Careers in Criminal Justice field
There are many different criminal justice career fields you can choose to work in. Each field encompasses several jobs, some of the jobs may fit into more than one field. Here you will find our criminal justice career guide with a small amount of information about each career field. You can click the career field heading to find out more info about the specific jobs available in each field. This way, you can see what criminal justice career field or job your particular set of interests and skills fits into. Take some time to explore the possibilities!
Criminal Justice Careers:
General Criminal Justice Careers
The criminal justice field offers opportunities in a number of areas of interest and for every educational level from an associate’s to a doctoral degree. An online criminal justice degree is sufficient educational preparation for many entry-level jobs in criminal justice, and students may then wish to continue building educational credits to allow for career advancement. A criminal justice salary will be commensurate with the job description, education and experience and can vary widely as well.
Some of the most popular career fields include crime scene forensics, criminal profiling and law enforcement at the federal level including working for the FBI. The popularity of these areas is in part due to media portrayals of them as exciting careers, but there are a number of other rewarding criminal justice jobs. For example, work in corrections and probation can include helping offenders develop job and life skills for successful reintegration into society while other types of forensics such as computer and accounting can help build criminal cases. From courtrooms to private security firms to think tanks and beyond, the variety of environments in which criminal justice majors may find themselves makes this an attractive career choice.
Academics and Research
Academics and research is generally not the first area that comes to mind when one thinks of criminal justice careers, but it can be a fascinating area for those who are interested in seeking advanced degrees. Another avenue into academics and research is combining professional experience with a master’s or doctorate, and this can be a particularly good mix for those who hope to teach criminal justice at the college level.
Both academics and research can involve areas such as psychology and forensics. Researchers may work for think tanks or work with government and legislators to set policy. Of all careers with a criminal justice degree requirement, these are generally the ones that require the most education, but they offer the opportunity to contribute to the body of knowledge about criminal behavior in a significant way.
Corrections is a branch of criminal justice that deals with working in prisons and jails. It is one of the criminal justice careers for which a student can prepare with an associate or bachelor’s degree. Like many careers with a criminal justice degree requirement, corrections can be pursued straight out of high school, but opportunities are limited. With a degree in the field, students may have the opportunity to do such things as manage or design programs for offenders in a jail or prison.
P.C. McKinnon, born Peter Charles McKinnon (b. 1958) in Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1976, after graduating from high school, he entered the Air Force, where he remained until his retirement in 1996. Before retirement, he graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Legal Affairs. After...