A job in criminal justice can be a unique and fulfilling career path. But exactly what jobs are available to those with a degree in criminal justice? Chances are there are a lot more choices than you originally thought. With criminal justice providing some of the most diverse career opportunities it’s no wonder more and more students are choosing this major.
We at Grace Christian University know how difficult it is to decide on a major when it’s unclear what you can actually do with that major. That’s why we compiled a list of the most popular career options for students with a criminal justice degree. If you are majoring in criminal justice or considering doing so, check out this list of potential careers.
What Criminal Justice Jobs Are Available?
As you know, there are quite a variety of jobs available for those who choose to major in criminal justice, each with its own unique sets of challenges, requirements, and advantages.
Police Officer and Detective
For many, police and detective work is one of the first jobs that comes to mind when thinking about criminal justice, and for good reason. Police and detectives are one of the, if not the most common job graduates get with this degree. With the field continually growing and a salary of $69,160 per year it’s no shock this career is popular.
To enter this career path, you will need to complete a degree in criminal justice as well as the agency’s training program.
On paper FBI agent is a job similar to that of a police officer but the work, and requirements, are more rigorous. Only a small percentage of law enforcement officers successfully “graduate” to the level of FBI agent. While the work is more difficult, the pay is much better with an annual salary of $93,970.
To become an FBI agent, one needs a degree in criminal justice and prior experience in law enforcement, meaning more likely than not, you will have to start as a police officer or detective. One must also pass rigorous background tests and physical examinations.
Forensic Science Technician
The field of forensic science is continually growing much faster than the average career. Forensic science technicians help solve crimes by working in labs as well as helping to investigate crime scenes. These jobs play a vital role in helping to solve many crimes. On average they make $63,740 annually.
Becoming a forensic science technician requires a large amount of on-site training as well as a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
A job sometimes confused with forensic science technician is that of a forensic psychologist. Forensic psychologists work with law enforcement to prosecute criminals by interviewing subjects and analyzing data. Because of the specialized skill sets and education level forensic psychologists are required to have, they make an average of $72,285 per year.
Many forensic psychologists acquire a doctorate in clinical psychology with a specialization in criminal justice. While it is possible to enter this field with only a master’s degree, most prefer a doctoral degree.
Some of the most lucrative careers in criminal justice are attorneys and lawyers. These jobs on average make $135,740 annually, making them some of the best-paying jobs in the industry. In these careers, you will represent and advise clients during legal proceedings.
Due to the unique skills and training required to enter this career, becoming an attorney or lawyer can prove to be quite difficult for some. For an entry position, one needs a doctoral degree as well as a state license which often means passing the bar exam. While the bar for entry may be high, those who are able to make it into the industry are heavily rewarded.
Criminal Justice at Grace
A job in criminal justice can be a deeply rewarding and exciting experience, with an extensive list of career opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about the options that a criminal justice degree provides, contact us to learn more. And be sure to check out this story about our most recent graduate criminal justice