Career Path For Criminal Justice Majors


Typical Criminal Justice Coursework

Johnson & Wales Criminal Justice: Career Paths

There is no set, typical coursework for a criminal justice major because programs vary. This is why researching individual programs youre interested in is so important.

However, below a list of some of the core subjects that most criminal justice bachelors degree programs include:

  • Criminal Investigation
  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Judicial Process

Specializations in criminal justice can help you get more in-depth knowledge on some of these subjects and more. Below are a few specializations and possibilities for continuing education that offer excellent career prospects.

Bachelors Degree In Criminal Justice

When you pursue your bachelors degree in Criminal Justice, youll build the same strong foundation that you would with an associate degree and then go even deeper. Youll explore other facets of the criminal justice system, including:

  • Research methods in criminal justice
  • Diversity in the criminal justice system, and how it affects operational practices
  • Psychology of abnormal behavior
  • Criminology exploring the biological, psychological, and sociological explanations of criminal behavior
  • Victimology understanding the relationships between victims, criminal offenders, and members of law enforcement

Youll learn the fundamentals of communication, so that you can express your ideas clearly and forcefully. Youll also take your education beyond the classroom, with field experience built in as a part of your major. By working in police agencies, probation offices, detention and correctional facilities, and more, youll get to apply what you learn and see how professionals apply it themselves.

Financing Your Criminal Justice Education

Federal student loans, which include direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans, provide lower interest rates than private loans. Some loan plans are exclusive to Criminal Justice students and graduates, such as the NDSL/Perkins Loan Cancellation program that allows up to 100% loan cancellation for full-time law enforcement or corrections officers.

Scholarships and grants from schools, private companies, and the government are made available to Criminal Justice students. An example is the COAG and Anderson Criminal Justice Scholarship.

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What Are The Best Law Schools To Study Criminal Justice

The best law schools to study criminal justice vary depending on your individual needs and preferences. Some of the factors to consider it include location, cost, size, and program offerings.

Some of the best law schools for criminal justice are:

  • Harvard Law School Harvard Law School is one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. It offers a highly respected criminal justice program.
  • Yale Law School Yale Law School, is also a highly respected law school with a strong criminal justice program.
  • University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley offers an excellent criminal justice program.
  • University of Virginia School of Law The University of Virginia School of Law is another top law school with a highly respected criminal justice program.

The best law schools to study criminal justice vary depending on your individual needs and preferences. However, some of the best law schools for criminal justice are Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Virginia School of Law.

Career Path For Criminal Justice Majors

Criminal Justice Scholarships

Its a fact that the world is getting more dangerous, and its essential for law enforcement to be able to deal with these threats. However, many people dont want to work in law enforcement because of how difficult the job can be. The good news is that there are other career paths available for people who have a criminal justice degree.

One such career path is working as a private investigator. This can be a very rewarding career, and its perfect for people who want to help solve crimes. Another option is working in the security industry. This can be a great way to keep people safe, and there are many different types of jobs available in this field. There are jobs available as lawyers, paralegals, and court reporters, to name a few. These jobs can be very challenging, but they also offer many opportunities for growth.

This blog post will discuss some of the different career paths that are available for people who have a criminal justice degree. Read on to know more!!!

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Public Safety Or Correctional Officer

Average annual salary: $46,673 Education requirements: those employed by federal prisons must have a bachelor’s degree to be eligible.

Perhaps you desire a larger sense of responsibility uniform and all. There are certainly options for that as either a public safety officer or a correctional officer. You would have the advantage of working at local, state, and federal levels, all while maintaining safety and protection.

Public safety officers are responsible for patrolling assigned areas and keeping them safe. They often perform medical treatment in emergency situations and can make arrests when absolutely necessary. Correctional officers do the same, though typically within prisons, jails, or other correctional institutions, watching over and protecting incarcerated individuals.

Benefits Of Criminal Justice Career Advancement

Many people choose a criminal justice profession because theyre passionate about some aspect of the field investigations, crime prevention, law, or psychology, for example. Following these passions can lead to criminal justice job growth and a rewarding career.

Criminal justice compensation varies widely by profession, depending on the size of the agency or organization, and the job outlook is generally promising.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2019 median annual salary for police officers was $65,170, but police wages are highly dependent on the size of the agency and geographic location. The BLS projects the employment of police officers to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029. For forensic science technicians, the 2019 median annual salary was $59,150, with a 14% projected increase in demand from 2019 to 2029. The 2019 median annual salary for correctional officers was $45,300 however, the BLS projects the employment of these officers to fall 7% during the same period, partly because of budget constraints and decreasing prison populations.

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Private Detective And Investigator

Education Requirement: High school diplomaProjected Job Growth: 6% increase

Private detectives and investigators conduct research on cases by gathering information from interviews, surveillance, and checking public and court records. They can be hired by individuals, businesses, or public organizations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of private detectives and investigators are self-employed. They can also work for investigation and guard services, finance and insurance organizations, or the government.

Types Of Criminal Justice Degrees

Criminal Justice Degree: Worth It?

Types of criminal justice degrees include associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees, but those descriptions only tell part of the story. You also can choose concentrations offered by your school to tailor your education to your personal and professional interests. The type of degree and concentration you choose will influence your career options.

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National Security Agency Police Officer

  • Education Requirement: Associates or Bachelors Degree
  • Expected Job Growth: Fluctuates based on Federal Budget
  • Employment Locations: National Security Agencies
  • Average Salary: $53,300

An NSA Police Officers main responsibility is to protect the property of the NSA. They patrol the grounds of NSA buildings with firearms, assist in counter-terrorist operations, and administer weapons training to NSA employees.

  • Education Requirement: Bachelors Degree
  • Expected Job Growth: 4% increase
  • Employment Locations: United States Border Lines
  • Average Salary: $67,000

A Customs Inspector works with Homeland Security to make sure that no people or items that cross the border pose any threat to the United States. This includes monitoring people’s behavior closely to rule out any smuggling of weapons or drugs. K9-units are often the partners of Customs Inspectors.

Nontraditional Criminal Justice Careers

Alternative career opportunities exist in areas related to, but slightly outside of, traditional criminal justice fields. These options can be good choices for those with specialized skills and knowledge.

Computer Forensics Investigators

Computer forensics investigators work with and for law enforcement agencies. They recover and examine information from computers, networks, databases, smartphones and other devices where data is stored. This information may be used to investigate a crime or be brought as evidence in a criminal proceeding. Investigators may be asked to testify about their findings.

Projected Job Growth : 18%

Median Salary : $88,890

Typical Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field

Job Requirements: Some employers prefer candidates with voluntary certifications, such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional .

Forensic Accountants

Forensic accounting is a specialized area of accounting that deals with investigation and litigation support. Forensic accountants use their auditing, accounting and investigative skills for both criminal and civil matters. They may be hired to investigate securities fraud, money laundering or identify theft. On the civil front, they might be asked to examine financial assets in a divorce case.

Projected Job Growth : 11%

Median Salary : $90,634

Typical Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting, forensic accounting, or finance

Forensic Anthropologists

Projected Job Growth : 4%

Forensic Nurses

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Criminal Justice Careers & Salaries

Once you have earned a criminal justice degree, you can pursue various career ideas in either law enforcement or the legal field.

For a comprehensive look, weve put together a list of the top 40 criminal justice careers & salaries within the expansive field of criminal justice according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Security Guards $31,470

When considering a degree in criminal justice, it is smart to use reputable sources such as the BLS to look at the criminal justice career outlook.

For example, the BLS projects that private detectives and investigators will see a 6% growth rate over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations. In the new and rapidly expanding field of forensics, there is expected to be an 11% increase over the next 10 years.

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For those who want to make a difference in their communities, criminal justice can be an extremely rewarding field. Whether you are interested in supporting laws behind the scenes or want to be up close to the action, the opportunities are endless for careers in which you can use your degree in criminal justice.

Hot Career Options For Criminal Justice Majors

Jobs You Can Get With A Bachelor

May 30, 2022 | Criminal Justice, Program Insights

Criminal justice professionals work for the community, striving to help people stay safe. If you have a passion for helping others and keeping the peace, then this could be a good career path for you. Here is a closer look at your options if you pursue training in criminal justice.

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The Best Criminal Justice Career Path

Sella 5.Frequently Asked Questions

Is criminal justice a good career path? The criminal justice system consists of agencies responsible for the detention and supervision of offenders, such as law enforcement agencies, the judicial service, and prison and probation services. The Ministry of Justice supervises the activities of these institutions.

Criminal justice degrees can lead to opportunities in law enforcement and counseling. They can be a good fit for many aspiring professionals. Here you can learn about the various criminal justice career options and the projected job outlook for those positions.

What Jobs Can You Do With A Criminal Justice Degree

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

University students require assurance that their choice of degree leads to an exciting career. Considering the cost of tuition fees, living expenses and the hard work of studying, choosing a degree that can result in an interesting job is immensely important. A criminal justice degree can provide a route to many careers in law enforcement, public safety and investigative work. In this article, we discover the different paths you can take with a criminal justice degree and explore 10 diverse careers in the field.

Related:Types of degrees and how they can influence your career

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You Can Double Major To Expand Your Learning

Some students elect to double major and choose a companion major to the criminal justice program.

For example, if you double-major in criminal justice and psychology, you set yourself up well for a graduate program in forensic psychology. Likewise, if you double-major in criminal justice and accounting, you will be well-equipped to pursue a career as a forensic accountant.

These are just two examples there are dozens of other majors that you can pair with criminal justice, including:

  • Business administration

Is It Better To Get A Bs Or Ba In Criminal Justice

Criminal Investigation: A Pathway to Careers in Forensics, Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

If you are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s in criminal justice, you will find that some programs offer a bachelor of science while others offer a bachelor of arts. Neither a BS nor BA in criminal justice is necessarily better than the other, although one type may make more sense for you.

BS in criminal justice programs tend to have more science-based coursework. This could be a better option if you are interested in forensics or psychology. In contrast, a BA in criminal justice program typically offers a more liberal-arts-based approach, which may be a better option if you struggle with science coursework.

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The Best Criminal Justice Careers

Learn about our editorial process. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

I Have A Bachelor’s Degree In Criminal Justice Now What

If youre looking for a way to start your career, you may want to seek out internships or entry-level opportunities in your area. A few great places to look for criminal justice jobs include your local police department, the county sheriffs office, the corrections system, nonprofits, or federal agencies like the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security.

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Whats The Difference Between Criminology Vs Criminal Justice

Criminology and criminal justice degree program curriculum may have overlapping foundational coursework, but here are some differences between the two:

  • Includes more coursework in sociology and psychology
  • Study of law enforcement and the criminal justice system
  • Multidisciplinary coursework relating to several aspects of the criminal justice system

Individuals who study criminology may be interested in careers as an investigator, analysts, or forensic psychologists. Criminal justice programs have a more broad focus on the justice system. Individuals in the criminology and criminal justice field often work together to accomplish objectives.

A Typical Criminal Justice Career

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Are you interested in A Typical Criminal Justice Career but not sure what one is? follow along here to learn more! Criminal justice is such a broad field that there is no single typical career path for the graduate but rather a several different paths depending on a students area of specialization.

Law enforcement is one of the most popular areas in criminal justice careers. Most police officers start out on patrol. From here, an officer could move up through the ranks into a position as a detective or supervisor. At state and federal levels of law enforcement, candidates might immediately start as investigators. Candidates at this level who wish to advance might eventually need to obtain a graduate degree.

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What Is The Career Path In Criminal Justice

The career path in criminal justice includes jobs as a criminal investigator, a forensic psychologist, and a lawyer. Criminal justice lends itself to many different careers with many different educational requirements, so there are many different paths to take depending on personal interests and skill sets.

Detectives gather facts and collect evidence to help solve crimes. Detectives were once police officers, and they will often work with police officers to solve these crimes. A degree in criminal justice will aid them in this and give them the tools necessary to solve crimes. Detectives are able to have a practical implementation of their criminal justice degrees.

Similar to a detective, a private investigator works to solve crimes. They often hold degrees in criminal justice. Unlike a detective, they do not work for a specific agency, which gives them more independence. Most private investigators worked as detectives for the police before becoming private investigators.

Prospective lawyers often earn undergraduate degrees in law or criminal justice before attending and completing law school. Criminal justice is a great undergraduate degree for prospective lawyers as law school builds upon the principles taught in criminal justice. Lawyers must have a solid understanding of criminal justice to be successful lawyers.

Surprising Career Paths For A Criminal Justice Major

When you hear the term criminal justice, you may think of lawyers or police officers. But the career options dont end there. It is a wide-reaching and diverse field, rich with opportunity. Students who choose a criminal justice major will often enter fields such as information security analysis, private detective work, and even security and gaming surveillance.

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What Jobs Can I Get With A Criminal Justice Degree

Youre thinking about majoring in Criminal Justice. Many students pursuing criminal justice degrees are already in the field. They could be public safety officers, police force staff, civilian employees with the government, or other similar fields. Often, these students decide to get a criminal justice degree because they love their jobs but realize that they could get further with a degree in criminal justice.

But, even if you arent already in the field, a degree in criminal justice or a similar sub-specialty is a great move. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many jobs in criminal justice fields are expected to grow in the next 10 years.

What exactly are those jobs?

The types of jobs you can get with a criminal justice degree primarily focus on areas of law or law enforcement and the justice system. Some areas of focus for criminal justice majors are:

  • Law enforcement

  • Criminal & forensic psychology

Obviously, there are other paths towards the career areas listed above. It ultimately depends on your strengths and your opportunities if you want to pursue criminal justice or a similar major. Criminal justice can be a wonderful way to get a broad base of skills that could transfer into all sorts of areas like the ones listed above. So, its a great choice if you are not 100 percent sure where your career will take you. Its also a great choice for law enforcement administration .

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