What can you do with a Criminal Justice Degree?

Criminal Justice Degree is becoming popular these days. To discover the wide variety of options it offers and how you can get paid for fighting crimes, read the blog.

Updated by Ankita Tiwari on 31st January 2019

What is a Criminal Justice Degree?

Criminal justice sounds fascinating, doesn't it? Who doesn't want to fight against the bad guys and emerge as a superhero? In addition to all the detective and heroic stuff, there are many other careers as well which you can take up once you have obtained a degree in criminal justice.

Criminal Justice involves learning about the functioning of the courts, law enforcement agencies, and more. It covers everything from research to statistics in order to harness skills which will be required to be successful in the field.

 Criminal Justice

source - Pexels.com

What can you do with a Criminal Justice Degree?

There are mainly two reasons why Criminal Justice Careers are so popular. The primary reason is that it serves as a launching pad for a  variety of job options. Secondly, more and more law enforcement agencies are looking for students having a degree in criminal justice as candidates for various positions.

Depending on what level of education you have obtained in this field, there are many possible career options. There are four types of Criminal Justice degree levels and each of them opens the door to a number of varying opportunities.

Certificate in Criminal Justice

This is the most basic certification that you can obtain which involves completing a specialized program in any specific field such as crime scene photography.

This serves as a stepping stone for further studies in criminal justice. Some careers that can be obtained with a certification in criminal justice include police and sheriff’s patrol officers, corrections officers and security services.

Associate Degree in Criminal Justice

Due to the increasing complexity of the criminal justice system, more and more agencies are now seeking applicants with an associate degree in criminal justice.

This degree mainly focusses on law enforcement and policies regarding crime control and causations.

Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Degree

A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice indicates your willingness to work hard and a keen interest to move ahead in this field.

It has now become mandatory to hold a bachelors degree for jobs such as Private agents, Fraud investigators, and more.

Master’s in Criminal Justice Degree

A master’s degree in criminal justice allows students to explore specific aspects of criminal justice, such as administration and leadership.

Possible career options include social work, Criminal investigators, criminal forensics, and more.

Doctorate in Criminal Justice Degree

This degree can be pursued by those who have obtained a masters degree in criminal justice. It involves advanced study in law enforcement and crime research.

The most common careers for those with a doctoral degree in criminal justice include criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, criminology researchers, forensic psychologists, lawyers, judges or magistrate judges. 

Criminal Justice source - cabarussmagazine.com

Criminal Justice Degree Jobs

Once you have acquired a degree in criminal justice, there are a number of career options that you can opt for.

Serving your fellow citizens does give you benefits in return. These options give you a sense of job security and after all, justice always needs to be served.

Here is a list of top 10 exciting jobs that you can take up to build a successful career in this field.  

  • Probation Officer - As a probation officer you are supposed to monitor parolees and make sure that they follow the laws and are not creating disturbance in the society. They are assigned to help parolees improve their life by helping them to lead a  law-abiding life in the society. 

  • Forensic Technician - If you possess acumen for forensic science then this job will excite you. A profession in real life is similar to what they show on Crime Thrillers, but a lot of perfection and accuracy is required as your actions determine a case's outcome. 

  • Crime Scene Investigator - As the name sounds, the job is to understand the scenario and the place of crime by using the evidence present and then analyze it to bring some important facts into the picture which can help to solve the crime. 

Criminal justice jobssource - Pinterest.com

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent - Immigration Agents are responsible to prevent any illegal entry of either Goods or People to the country. They keep checking for all international personnel coming to the nation make sure they have a permit. They stay updated on the latest policies and take necessary actions in case of illegal immigration.  

  • Drug Enforcement agent - As a DEA agent, you have to keep checking for any drug abuse going in your vicinity or in your knowledge. You have to keep track of drug traffickers and their working groups, and arrest anyone found in possession of illegal drugs, working undercover or as field agents. 

  • US Marshal - They keep the prisoners safe and help in transporting them. They help to administer the Department of justice, keep witness and prosecutors of potentially dangerous cases safe and provide the judges additional safety for the duration of court cases.

  • Private Detective - As a private detective, you will be working with the police departments and other government bodies to help them uncover and track certain accused personnel and potential criminals and keep them updated about any new evidence on the case. 

  • State Trooper - They work on highways and freeways to make sure that the federal and state laws are followed by the citizens on the road. From slightest to major, every traffic law is important and they make sure proper enforcement is done. 

  • Correctional Officer - They work in prisons to administer the convicted prisoners to ensure that these people are not creating a nuisance or provoking fights inside the prison. They work on different levels like local, Federal and their jobs require a lot of discipline and persistence as they are dealing with unsocial elements of the state. 

  • Security Guard - Their job is to patrol the assigned compound and report to higher authority in case of any suspicious events going around. They stay on toes as any minor ignorance can cause major problems for the organization. 

    Criminal Justice jobs

source - Pinterest.com

Criminal Justice Degree Salaries

It’s time for your heroism to pay off! The average wage earned is $61,231 growing at a rate of 3.18 %. Currently, there is one million workforce in this sector with a growth rate of  5.42%.

As per the data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following table lists some of the jobs and average salaries associated with them.

Criminal Justice Jobs and Salaries

Job Position

Average Salary

Forensic Psychologist


FBI Agent


Crime Scene Investigator


Emergency Management Coordinator


Corrections Manager


 Criminal justice Salaries


Pursuing a crime -justice job will lead you to have a  paced and exciting life where you will unravel how society is working and on what levels crimes are being committed in the country.

It will help you to understand the working of the Justice Department and how they make sure that justice is served in the nation. Protection of laws governing citizens is necessary to ensure peace and harmony in society.


  Are there any age requirements for careers in Criminal Justice?

Certain careers in Criminal Justice do have age limitations. For instance, to work as an FBI agent, individuals must be at least 23 years of age. Most employment agencies or local and state government require the applicant to be 18-21 years of age.

  Are there any specializations in Criminal Justice?

Yes, Criminal Justice is a broad and diverse field of study. For instance, if you are willing to work in prisons, you can pursue specialization in Corrections and case management.

  Can a Non-US citizen work in criminal justice in the US?

If you have emigrated to the US and are looking forward to working in criminal justice, you must maintain a proper citizenship status and have a naturalized citizenship goal. Enroll yourself in a college ad earn a criminal justice degree. 

  What are the benefits of getting a Criminal Justice Degree online?

Getting a Criminal Justice Degree from an online but accredited college or university has benefits such as financial aid and more academic flexibility as compared to traditional colleges.

  What kind of jobs are available for a person with a criminal justice degree?

There are many job options such as Correctional Officers, Probation Officers, Paralegals, Lawyers, and more.

  What types of Criminal Justice majors are there?

Some of the most popular and exciting majors are Corrections, Law Enforcement, Court Reporting, Paralegal, and Crime Scene Investigation.

  What does the FBI do?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) provides aid to local law enforcement and is responsible for domestic investigations that other spy agencies or local police cannot do.

  What are the highest paying jobs in Criminal Justice?

If you have completed your masters in criminal justice and you enroll yourself in a law school, then you are more likely to get high-paid jobs. Job positions such as lawyers, detectives, and criminal investigators offer a handsome salary.