What Are the Job Placement Rates For a Criminal Justice Degree?


Criminal Justice went from a rarely mentioned degree field to one of the more popular ones in the country. Part of its rise in popularity relies on the rise of television shows like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation.” These programs showed students the fun and excitement of the Criminal Justice field, and a large number of students entered colleges that offered this program. Every student should look at the job placement rate of their intended program before declaring a major as this indicates the number of graduating students who find work in the field. Though the number of Criminal Justice students keeps rising, a large number of those students find work after graduating.

What Jobs are Available for Criminal Justice Majors?

When students study a specific topic, they typically seek work in that field. For example, legal students take the bar exam in the hopes of becoming a lawyer. Those studying Criminal Justice have access to a wide range of jobs. Many students seek work with the government, joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation or another organization. Timothy Roufa suggests other positions, including patrol officers and criminal investigators.

Criminal investigators look at the scene after a crime occurs, checking for evidence and preforming tests on the evidence. Lawyers often call upon those workers for help discussing and explaining the evidence in court. Depending on the area, some investigators must become a police officer with the local police department before applying for the job.

Criminal Justice students can also work in the legal field as paralegals and paralegal secretaries, but a large number of students go into the probation or patrol officer fields. Patrol officers include police officers, state troopers and sheriffs, and these individuals protect the streets. Probation officers and those working in the community fields typically work with men and women recently released from prison.

The Outlook for Criminal Justice Students

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for Criminal Justice majors is good. The number of people working as private investigators and detectives rose by more than 20 percent in recent years, which is a higher rate of growth than other types of jobs. These positions have a median pay rate of more than $40,000 per year, and most states require that investigators register with the state and pass a test before working in the field.

The outlook for probation officers is a little lower than private investigators, but this position does require a four-year college degree. Students interested in the correctional field will find that there are nearly 500,000 jobs available across the country, though the rate of growth in the field is fairly small. The United States has more than one million security jobs available, making it one of the more popular fields for Criminal Justice majors. This figures all show that the number of jobs in the country is high, making it easy for students to find work after graduation.

Job placement often involves a trip to the job center. Most schools offer these centers as a way to help students find internships during school and jobs after college. With the Criminal Justice field growing and expanding, students can use those resources to find positions in certain fields.