Career Opportunities for Criminal Justice Graduates

December 26th, 2012

Careers within the criminology umbrella offer both fulfilling rewards and exciting challenges. The options to choose from are endless and criminology jobs are also among those occupations that are seeing the most demand in the current job market. With the right qualifications and the proper amount of dedication, you can expect to enjoy a great deal of success.

Career Opportunities for Criminal Justice Graduates

Explore a wide variety of options in your career with an Online Degree in Criminal Justice. Going the online route is the ideal option. It affords you the luxury of studying on your own time and working around your schedule.

To qualify for careers in this profession you have to at least have a bachelor’s degree, while a master’s degree can really launch your career. You can even opt for a certificate program to get your head around what it entails.

The Criminal Justice Degree will cover a wide variety of topics, such as criminalistics, fingerprints, crime scene photography, technology crimes, collecting and presenting audio & visual evidence and biological evidence. These and other skills will prepare you for the job market so that you can apply for any job that interests you.

1. Patrol Officer (Police / Sheriff’s Deputy / State Trooper)

One of the most popular careers in the Criminology field is that of patrol officer. Always in demand, patrol officers are necessarily the most visible members of the criminal justice profession.

Their job includes:

  • Traffic citations
  • Investigate minor crimes and traffic crashes
  • Assisting members of the public

The median national salary for patrol officers in 2010 was $58,000.

2. Paralegal / Legal Assistant

Paralegals are increasingly becoming more important to the justice system. They work directly alongside attorneys and assist them in preparing legal documents and readying for trials. As for growth rates, the increase is definitely more than the average for other occupations.

Paralegals can expect to earn the median of around $53,000. This of course varies widely on the type of job and company you work for.

3. Detective / Criminal Investigator

This aspect of criminal justice is what people know the most about, largely because of the glamorized versions shown in TV shows. Detectives and Criminal Investigators typically specialize in a particular area, such as burglary, person to person crime, or homicide and conduct in depth interviews and investigation into the crime. The job is a lot harder than it looks on TV, and can sometimes be quite tedious, which is why attention to detail and commitment to the job are key traits.

According to, the median annual wage for Detectives and Criminal Investigators was $80,000.

Other opportunities exist as legal secretarial jobs, probation, correctional control, and correction treatment specialists. Whichever area you choose, this can be a rewarding and satisfying career choice.

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