Criminal Justice Careers

Criminal Justice CareersA degree in Criminal Justice from an accredited school can lead to a bright future in a wide range of Criminal Justice careers. The degree consists of the usual basic background in mathematics, science, and humanities, and basic and advanced classes encompassing topics such as police, correction, and court systems. Students who are beginning a career and looking for entry jobs as well as students seeking to further their career find the Criminal Justice degree useful in the field. Certain students may choose to hold a concentration in areas such as corrections, loss prevention, and juvenile justice.

As with most degrees, a degree in Criminal Justice can be acquired in a traditional classroom setting or through one of many top online criminal justice degree programs. Entrance into this degree program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Students in this type of program take core courses in criminology, legal research, juvenile justice systems, police administration, correctional strategies, and other topics. Sometimes students go through internships to gain knowledge of fieldwork and real world experience before entering into criminal justice careers. Portland State University and Rasmussen College offer some of the best online Criminal Justice degrees. Both offer students a well rounded education in Criminal Justice fields and are cost efficient for students.

Details of Criminal Justice Careers

Following are some popular criminal justice careers for individuals who have earned a degree in criminal justice.


One of the most well known criminal justice careers is as a Detective. These plainclothes law enforcement officers use honed analytical skills to analyze facts and evidence in criminal cases. Criminal cases detectives usually work on involve car thefts, homicide, and fraud. Some work in inter-agency positions and go through records as well as conduct interviews to further results.

Detectives work in law enforcement, and according to the United States (U.S.) Bureau of Labor Statistics, detectives earn $55,010 per year on average.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Agent

Graduates with a degree in Criminal Justice may also find criminal justice careers in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Positions as CIA Agents send graduates across the globe, gathering intelligence over government matters. Certain positions will be garnered by graduates who also have a background in technology, science, foreign languages, and engineering concepts. Administration positions are also available.

Graduates working in Federal Law Enforcement as CIA Agents can look forward to salaries ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 per year.

Correctional Officer

Correctional officers have the responsibility of watching those who have been arrested during the time before their trial date, as well as individuals who have been convicted of a crime. Correctional officers can work in local jails or State or Federal prisons. Offenders in local jails usually have a sentence of a year or less while those in prisons have longer placements. Correctional officers enforce the rules and regulations of the institution while providing security, monitoring inmate activity and preventing violent outbreaks.

Correctional officers earn $39,020 per year on average according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Crime Scene Investigator

As depicted recently in many television dramas, Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) careers are well known by many Criminal Justice graduates. They evaluate crime scene evidence and secure physical evidence for further analysis. CSIs must prepare reports on observations noted at the original crime scene, and they must make note of the crime scene activity for law enforcement. CSIs often testify in court to elaborate on evidence and the general processing of evidence.

CSIs are often also called Forensic Technicians, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Forensic Technicians earn $51,570 per year on average.

Criminal Justice Careers are plenteous for students who willingly work for their degree and career placement in the Criminal Justice system.