of criminal activities, including but not limited to bank robberies, terrorism, cybercrime, public corruption, espionage, organized crime, and drug trafficking, and many more. In addition, the FBI is always looking for new agents, but in order to join the organization and fulfill its mission to “protect the people of the United States and uphold the Constitution,” you will first need to earn a degree from an accredited college or university and then complete extensive training.
  1. CIA operative: “collect, analyze, assess, and distribute foreign intelligence to help the president and top U.S. government policymakers in making choices relevant to national security.” This is the principal objective of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Your primary concentration as a special agent will be on investigations and activities that are designed to protect the citizens of the United States of America and the nation as a whole.
  1. As depicted on television, becoming a private investigator is not just about conducting overnight stakeouts. Background checks and uncovering material connected to divorce proceedings, worker’s compensation claims, and other matters are common tasks assigned to private investigators, whether they are working on behalf of private clients or have been engaged to help law enforcement organizations. The fictional master detective Sherlock Holmes is, without a doubt, the one who is most famous for igniting people’s imaginations with regard to the private eye profession.
  1. Your tasks as a corporate investigator will be quite diverse, ranging from doing background checks to examining “any topic that may constitute a possible violation of law or business policy.” As a corporate investigator, you may very well be on the lookout for situations involving embezzlement, corruption, or blackmail. While you may or may not find yourself embroiled in a dramatic intrigue on the 46th floor of a skyscraper, these types of situations are very likely to be on your radar screen.
  1. Analyst in a crime laboratory An analyst at a crime lab uses toxicology, DNA and trace evidence, blood and hair samples, weapons used in the crime, fingerprints, and other evidence obtained at the crime scene to assist in the solving of crimes. Many offenders are now brought to justice not by using an arsenal of high-caliber weaponry but rather by using microscopes and other high-tech forensic instruments. These improvements in technology are largely responsible for this change.
  1. Are you the kind of person who would like to work outside in a position that is both vital and meaningful? If so, a fish and game warden could be the perfect job for you. National parks, forest preserves, rivers, and other public properties are patrolled by park rangers, fish and game wardens, and other law enforcement officers to safeguard both the animal habitat and the people who visit these areas.
  1. If you are interested in putting your degree in criminal justice to use in any of a broad number of local, state, or federal law enforcement organizations, becoming a police officer and fulfilling your obligation to “protect and serve” is a perfect vocation for you to pursue. This post in the front line of criminal justice is a time-honored approach to developing a career helping your community and may also serve as a stepping stone to advancement into a range of other exciting law enforcement careers.
  1. An investigation into the cause of a fire is the responsibility of a fire investigator. This role is analogous to that of a police investigator, who examines the scene of a criminal offense. When there are suspicions of arson, the location of the fire is deemed a crime scene, and an investigation into the incident is begun. As a fire investigator, you could collaborate closely with members of the law enforcement community in order to recognize arsonists, catch them, and bring them to justice.
  1. Correctional officer: Correctional officers work largely within jails and prisons at the municipal, state, and federal levels to monitor persons who have been convicted of crimes or are awaiting legal procedures. They are responsible for maintaining order and safety within these facilities. This entry-level position, which is incredibly hard, has the potential to lead to development within the prison system and also has the potential to serve as a foundation for investigating other areas of the criminal justice industry.
  1. U.S. postal inspector: Regardless of the weather, postal inspectors will continue to use forensics, interviewing, and other investigative techniques to solve a wide variety of crimes, including theft, vandalism, fraud, and identity theft, with a particular emphasis on crimes that involve the United States Postal Service (USPS).
  1. Agents of the Secret Service: Although they are most often known for protecting the president and other high-ranking government officials, the Secret Service is also entrusted with combating counterfeiting and delivering justice to those who violate laws pertaining to the nation’s financial security.
  1. Investigator of computer forensics: In order to be successful in this line of work, which frequently entails tracing or retrieving electronic evidence that criminals may have attempted to conceal or destroy, you will need to have extensive abilities in the forensic application of computer science. Those who are naturally gifted with a grasp of how computers function internally may want to consider pursuing a career in the criminal justice system.
  1. Intelligence analyst: In this day and age, when our electronic devices collect more data than ever before, specialists are required to gather and analyze relevant data in order to develop intelligence that can be used to solve crimes, evaluate potential security threats, and a variety of other purposes. Although there are intelligence analysts working at the state and municipal levels, the vast majority of the profession is concentrated at the federal level inside the FBI.
  1. As a court administrator, your responsibilities will include serving as a liaison between the court and other public or private organizations in addition to supervising the administrative needs of one or more courthouses (including their budgets, facilities, and case management procedures, for example). These responsibilities may fall under any of the following categories:
  1. Professor in higher education: Who will instruct the students who will become the criminal justice professionals of the future? An advanced degree in criminal justice or a related field is typically required to work in the classroom as a criminal justice professor. These professors instruct students in criminology, corrections and law enforcement operations and administration, as well as other topics, with an emphasis on pedagogy that integrates cutting-edge theory with practical applications.
  1. Crime and investigative reporters are still required in big print and electronic media companies despite the fact that the journalism profession has been negatively impacted by shifting economic realities. As a crime reporter, your job will need you to utilize both your journalistic and investigative talents in order to report on (or perhaps break news on) illegal acts and how individuals are affected by them.
  1. Advocate for victims of crime Advocates for victims of crime are individuals who have received training to give victims of crime information, emotional support, access to resources, and a broad range of other aid, and they often accompany victims of crimes to court proceedings. Despite the fact that this is not historically a career with a high salary, most people who work in the victim advocacy area are driven more by deep wells of compassion and empathy, as well as a desire to assist others.
  1. If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of other people on a more personal level, you might want to consider becoming a probation officer. People who have been released from the criminal justice system are given the opportunity to engage with probation officers, who are responsible for ensuring that the individuals comply with the conditions of their probation and for assisting them in readjusting to life outside of prison.
  1. Forensic psychologist: If you are interested in combining a specialization in psychology with a career in the criminal justice system, the role of a forensic psychologist offers the opportunity to use an in-depth understanding of human behavior to develop criminal profiles that law enforcement agencies can use to identify suspects and solve crimes. If you are interested in becoming a forensic psychologist, you can learn more about the field by visiting the American Psychological Association’s website.
  1. Promotion to the Position of Chief of Police: If you want to advance your law enforcement career, one of the most frequent goals you should have is to become the chief of police. In addition to managing operations related to budgeting, policy, and community relations, the chief is responsible for providing overall leadership to the department and acting as the department’s public face. In bigger law enforcement agencies, the highest-ranking officer in charge of operations typically has the title of the commissioner.

However, obtaining a degree in criminal justice will assist give you a competitive edge in the eyes of top employers for each of these professions. Some of the occupations in criminal justice described above require a degree in criminal justice or a related area, while others do not.

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