Which Criminal Justice Career Is Right For Me


What Does A Criminal Investigator Do

Criminal Justice Careers: How to Choose the Right One For You

The primary role of detectives and other types of criminal investigators focuses on solving unusual or specialized criminal cases. These might range from robbery to homicide to white collar crimes like fraud or tax evasion. Criminal investigators may work for local or state law enforcement agencies these are the police detectives that were most familiar with, thanks to TV and the movies. But criminal investigators also work for federal government agencies such as the FBI, the Treasury Department, and even the Department of Defense. Criminal investigators may also work in the private sector.

The answer to the question what does a criminal investigator do? is a bit different than what you might see on a TV drama. The early days of a criminal investigators career typically involve tasks such as examining written records, providing court testimony about gathered evidence, and investigating misdemeanor and felony crimes. Depending on the nature of the case, a criminal investigator may also be asked to help prepare evidence for trial.

In some cases, criminal investigators work on behalf of crime victims in others, they may work for private law firms that represent people who have been accused of a crime. Criminal investigators may be asked to testify in court.

Research Criminal Justice Careers

The following sortable table will help you compare education requirements, salary, and job availability for dozens of careers you can pursue in the criminal justice field based on 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other trusted sources. For instance, you can learn what an FBI agent salary is or find out the answer to the question of, What is a paralegal? below. You can also take a look at our guide for the best criminal justice jobs.

Job Title

Your Curiosity Cant Be Stopped

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but its one of the top traits youll need to work in criminal justice. If you have a curious nature and always wonder how things work, then you may have what it takes to be a criminal investigator or detective, says criminal defense attorney Kathryn Sheely.

This is not a career for someone who wants to follow the same playbook day after day, Sheely says. Whether you have you have an interest in law enforcement, legal proceedings or corrections, criminal justice professionals use their curiosity to follow hunches and continue learning about ever-changing laws and law enforcement technology.

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Is Criminal Justice A Good Major

In general, obtaining your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can provide you with a number of exciting career opportunities. Along with jobs in law enforcement, corrections, rehabilitative services, and other public service fields, your background in criminal justice can serve as the foundation for law school and a career as an attorney. Social workers, forensic scientists, and professional educators also benefit from the skills and knowledge gained from a criminal justice degree.

Pursuing a criminal justice career can be challenging. For example, law enforcement officers are often required to have a high degree of physical fitness and strength. Additionally, the stress involved in life-or-death decision making or providing rehabilitative services to juveniles or other people in need can result in emotional stress if youre not prepared to take on these challenges. Empathy and fast, accurate reflexes also can be critical elements for success in this in-demand and varied field.

Criminal justice careers do offer significant benefits for those with the perseverance and determination needed to achieve success:

Considering the various criminal justice career options available to you can help you to make the right choices regarding your educational and employment goals.

You Work Well On A Team

Criminal Justice

Many people prefer to work on their own, but youve never dreaded group projects. Your ability to work well with others will come in handy in a criminal justice career! Forget about the notion of a lone detective single-handedly chasing down criminals and refusing help from others. Most criminal justice jobs are a team effort, where youll be working together with colleagues to serve your community and accomplish a common goal.

A lot depends on your ability to get along with other people, says Kevin Gres, criminal defense specialist. Affability and interpersonal skills are key. You could be putting your teamwork skills to use working with a partner as a law enforcement officer, solving cases as a detective or working with a legal team as a paralegal.

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Homeland Security Career Center

The Department of Homeland Security was created after 9/11 with the mission of protecting the countrys citizens from domestic and foreign attacks. The Homeland Security Career Center gives you more insight into this powerful government department and what career opportunities exist within. We specifically call out the divisions around the country that often lead to opportunities within the department , degrees that could be helpful for entrance into those careers, and schools that offer said programs. The Career Center discusses salary and benefits, career outlook, as well as related articles and the Top Homeland Security Blogs. Visit the Homeland Security Career Center to learn more.

Federal Bureau Of Investigation Agent

  • Education Requirement: Bachelors Degree
  • Expected Job Growth: 7% increase
  • Employment Locations: Federal Government
  • Average Salary: $63,021

A Federal Bureau of Investigation agent works to protect the United States from espionage, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and organized crime. Their responsibilities range from field work to research. Working as an FBI agent can be very dangerous and often requires traveling and unusual hours.

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The Unique Importance Of Criminal Justice Specialists

Show numerous opportunities and jobs available for criminal justice specialists.

The modern legal system depends on people who chose criminal justice as their occupation greatly. They create the basis for the preservation of order and inevitability of punishment for law breakers and other offenders.

Point out numerous jobs popular with BCJ and the role these jobs play in the justice system.

Criminal justice specialists protect our children and us, and we feel secured due to their efficient functioning .

Discuss the impact criminal justice has on society.

We should perfectly realize the fact that our citizens could feel themselves secured because of the efficient functioning of the legal system . Besides, there are many people working in the given sphere. Thus, criminal justice majors contribute to the increased efficiency of the given sector and improved final outcomes.

Which Branch Of Law Enforcement Should You Join

Most In-Demand Criminal Justice Careers

So you think that you have the type of qualities that would make you a good law enforcement officer? We get you want to protect and serve, but at what law enforcement branch should you apply?

Answer These Moral Yes or No Questions and Well Guess What Branch of Law Enforcement You Should Join Being a law enforcement officer is one of the most important jobs that anyone could have in their lifetime, but it is also one of the most difficult. A law enforcement officer has to be a lot of things: they have to be brave enough to put themselves in danger to protect others, they have to be willing to work odd hours and long shifts, they have to be able to do some detective work, and they also need to do paperwork. They have to have the ability to sit around doing nothing for hours on end, and then still have the ability to snap into action at a moments notice. Are you still interested? Well then maybe you should think about being a career in law enforcement. However, after the decision is made, you need to decide what branch. Do you think you might be comfortable working with the big dogs like the CIA, FBI, or Secret Service? Or maybe being a city police officer might be your thing. Some people like the vibe of being a county sheriff, while still others like the freedom and intrigue of being a private detective.

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Job Search Tips For Criminal Justice Majors

Aside from networking, one of the key ways to score a job in criminal justice is to start applying while ensuring you have the right qualifications. To teach criminal justice may require a Juris Doctor , or Masters degree in criminal justice, corrections, criminology, or Masters degree in acceptable subfield and three to five years relevant work experience in the criminal justice field. However, a social worker role may require a Masters degree in social work, counseling, or psychology.

So, when you read a posting, be sure to read it carefully for these key takeaways:

  • Check for keywords. You know by now to use keywords on your resume. A job description is the place to find the right keywords to use, as well as give you an idea of what the employer will look for in the right candidate.
  • How does the employer want you to respond? Make sure youve found out the companys preferred method of communication. Dont plan to email a resume if the organization wants you to apply through its online job portal.
  • Dont get too caught up in jargon. Words and phrases such as passion, commitment, team player, responsibility, dynamic interpersonal skills, ability to work independently, detail oriented, and analytical skills are oftentimes just buzzwords that recruiters and managers use in every job description.

What Jobs Can You Get With An Associate Degree In Criminal Justice

Whether your dream is to work in business, the nonprofit sector, or even government, an associate degree in

When you work toward an associate degree in Criminal Justice, youll be working toward a deeper knowledge of the world we live in. Youll also be preparing yourself for a stable, rewarding career that will grow as you do. As you study, youll discover where your specific passions lie and youll develop the skills to pursue them. Below are just a few of the exciting job opportunities that await you.

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Types Of Criminal Justice Certifications

Criminal justice is a general career field that involves upholding the law and administering justice to those who violate it. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice, you can choose from one of many certificate options in law enforcement, corrections or the judicial system. Learning about the types of criminal justice certifications can help you choose one that fits your interests and allows you to reach your professional goals. In this article, we explain what criminal justice certifications are, their importance, the types of certifications and tips for choosing one.

Signs You Should Consider A Career In Criminal Justice

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By Ashley Brooks on 06/08/2020

Youve always been fascinated by the criminal justice system. From watching crime dramas on TV to obsessively following true crime podcasts, you just cant seem to get enough of this field! Sometimes you even daydream about what it would be like to be the detective solving crimes or the paralegal helping a law firm win their case.

Lately your search for more criminal justice content has led you to ask yourself, Could I be cut out for a criminal justice career? Your daydreams could become realitybut first you need to make sure you have what it takes to succeed in a criminal justice career.

Working in criminal justice isnt always as flashy as it appears in the media. We spoke with professionals working in the field to bring you these signs you should consider a criminal justice career. See if you recognize yourself in this list!

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Associate’s Degree In Criminal Justice

While getting an associates degree at one of the criminal justice schools, youll take your general education requirements, which are usually math, science, English, and physical education, as well as major requirements. Major requirements typically include courses about American government and politics, the constitution, an overview of law, an overview of policing, the legal system, and the courts systems. You may also take courses on psychology and sociology. An associate’s degree in criminal justice is a great overview of law enforcement, law, and the justice system. You can check out the degree requirements and course descriptions for the Borough of Manhattan Community College as an example of what your associate’s degree might look like.

List Of Criminal Justice Degree Jobs

After graduating from criminal justice schools with an accredited criminal justice degree program, many students who choose a criminal justice major move directly into positions in law enforcement, corrections and other areas of the criminal justice job market. Other students go on to graduate school or law school. Here are some of the most popular career paths for graduates of criminal justice bachelor’s degree programs.

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Is A Criminal Justice Degree Right For Me

Theres such a wide variety of paths one can take when looking into a criminal justice degree. You can work in the field responding to active crimes or gathering evidence. You could pursue your passion for science, working in crime scenes and labs to analyze important evidence. Or you could choose to work in an office where you counsel and help others transitioning from criminal backgrounds.

What Is Criminal Justice

Former Wall Street Felon Helping Ex-Cons Find Jobs | Freethink #FixingJustice

The term criminal justice refers to the laws, rules, and agencies that are responsible for holding criminals accountable for actions that are against the law. The criminal justice system is made up of institutions and government agencies, including the FBI, other federal agencies, local, state, and federal courts, prisons, and the local and state police forces. The goal of the system is to identify crimes and the criminals who commit them. Within this system, criminals are tried, detained, and punished for breaking the law.

If you are interested in learning about the different components of the criminal justice system and how it works, then you may be interested in studying criminal justice. Or, if you are passionate about protecting laws and ensuring that criminals are held accountable for their actions or if you plan to attend law school one day then studying criminal justice may be right for you.

Working in a field like criminal justice requires you to have a wide variety of skills, as there are many job duties you will take on in a role in this field. A few of the skills that are relevant for a degree in criminal justice include strong verbal and written communication skills, an ability to research, excellent computer knowledge, and the ability to collaborate with other departments or agencies as well as the general public.

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Paralegals And Legal Assistants

Salary Potential: $82,050

Though the position of a paralegal or legal assistant is often considered an entry-level job in the criminal justice field, theres still the potential to earn a handsome salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the mean annual wage for these professionals was $50,940 in 2018, but the top 10% of earners reportedly made over $80,000 that same year.

Despite their impressive earning potential, paralegals and legal assistants need only a two-year associates degree in order to gain employment. Some law firms may prefer that candidates hold a bachelors degree, however. In a few cases, legal assistants may be hired with no experience or academic preparation and trained on the job.

Paralegals and legal assistants are tasked with the job of assisting lawyers with their various cases. This may include collecting information, scheduling interviews with witnesses, writing legal briefs, and helping with trial preparation.

Theres no shortage of schools offering academic degrees in paralegal studies. For example, Clayton State University offers several options for prospective students, including a certificate program, an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies, and a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. Alternatively, an online Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies is offered through Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Fire Inspectors And Investigators

Salary Potential: $95,330

As a top earner in the fire inspection and investigation field, one could earn nearly six figures per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . On average, though, individuals performing these criminal justice jobs made just over $60,000 annually.

Though no formal education beyond a high school diploma is required in order to become a fire inspector or investigator, typically, candidates must have prior experience working as a professional firefighter. Theyll also undergo extensive on-the-job training before theyre able to perform their duties independently.

Fire inspectors and investigators are called upon whenever there is a fire or the potential for one. They may perform various duties such as identifying fire hazards, testing fire alarms and sprinkler systems, determining the cause and origin of a fire, and investigating arson suspicions.

For students looking for a formal credential in fire science, Southern Arkansas University Tech offers an associates in fire science management program that can be completed entirely online. The schools articulation agreement with Southern Arkansas University enables graduates to smoothly transition to a bachelors program in fire science if they wish. Another online option can be found at Albany Technical College where students can complete an associates degree in fire science technology.

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Top Jobs You Can Land With A Criminal Justice Degree

From the investigative agencies to the courts to the correctional system and beyond, criminal justice is an ideal field for anyone with a commitment to community values, a belief in the rule of law and a dedication to serving others.

So what does a career in criminal justice involve?

In the most literal sense, a career in criminal justice involves administering justice to individuals who have committed or been accused of committing crimes. But the spectrum of criminal justice jobs spans a wide range of interests and specialties.

The important and necessary work of defending and protecting the rights and safety of others involves a career path that typically includes a focused approach to education and training a degree in criminal justice can prepare you to serve your community and uphold values of justice and peace throughout your career.

Along with the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of individuals and a positive impact on your country and community, the career outlook is particularly bright for those who earn a bachelors or masters degree in criminal justice, with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 and above. Here is a closer look at a selection of familiar criminal justice jobs:

  • Court Administrator With duties that include overseeing the administrative needs of one or more courthouses , working as a court administrator means youll also serve as a liaison between the court and other public or private entities.
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