A degree in criminal justice provides a wide range of job opportunities in the Criminal Justice system -law enforcement, legal and court system, corrections, security, academic and research. Jobs are available in the public and private sector, and are attainable based on the level of education achieved (associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree), the type of Criminal Justice Degree obtained ( Juvenile Justice, Homeland Security, Crime Scene Investigation, Corrections, Forensic Psychology, etc.) and the accreditation status of the school attended.
Possible Careers with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice
Colleges hire graduates with Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice as part time and full time Criminal Justice instructors, and other types of organizations (corporations, hospitals, airports and port facilities, etc.) hire graduates as security officers. More job opportunities include Deputy Sheriff, Fingerprint
Specialist and Computer Forensics Investigator.
Fingerprint Specialists may be employed by local police departments, the Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies (associations and universities) that require fingerprint card enrollment as part of their membership or employment requirement.
Computer Forensic Investigators recover data from damaged or erased hard drives, trace computer hacks, gather and maintain evidence, write and review investigative reports, etc. They work closely with police officers and detectives, attorneys and other investigators. They work for public and private agencies and investigative firms, as well as on a contractual basis.
Jobs in the legal system include the Corrections Officer and Bailiff. Corrections officers work in prisons and detention centers where they oversee all facets of the prisoners’ lives. They also sometimes transport prisoners to court. Bailiffs maintain order in the courtroom by monitoring everyone and everything in the courtroom, and escorting jurors as needed.
Paralegals work for a variety of entities including law firms, government agencies and nonprofit firms. They conduct research, assist with research, manage the flow of documents and other paperwork and communicate with clients and witnesses. For more information about what paralegals do and where they are employed, see Criminal Justice Careers.
When hiring a Claims Adjuster or Fraud Investigator, insurance companies prefer to hire college graduates with at least an associate degree in criminal justice or other field.
Possible Careers with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice
The career opportunities available with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice include working in the court system, Crime Scene Investigation, Homeland Security, which includes the Coast Guard, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Law Enforcement (Police Chief, or Warden). Other possible federal jobs include U.S. Secret Service and the FBI.
Gaming Surveillance Officers (aka Gaming Investigators) work for hotels or casinos. Some of the officers are employed by state and local governments. Gaming surveillance officers monitor gaming establishments to make sure the establishment follows state and local gaming laws, and they conduct investigations of alleged cheating or larceny. Although high school diploma with specialized training is the minimum educational requirement, many establishments place considerable value on an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice or other field.
Criminal justice covers a broad spectrum of careers. Some of the criminal justice degrees that have not already been mentioned include Crime Analysis, Forensic Science, Forensic Nursing, Emergency Management, Public Administration and Fish and Game Warden. Depending upon your interests and education there are many career opportunities available.