best criminal justice jobs

10 Best Criminal Justice Jobs to Pursue

With a degree in criminal justice, you have many promising opportunities that offer job satisfaction. Pursuing a career in criminal justice extends advancement opportunities that could level up your professional career. Even more, there is a steady demand growth for the jobs in this field so you can enjoy job security. Find out in this list the best criminal justice jobs you may pursue with the degree.

What is criminal justice?

Criminal justice is a social science that deals with research methods and theories of criminology and the psychology behind criminal behavior. The professionals who work in this field aim to deliver justice and enforce both federal and state laws. 

The criminal justice system encompasses law enforcement, police, lawyers, and prison and court systems. 

Best criminal justice jobs

Here are the best criminal justice jobs that offer promising growth opportunities and job stability: 

1. Lawyers

Lawyers or attorneys are considered to be one of the most prestigious jobs in criminal justice. They represent clients in criminal and civil trials. They serve as advisors to clients for business or personal courses of action based on the laws, judiciary decisions, and research.

Becoming a lawyer offers you the opportunity to pick a specialty you’ll pursue in your practice. You may specialize in fields like bankruptcy, criminal law, insurance, public interest, environment, intellectual property, probate laws, and more.

To be a lawyer, you’ll need to complete a four-year undergraduate degree, three-year law school, and take the bar exam. Then, you can earn a license to start your practice. The annual wage of a lawyer makes up for all the tedious process of becoming one. They have an average base salary of $119,988 according to Indeed.

2. Private investigator and Detectives

These are the jobs you always see on crime TV and movies, and they are real. Private investigators and detectives aim to enforce the law, collect evidence, apprehend offenders, solve crimes, and examine records. A private investigator’s primary responsibilities include gathering facts via interviews, evidence, records, research, and observation. On the other hand, detectives work in public or private agencies to specialize in crimes like homicide, forensics, fraud, and SWAT.

You will get satisfaction doing this job if you possess a genuine interest in solving crimes and earning justice for crime victims. The average base annual pay for both positions is $36,450 and $62,811 respectively.

3. Forensic specialist

Forensic specialists usually work in forensic labs with forensic scientists to examine, analyze, and evaluate evidence gathered from the crime scenes. The job requires substantial knowledge in evidence analysis, including the physical, chemical, instrumental, and microscopic methods.

They usually examine bodily fluids, drugs, gun residue, and more in finding clues that will help them solve the crime. If you are into research and solving crimes, this is a job that might fit your interests. To help you succeed in this career, here’s a forensic psychology course to guide you.

4. Computer Forensic Specialist

Computer forensic specialists specialize in recovering data and materials from digital devices. They utilize different software programs and cybersecurity methods in an attempt to recover any deleted or corrupted files that may be used as evidence. You may learn more about cybersecurity techniques in this comprehensive online course. They work in law enforcement to gather information on crimes, report findings and testify on trials. 

Computer forensic specialists typically hold a degree in an IT-related program or criminal justice. If you have a penchant for technology, this criminal justice job will suit you the best. 

5. Paralegal

Paralegals are one of the entry-level jobs in the criminal justice field. They typically work in law firms, law offices, organizations, service companies, public notaries, and more. Their job includes research, analysis, organization, and data gathering from the trials, hearings, meetings, and proceedings. 

Their job may also involve assistance in tax return preparation, trust fund creation, and more related functions that your client may need help in. To become a paralegal, you need at least two years of associate’s degree in a related paralegal program or have advanced degrees to qualify. Paralegals’ average base salary is $49,293.

6. Correctional officer

Correctional officers’ primary job is to enforce the rules and keep order in jail, prison, or detention centers. They oversee inmates, including their activities, and inspect the facilities to ensure they meet safety, health, and security protocols. 

To become a correctional officer, one must have at least a high school diploma and completed training from the American Correctional Association (ACA) and American Jail Association (AJA).

best criminal justice jobs

7. Police officer

The police’s primary job is to maintain public order by reinforcing the laws. They pursue and apprehend offenders, collect evidence, testify in court, and report and investigate suspicious activities. They also provide an immediate response to calls from individuals who need assistance.

Police officers typically work for local, state, or federal agencies. And if you aspire to become a police officer, you need to complete its required tests, including medical, written, and physical fitness. Then, you’ll train in a police academy for practical training.

8. Fraud investigator

Fraud investigators work in accounting, insurance, and law enforcement agencies to catch any fraudulent financial activities. They analyze data to uncover these activities. Parts of their job include conducting interviews with suspects and witnesses for the collection of evidence.

Typically, fraud investigators have degrees in finance, accounting, or any similar field. If you are a degree holder of these degrees and want to pursue fraud investigation, this career will satisfy you. Even more, they have an impressive annual salary of $46,342.

9. FBI Agent

To be a part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a tough challenge. This is one of the high-profile jobs you can get in the criminal justice field. FBI agents primarily do dangerous investigations. And to be recruited, you will need to undergo an arduous process. To be an FBI agent pays well that’s why getting in takes a lot. Their annual salary is $65,852 a year. 

The typical process to become an FBI agent is to have substantial law enforcement and criminal justice experience, pass strict background checks and physical exams. You also must be at least 23 years old and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with at least a 3.0 GPA.

10. Federal Marshal

Federal marshals work in the executive branch of the US government. Their job is to provide security for the federal courts, protect the court officers and structures. They also help in judicial systems’ operation by maintaining security, serving arrest warrants, transporting prisoners, and more.

To become a federal marshal, one must have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, three-year plus related experience, and pass the required assessments. When qualified, they will enter the US Marshals Service Training Academy, which consists of 17.5 weeks of training, coursework, and practical exams.

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