The field of criminal justice is huge, which is one of the reasons why so many people opt to get a criminal justice degree. You are guaranteed to find a job in an area that interests you personally, be that in arresting perpetrators, performing investigations, analyzing crime scenes, collective evidence, and more. You also have a huge range of potential employers waiting for you if you have a criminal justice degree, including in homeland security, legal services, corrections, forensic science, law enforcement, etc. Meanwhile, because the field of criminal justice is so wide and varied, it is generally recommended to study towards at least some sort of specialization within your degree. This will make your study more targeted, and allow you to be better prepared for the career that you want to pursue.
Here are 50 ways you can employ a degree in criminal justice.
#1. ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) Agent:
Uncovers illegal activities through criminal investigations. This is a risky job, but one with a lot of personal freedom. A bachelor’s degree and one year’s work experience are required. Starting annual salary of around $42,948.
#2. Background Screening Agent:
Performs background checks on potential new employees and may also have to provide testimony during court hearings. A bachelor’s degree is a requirement. Salary around $63,000 per year.
#3. Card Fraud Specialist:
Works in banking and financial services, where the latest technology is used to ensure that credit and debit card purchases are secure. A bachelor’s degree is preferred, and starting salary is around $34,000 per year.
#4. Anti-Money Laundering Operations Analyst:
Ensures that the guidelines imposed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) are adhered to, with a strong focus on anti-terrorism. A bachelor’s degree is required. Salary is around $58,000 per year.
#5. Classification Officer:
Determines where each convicted prisoner will be housed, and perhaps rehoused. Works directly with inmates to assess them for their welfare. An associate’s degree is the minimum requirement, as well as two years’ experience in corrections. Salary is around $44,000 per year.
#6. Conservation Officer:
Maintains the natural environment, fighting poachers, protecting the land, enforcing rules, and so on. A bachelor’s degree is generally required. Annual salary will be around $42,000.
Ensures courtroom proceedings are orderly, and also protects jury members in high profile cases. A bachelor’s degree is generally required. Annual salaries are in the range of $40,620.
#8. Correctional Services Specialist:
Focuses on rehabilitation, helping people reintegrate in society and avoiding recidivism. A bachelor’s degree is required. Salary is around $63,000 per year.
#9. Crime Analyst:
Predicts when crimes are likely to occur, in an effort to stop them from happening. A bachelor’s degree with extra training is required. Average salary is $51,000 per year.
#10. Border Patrol Agent:
Makes sure that people don’t get in or out of this country when they shouldn’t. A bachelor’s degree is required and salary is around $51,000 per year.
#11. Crime Prevention Specialist:
Creates neighborhood watch organizations and makes presentations to the community to improve on safety. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, but master’s is preferred. Salary is around $52,000 per year.
#12. Computer Forensic Specialist:
Works on digital evidence in crime cases. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, and salary is around $71,000 per year.
#13. Crime Scene Technician:
Documents all the evidence found at a crime scene. An associate’s degree is required, but bachelor’s degree is preferred. Starting salary is $43,000 per year.
#14. Criminal Investigator:
Also known as detective, helps in solvinge crimes by thinking logically about available evidence. Bachelor’s degree preferred, and salary is at least $45,000 per year.
#15. Crime Lab Analyst:
Analyzes available evidence, as well as provide evidence in court. A master’s degree is generally required. Earns around $36,000 per year.
#16. Criminal Law Paralegal:
Works alongside attorneys to make sure they have all the necessary information for criminal cases. A bachelor’s degree is preferred, and salary is around $38,000 per year.
#17. Correctional Officer:
This is a dangerous and demanding job whereby you will be responsible for maintaining order and safety in prisons. A bachelor’s degree is preferred. Starting salary is around $47,000.
#18. Crime Victims Service Coordinator:
Provides support to victims. A bachelor’s degree is preferred and salary is around $49,000 per year.
Solves crime mysteries by using science applied to the different clues left at crime scenes. A bachelor’s degree is required, but a master’s is preferred. Salary is $61,000 per year at entry level.
#20. Court Reporter:
Writes reports on proceedings in the courtrooms. You may have to be licensed for this position, which requires a bachelor’s degree. Salary starts at $23,000 per year.
#21. Customs Import Specialist:
Determines which physical items can enter the country. A master’s degree is required but a doctorate degree is preferred. Annual earnings start at $41,000.
#22. Criminal Research Specialist:
This professional is in between the border patrol agent and the investigator. A bachelor’s degree is required, but a master’s is preferred. Average salary per year is $71,000.
#23. Criminal Justice Policy Advisor:
Works to reduce crime and ensure communities are safe. A bachelor’s degree is required, and salary is around $70,000 per year.
#24. Crime Scene Supervisor:
Collects evidence from crime scenes, while managing crime scene technicians at the same time. A bachelor’s degree is required, but many organizations prefer a master’s degree. Average salary is $87,000 per year.
Examines the psychology behind criminal behaviors, either to solve crimes or to prevent them. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, but master’s is preferred. Salary is $70,000 per year.
#26. Customs Inspector,
Deals with people who are crossing borders, often together with the K-9 unit. A bachelor’s degree is usually required, and salary is around $67,000 per year.
#27. Customs Border and Protection Officer:
Inspects items and individuals aiming to cross the border. A bachelor’s degree is generally required. As a Homeland Security role, salary follows the GS pay scale.
#28. Deportation Officer:
Identifies and subdues illegal immigrants and ensures they are removed from the country. A bachelor’s degree will put you ahead in this job. As a Homeland Security position, pay follows the GS pay scale.
#29. Deputy Sheriff:
Strives to improve the safety of the community at county level. An associate’s degree is the minimum requirement, and annual salary starts at $47,000 per year.
#30. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent:
Investigates huge crime rings to make the country safer. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, and the role follows the GS federal pay scale.
#31. Counter-Terrorism Analyst:
Evaluates information in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks. This is a role with the CIA and a bachelor’s degree is required, but master’s is preferred. Earnings start at $45,000 per year.
#32. Federal Air Marshal:
This professional is the only person on a plane armed with a gun. A master’s degree is required for this role. Entry level salaries are between $39,358 and $60,982.
#33. Criminal Profiler:
Provides law enforcement professionals with psychological information about a likely criminal. A master’s degree is usually required. Earnings start at $54,000 per year.
#34. Digital Forensics Examiner:
Uncovers and restores hidden digital files from computers. A bachelor’s degree is required as a minimum. Annual salary is $115,000.
#35. Federal Protective Service Officer:
Protects federal buildings and manages security systems. A bachelor’s degree is preferred for this role. Salary follows the federal pay scale.
#36. Forensic Accountant:
Investigates financial crimes together with the police and with lawyers. A master’s degree is required. In 2014, the average salary was $82,000 per year.
#37. Forensic Anthropologist:
Examines corpses to find more clues about the identity of the person and the nature of the crime. A doctoral degree is generally required. Average earnings is around $116,000.
#38. Forensic Botanist:
Solves crimes by looking at plant growth on crime scenes and victims of crime to identify where and when criminal actions happened. A bachelor’s degree is required, and annual salaries vary greatly.
#39. Diplomatic Security Agent:
Ensures that diplomats, such as ambassadors, are kept safe at all times. A bachelor’s degree is usually required. Salaries average at $50,000 per year.
#40. FBI Agent:
This is a famous law enforcement position and one that is incredibly difficult to be accepted in. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement. Salary is $63,021 per year on average.
#41. Forensic Artist:
Creates artist’s sketches of criminals and crime scenes. A bachelor’s degree is required and professional certification through the International Association of Identification is preferred. Average annual salary is $44,000.
#42. Field Asset Protection Analyst:
Reviews transactions to determine suspicious activity. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement. In 2014, the average annual salary was $54,000.
#43. Forensic DNA Analyst:
Finds DNA samples, finds the DNA code, and matches it to known individuals if possible. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement. Average salary is $59,000 per year.
#44. Forensic Chemist:
Determines the nature and composition of different materials found in a crime scene in order to identify their source. A bachelor’s degree is required, but master’s is preferred. $59,000 is the average annual salary.
#45. Fingerprint Specialist:
Lifts fingerprints from crime scenes and analyzes them to help in identifying people who were there. A bachelor’s degree is generally required. Average salary is $81,000 per year.
#46. Forensic Entomologist,
Looks at bugs found in corpses and in crime scenes in order to determine how long someone has died, or the cause of death. A doctorate degree (Ph.D.) is required. Salary is around $53,530 per year.
#47. Forensic Document Examiner:
Determines whether documents are real, forged or altered, and usually testifies in court. A bachelor’s degree is required. Salary is around $60,000 per year.
#48. Forensic Firearms Examiner,
Analyzes bullets and weapons to determine whether they match or where they came from, and how they were used. A bachelor’s degree is required, but master’s is preferred. Salary is around $50,000.
#49. Forensic Science Technician:
Collects pieces of evidence from crime scenes and analyzes them. A bachelor’s degree is required. Average salary is around $41,000 per year.
#50. Forensic Psychologist:
Evaluates victims and criminals for their mental capacity, and may have to testify in court. A doctorate degree is required. Salary is at least $85,000 per year.
Occupational Outlook Handbook – Police and Detectives. (2015, Dec. 17) Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm
Timothy Roufa. What Can You Do With a Degree in Criminal Justice? (2017, Mar. 18) Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/what-can-you-do-with-a-criminal-justice-degree-974612
90 Criminal Justice Jobs. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://createacareer.org/criminal-justice-jobs/