criminal justice degree

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profession alternatives for criminal justice degree students
pointers for finding the right match in crook justice careers
criminal justice tiers may be used to boost in a crook justice profession or to enter a wholly new area; police officers looking to turn out to be detectives, high school graduates inquisitive about crime scene investigation, and people searching out careers that serve and defend society can all advantage from degrees in criminal justice. for college students who do no longer have a hard and fast goal or plan for his or her diploma, assembly with a counselor and exploring job alternatives at some stage in their college profession is critical. college students can use the extensive range of degree types and concentrations to be had to find the right healthy in criminal justice careers, be it criminal investigation or victim advocacy. criminal justice levels can also open the doorways to many non-conventional and unexpected careers in both the public and private sectors. here, you can find out about the specific careers to be had in the area of criminal justice and the kinds of tiers wished for them.

35 Best Criminal Justice Degrees

nab one of the country’s pleasant bachelor’s in criminal justice ranges.

high-quality bachelor s in crook justice levels

whether or not you envision your self chasing criminals out in the streets or behind a table strategizing crime prevention for the local community, a bachelor in crook justice degree is important. it’s going to offer an array of career opportunities and make certain your thrilling yet stable vocational destiny.

What kind of Criminal Justice Degree should you get?

the way you design your undergraduate enjoy should mirror your profession aspirations. for example, if you desire to paintings immediately in law enforcement then check out a software that emphasizes the realistic applications of criminal justice.

however, in case you’re more interested in the analytics of crime, thinking what causes it and the way it is able to be prevented, then you can need to examine programs which pressure the importance of research and records analysis.

however you wish to specialize, you can be confident that each one of the applications here will provide a strong foundation in criminal justice. and some of these packages can even be completed absolutely online. we’ve been sure to highlight those.

for a complete list of on-line criminal justice levels, be sure to check out university preference’s excellent on line crook justice ranges.

How much money do people make with a Criminal Justice Degree?

a diploma in crook justice will set you as much as discover paintings in a spread of settings: the court gadget, in a law workplace, in a police station. due to the diversity of options upon commencement, the average revenue for one retaining a bs in crook justice diploma also varies.

as an instance, if you make a decision to end up a police officer then you may anticipate to make round $forty eight,000 yearly in your first few years. but, if you want to apply your diploma to safety control, then you’re looking at least $sixty three,000 a yr.

whichever route you are taking, the want for people with a bs in criminal justice degree is projected to upward thrust at least another 3.5 percent in the following few years.

What are the requirements for a Criminal Justice Degree?

the applications right here are all full undergraduate diploma packages. you will be required to first entire two years of general schooling coursework (in english, science, math, and so on). as soon as those are completed you may dive into the crook justice important, taking such introductory lessons as:

courts and regulation
police and society
juvenile detention
after completing your middle crook justice lessons you could similarly explore the complex international of criminal justice by using taking some of electives, in everything from transnational crime to the dying penalty. subsequently, you may gain fingers-on experience by way of taking part in an internship or subject practicum. some colleges even require it (we’ve been positive to be aware which).

What are the best Criminal Justice Degrees?

at the same time as a number of these packages focus on corrections and others in cyber crime, all of them percentage one component one not unusual: they’re the satisfactory bachelor in criminal justice tiers.

to decide the high-quality criminal justice programs we began first with the educational reputation of each college national that gives the degree. we then tested retention costs, as it reflects student satisfaction. and we then took into account the affordability of the program and the early salaries of its graduates.

after our enormous research, we observed those applications which might be the country’s absolute pleasant at training leaders in law enforcement and criminology. our figures and statistics come from the college and colleges’ websites, payscale, and nationally diagnosed u.s. information & international record and the countrywide middle for training records.

2018 Ranking













Mean Annual Salary by Concentration

Computer Crimes Investigator$62,960
Forensic Science Technicians$61,220
Correctional Treatment Specialist$51,410
Correctional Officer, Supervisor$66,880
Protective Service Officer$72,760

Concentrations Available for Criminal Justice Majors

crimes are devoted in countless ways. as a end result, crook justice programs provide a diffusion of concentrations, so graduates may have the talents had to address exceptional injustices. this is the case with diploma emphasis which includes cybercrimes and national protection. the wide variety of concentrations to be had help make crook justice reachable to students no matter their interests. individuals captivated with stem fields can pursue a attention in cybercrimes or forensics. someone inquisitive about communications or sociology can also thrive with an management or human services attention. students interested in worldwide or domestic politics can use those interests for a national security concentration.

What Can You Do with a Criminal Justice Degree?

as with many industries, the extra prestigious the criminal justice profession the extra schooling it requires. careers with managerial additives regularly require grasp’s tiers and lots of profitable jobs might also require doctorates. additionally, careers with the federal government may additionally require greater schooling than the ones on the kingdom stage or inside the private sector. happily, crook justice careers are available in a huge variety of disciplines regardless of the diploma level; plenty are to be had for folks who determine graduate studies are not for them. in a few cases, revel in may even be time-honored in lieu of a diploma, meaning that someone with full-size revel in within the subject can be capable of advance with out incomes a higher degree and that a person with out widespread revel in can be able to use a diploma to similarly their crook justice profession. keep reading to explore the wide range of alternatives available to graduates of crook justice applications, starting from bachelor’s to doctorate stages.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice

as formerly discussed, bachelor’s degree applications regularly permit for concentrations which assist prepare students for specific subfields of crook justice at the same time as simultaneously introducing students to the wider field of criminal justice. bachelor’s packages in criminal justice, permit students to study the criminal justice machine as an entire, explore alternatives, and discover a focus or passion. big lab work, projects, and even internships similarly help students construct the capabilities necessary for getting into crook justice fields. some famous crook justice careers, including police officer, do not always require a bachelor’s diploma, however a degree can be treasured or maybe vital for advancement.

  1. Criminalist          SALARY: $59,926
  2. Parole Officer     SALARY: $42,408
  3. Victim Advocate SALARY: $34,790

Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice

individuals searching out profession advancement or a deeper understanding of criminal justice may additionally need to earn a master’s diploma. master’s packages regularly introduce students to the philosophical underpinnings of the crook justice device, with guides exploring why crime is devoted instead of how to combat it. careers which require or benefit from master’s levels frequently method crime from this course. they also can also require the leadership and communication abilities grasp’s packages often teach and foster. for more information on the types of criminal justice grasp’s programs to be had, here is our guide. to study extra about the careers to be had for those with grasp’s stages in criminal justice, keep reading.

  1. Forensic Psychologist                                                   SALARY: $63,004
  2. Emergency Management Specialist                             SALARY: $57,590
  3. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Officer    SALARY: $57,590
  4. Security Manager                                                           SALARY: $64,774

PhD in Criminal Justice

the next step after a master’s software is a doctorate. careers which oversee complete departments or are tasked with identifying rules and protocols may additionally require the expertise and information that includes incomes a doctorate. similar to master’s programs, phd students often studies the philosophical and sociological processes to crime. unlike a master’s software, those rigorous packages contain years-long research that culminates in a dissertation this is reviewed with the aid of experts inside the area. phd programs also deliver students the opportunity to work intently with main experts within the field. right here are a few examples of the celebrated careers that require the information and revel in that comes with a phd.

  1. Chief of Police                               SALARY: $72,253
  2. FBI Agent                                        SALARY: $63,692
  3. Prison Warden                              SALARY: $80,558

Unexpected Careers for Criminal Justice Majors

tv suggests, films, and books have popularized many criminal justice fields, inclusive of crime scene research, wrongdoer profiling, and criminal psychology. however, these well-known careers are some distance from the best ones available to jobseekers with criminal justice levels. lesser known positions and industries are available in each the private and non-private region.

at the same time as they’ll not be associated with hollywood glamor, these careers nevertheless rent the investigative skills crucial to crook justice. some of those opportunities nonetheless carry the same thrilling additives as their famous opposite numbers, including undercover paintings and countrywide safety worries. a lot of those unexpected careers are hiding in simple sight: retail industries, the usa postal service, country wide parks, and the transportation security administration all want employees with the capabilities and information gained through criminal justice packages. hold analyzing to discover 5 of those sudden—but nevertheless tough and exciting of their own proper—criminal justice careers.

  1. Air Marshal                                      SALARY: $67,249
  2. Fraud Investigator                          SALARY: $58,834
  3. Game Warden                                   SALARY: $46,314
  4. Loss Prevention Investigator           SALARY: $51,228
  5. United States Postal Inspector        SALARY: $62,069

Criminal Justice Degrees

there are two big reasons why crook justice tiers are currently so popular. one, they can serve as a launching pad for a wide variety of careers. two, increasingly law enforcement agencies are requiring a few university credit score with a purpose to qualify for a given position. crook justice applications cowl the whole lot from research strategies and statistics to corrections to criminal law and give students a operating understanding of the way the courts, corrections establishments, and regulation enforcement groups feature. folks who earn a diploma frequently move on to simply accept jobs which includes crime scene investigators, probation officials, correctional counselors, fbi unique dealers, paralegals, criminal justice professors, or police detectives.

Top Criminal Justice Degrees

the listing below consists of numerous fields of have a look at and concentrations inside the crook justice field starting from certificates to grasp’s tiers. inside the next phase, we cover huge degree levels, from certificates to doctorates, for the overall criminal justice degree.

Computer Forensics

a degree in computer forensics prepares graduates to become aware of and save you theft, fraud, phishing scams, and other virtual schemes. a bachelor’s degree in laptop forensics is usually the minimal requirement to get a activity in the discipline, but grasp’s and doctoral levels also are common in the subject. coursework may additionally encompass networking principles, pc forensics, and digital forensics.


a corrections degree teaches students to paintings with those in correctional centers as jail guards, correctional officials, or other roles. associate degrees, bachelor’s ranges, and graduate ranges are presented in corrections and coursework may encompass correctional administration, foundations of criminal justice systems, problems in corrections, creation to crook law, theories of crime causation, constitutional issues in crook techniques, and juvenile justice & delinquency principle.


counterterrorism stages equip graduates to discover threats of terrorism originating within the us or overseas and to forestall them earlier than each person is negatively affected. most of the people pursuing a diploma in counter terrorism get a 4-12 months bachelor’s diploma or better. courses can also include foundations of terrorism, fundamentals of intelligence, chemical, organic, radiological and nuclear guns, non secular extremism, psychology of violence, and ethics. college students might also are seeking concentrations in regions including terrorist operations, counterintelligence, chance evaluation, or intel operations.

Crime Scene Technician Certificate

against the law scene technician certificates application teaches graduates the way to identify and collect evidence from crime scenes like homicides, robberies, and sexual assault, which may be utilized in a courtroom of regulation. certificates may additionally take six to 18 months to finish and could encompass coursework like crook research, crime scene research, place of origin safety, and forensic chemistry and trace evidence evaluation.

Criminal Investigations

a criminal investigations degree is usually a -year application and prepares graduates to collect, document, and analyze evidence in a criminal offense to cause the apprehension of criminals involved. criminal investigations coursework may also encompass instructions like concept and exercise of investigations, expert responsibility and ethics in investigations, the criminal mind, investigating crimes in opposition to assets and the personal quarter, and crime scenes, clues, forensics and proof.

Criminal Justice Administration

a degree in crook justice administration is often a bachelor of technology or a master’s diploma in criminal justice, but there may be associate ranges to be had. graduates of these applications are organized for management positions in regulation enforcement, courts, correctional centers, or different areas. coursework may additionally include idea and practices of law enforcement, crook evidence and prison problems, judicial procedure, police and network members of the family, supervision of crook justice employees, and probation and parole.

Criminal Psychology

crook psychology levels are associate, bachelor’s, or graduate ranges that put together graduates to recognize the crook mind, social influences on crime, and human behavior when it comes to crook hobby. a crook psychology diploma software may also include guides like crook justice research & writing, constitutional crook method, judicial technique, conduct management, and psychology of crook conduct.


a diploma in criminology enables graduates to understand why crime exists in society and might touch on a huge range of regions which include the criminal justice gadget, psychology, or ballistics analysis. criminology ranges can be pursued on the bachelor’s stage and beyond and can include coursework together with principle in criminology and crook justice, survey of criminological theories, data, and studies strategies.


a cybersecurity (or cyber protection) degree is on occasion called an statistics protection degree and prepares graduates to assist employers defend sensitive facts, participate in forensic evaluation related to cyber incidents, and cozy computer networks. maximum degrees in cyber safety are on the bachelor’s-stage and above, however there are a few certificates and accomplice tiers to be had. coursework consists of classes like basics of pc troubleshooting, community protection, linux gadget management, and interconnecting cisco gadgets.

Emergency Management

a diploma in emergency control prepares graduates to assist plan for screw ups together with tornadoes, hurricanes, terrorism, disease, or pollutants. maximum emergency management levels are bachelor’s degrees and above and coursework may additionally encompass ethics & crucial decision making, international screw ups, herbal hazards & disasters, chance notion consciousness, and theory & criminal framework.

Fish and Game Warden

a fish and recreation warden degree program teaches standards in wildlife biology, law and conservation enforcement practices, and administrative law. most fish and game warden diploma seekers enter two- or four-12 months programs and may stumble upon publications inclusive of ecotoxicology, natural resources communications, ichthyology, concepts of botany, and standards of economics.

Forensic Accounting

forensic accounting degrees prepare graduates to analyze so-known as “white-collar crimes,” which includes banking and monetary schemes. associate of technological know-how tiers, bachelor’s tiers, submit-baccalaureate certificates, and graduate degrees are available within the subject of forensic accounting, and coursework may additionally include intermediate accounting, fraud exam, legal factors of fraud, auditing, and foundations of entrepreneurship.

Forensic Nursing

a degree in forensic nursing combines the knowledge of scientific practices with crime research, getting ready graduates to become aware of possible foul play or negligence and testify in courtroom. four-year bachelor’s tiers are commonly the minimal requirement for forensic nurses, and candidates can assume to look guides like foundations of forensic nursing, criminalistics, interprofessional collaboration, and forensic nursing technological know-how practicum.

Forensic Psychology

degrees in forensic psychology put together graduates to use their mental schooling to criminal instances. to emerge as a registered forensic psychologist, a doctoral diploma is required, although ranges at the bachelor’s and master’s ranges also are available to individuals who desire to work within the discipline without being registered psychologists. coursework might also consist of foundations of graduate look at in psychology, peculiar behavior, intersection of crime, psychology, and the regulation, knowledge forensic psychology studies, and understanding violence, chance, and chance evaluation.

Forensic Science

a forensic science degree focuses on coaching graduates to discover, check out, and analyze evidence from crime scenes. forensic technology ranges are to be had at the accomplice, bachelor’s, and graduate ranges. guides might also encompass analytical chemistry, natural chemistry, metabolic biochemistry, instrumental analysis, professional witness testimony, and forensic dna evaluation.

Homeland Security

hometown security degrees impart graduates with a wide expertise base which includes counter-terrorism, intelligence, border security, and emergency management. associate stages in place of origin protection are available, even though most governmental positions (wherein the majority of these jobs are observed) require no less than a bachelor’s degree or above. coursework may additionally consist of research methods in place of birth protection studies, critical infrastructure safety, border and coastal protection, and native land security criminal and moral problems.

Law Enforcement

a degree in law enforcement is a huge diploma making ready graduates to paintings as cops, detectives or investigators, or in corrections. degrees offered range from certificate to accomplice levels to bachelor’s tiers and above. coursework in a law enforcement diploma program may additionally encompass introduction to american court gadget, crime sufferer research, constitutional problems in criminal procedures, and studies strategies & statistics for crook justice.

Legal Nursing

a felony nursing degree is maximum usually a graduate degree that permits modern registered nurses (rns) to mix their expertise of nursing with the criminal knowledge important to provide medical recommendation in felony topics. prison nursing applications may include courses like theoretical bases for nursing exercise, superior informatics, epidemiologic methods in health care, theoretical basis for nursing practice, prison factors of health care, and legal responsibility of health care groups and the health care professionals.

Legal Studies

a prison research diploma prepares graduates to grow to be paralegals or legal assistants by means of offering them with statistics about the prison process, the philosophy of regulation, and the crook justice process. criminal studies diploma programs may also include courses like theories of law & society, the ideally suited court & public coverage, punishment, subculture & society, regulation & sovereignty, and sociology of law.

Paralegal Certificate

a paralegal certificate prepares holders to paintings as paralegals or felony assistants at regulation corporations. paralegal certificate programs typically include instructions which includes crucial paralegal studies, paralegal authority, research, and writing, paralegal settlement law, paralegal circle of relatives regulation, and paralegal tort regulation.


a paralegal diploma may be an partner degree, bachelor’s diploma, or graduate degree in legal research that prepares graduates to paintings in the criminal gadget as paralegals or felony assistants. paralegal degree programs may also encompass courses consisting of superior prison studies & writing, superior litigation & trial exercise, highbrow belongings, corporate law, criminal venture control, and prison era.

Public Administration

a degree in public administration can be a bachelor’s diploma, a grasp’s diploma, or a doctoral diploma that prepares students to paintings in nonprofit, advocacy, or government corporations, often addressing social issues and public coverage. public management diploma programs can also include guides together with public corporation and control, research methods, creation to public policy evaluation, governmental economic decision making, and human assets inside the public and nonprofit sectors.

Security Management

degrees in security control, or private security, teach students to defend commercial enterprise belongings with the aid of making ready for emergencies, analyzing risks, coping with a crew of safety guards, or identifying possible threats to an employer. safety control levels are offered as undergraduate tiers and graduate-stage ranges and can encompass publications inclusive of theory and practice of protection, the american criminal and civil legal structures, infrastructure security and national protection, hazard evaluation, and ideas and practices of effective emergency planning.


a sociology degree teaches graduates to understand human conduct in a set context, getting ready them for careers in enterprise, authorities, public carrier, or counseling. sociology stages can be -year associate tiers, bachelor’s stages, or graduate levels. coursework in sociology packages may also include social issues, global social change, intro to social studies, contemporary sociological theory, race relations, gender, and industrialization and social alternate.

Degrees by Level

a good way to choose which degree you need, you need to first determine the career you want to pursue. some occupations require a -yr accomplice degree, even as others require the extra rigorous path of look at offered by way of a grasp’s degree software. as you browse the partner, bachelor’s, grasp’s and doctoral degree pages on this website, you’ll learn about a number of the jobs you will be certified to apply for after incomes every respective degree.

Certificate in Criminal Justice

the most primary degree that may be earned in the criminal justice field is the criminal justice certificate. students are normally awarded a certificates with the finishing touch of a specialised schooling application. certificate can be utilized in a specific crook justice profession, which includes crime scene pictures, or as a stepping stone for a more advanced diploma. other forms of careers that can be obtained with a certification in criminal justice encompass police and sheriff’s patrol officials, corrections officials and bailiffs, law enforcement, and protection offerings. due to the competitive nature of those fields, candidates are recommended to join specialised packages. in line with the bureau of labor information, the median annual revenue for those in careers that usually require a criminal justice certification is among $31,one hundred seventy and $60,270.1,2,3,four,five

Associate Degree in Criminal Justice

many regulation enforcement careers only require the applicant to possess a excessive school degree. however, an increasing number of businesses are searching for applicants with an associate diploma in crook justice due to the growing complexity of the crook justice machine. a criminal justice companion’s degree generally specializes in regulation enforcement, theories of crime causations, courtroom systems, corrections, and crime manipulate rules. commonplace professions that graduates of crook justice accomplice diploma applications pursue include police officer, border patrol agent, transit and railroad police, paralegal, immigration and customs inspector, bailiff, and corrections officer. the median earnings earned for the ones inside the aforementioned crook justice jobs commonly requiring an accomplice diploma is among $31,170 and $60,270.1,2,three,5,6,7

Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Degree

a crook justice bachelor’s degree, whether or not earned on-campus or thru an internet criminal justice program, now not only indicates ability employers your willingness to paintings difficult, however it is also the minimal requirement for plenty criminal justice professions. similarly to regulation enforcement careers, bachelor’s diploma holders can also work as fraud investigators, personal detectives, dea agents, first-line supervisors of correctional officials, probation officers, criminologists, laptop forensics, records protection analysts, immigration offerings officials, fatherland security retailers, fish and recreation wardens, and fbi agents. most authorities and federal organizations, inclusive of the fbi, dea, and the secret provider, require at the very least a bachelor’s degree. the median revenue of those careers in the criminal justice area that generally require a bachelor’s degree is between $18,343 and $77,210.1,2,7,9,10,eleven,12,13,14,15

Master’s in Criminal Justice Degree

a master’s degree in crook justice permits college students to explore unique aspects of crook justice, which include management and management. those applicants are also eligible to emerge as social caseworkers and instructors in crook justice. areas of have a look at that may be covered in a grasp’s criminal justice software may also encompass forensic behavioral analysis, psychology, criminology, and sociology, problems in juvenile crime, criminal regulation, and criminal justice principle. possible career possibilities for a master’s degree encompass crook investigators, social employees, substance abuse and behavioral ailment counselors, crook justice and regulation enforcement teachers, and control of forensic technology colleges. the median profits for the ones inside the above criminal justice careers, which normally require a grasp’s degree, is among $45,900 and $77,210.thirteen,sixteen,19,20,21

Doctorate in Criminal Justice Degree

a doctoral degree in crook justice is designed for the ones who’ve already obtained a grasp’s diploma and would really like to advance their career. opportunities for people with this especially-appeared degree are capable of attain a management, private, academic, coverage making, or governmental research position with diverse organizations. the maximum not unusual careers for those with a doctoral degree in criminal justice include crook justice and regulation enforcement teachers, criminology researchers, criminal justice manner and policy, forensic psychologists, legal professionals, judges or magistrate judges, and people in criminological theory. the median profits of a person in one of the above careers commonly requiring a doctoral degree in crook justice is between $58,770 and $126,930.21,22,23,24,25

Criminal Justice Degree Required for Typical Jobs

The government employment site O*Net Online provides data on the level of education of the following criminal justice professions:

  • Bailiffs: 53% have a high school diploma, 32% have some college, and 13% have a post-secondary certificate.
  • Correctional Officers and Jailers: 57% have a high school diploma, 22% have some college but no degree, and 15% have a post-secondary certificate.
  • Court Reporters: 41% have a post-secondary certificate, 34% have an associate’s degree, and 10% have some college but no degree.
  • Criminal Investigators and Special agents: 42% have a high school diploma, 24% have some college but no degree, and 16% have a post-secondary certificate.
  • First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers: 78% have a high school diploma, 11% have some college but no degree, and 7% have an associate’s degree.
  • Fish and Game Warden: 74% have a bachelor’s degree, 9% have a high school diploma, and 9% have an associate’s degree.
  • Immigration and Customs Inspectors: 39% have a high school diploma, 27% have a bachelor’s degree, and 14% have some college but no degree.
  • Information Security Analysts: 65% have a bachelor’s degree, 19% have a post-bachelor’s certificate, and 10% have a post-secondary certificate.
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants: 44% have a bachelor’s degree, 30% have an associate’s degree, and 12% have some college but no degree.
  • Police Detectives: 45% have a high school diploma, 21% have an associate’s degree, and 16% have some college but no degree.
  • Police Patrol Officers: 42% have a high school diploma, 24% have an associate’s degree, and 22% have some college but no degree.
  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists: 86% have a bachelor’s degree, 7% have some college but no degree, and 7% have a master’s degree.
  • Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs: 55% have a high school diploma, 21% have a post-secondary certificate, and 19% have an associate’s degree.
  • Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors: 30% have a master’s degree, 19% have a bachelor’s degree, and 16% have an associate or professional degree.
  • Transit and Railroad Police: 80% have an associate’s degree, 8% have a post-secondary certificate, and 4% have a high school diploma.

Finding Accredited Criminal Justice Programs

an crucial component to consider whilst studying crook justice packages is whether the college is accepted via a us government authorised accreditation frame. there are a small range of country wide and local accreditation our bodies which have been accepted by means of the usa department of education to evaluate whether or not a college meets minimum standards in great. if a faculty has not obtained accreditation from this sort of corporations, then college students cannot receive federal pupil useful resource, credit might not be transferrable to every other faculty, and employers might not understand the diploma. you may find a college’s accreditation fame with america branch of training’s searchable database.

Is a Criminal Justice Degree Worth It?

in keeping with the us bureau of hard work information, many access-level criminal justice jobs could be available thru 2024, although in fashionable, the outlook is that crook justice professions are projected to grow more slowly than different professions at 4%.2. maximum of those jobs require a few university credits, but more and more are requiring at the least an associate degree, if no longer a bachelor’s diploma. with the likelihood that crook justice job possibilities turns into more competitive over the following couple of years, taking the following step toward earning a bachelor’s, master’s, or maybe a doctoral diploma will simplest expand your opportunities and earnings capability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What can you do with a criminal justice degree?

Answer: There are many things you can do with a degree in criminal justice! Whether you have a general degree or a more specialized degree in an area such as law enforcement or forensic science, there are many criminal justice jobs available to those with expertise gained with your criminal justice degree program. Check out our Careers page for a complete list of what you can do with your degree.

Question: Should I get my criminal justice degree online?

Answer: While online degrees are convenient, they are not for everyone. Getting an on-campus or online criminal justice degree depends on your schedule and learning preferences. Online degrees are ideal for those who have less flexible schedules and may be working their way through school. An online degree program will afford you the flexibility to learn on your own time and complete assignments in the comfort of your own home or office. Online criminal justice degrees also allow you to attend a criminal justice school in another state, so this could be a good option if you have your eye on a good school that is not in your area. Traditional on-campus degrees are a better choice if you prefer traditional classroom learning and a set schedule. In the end, whether you get an online criminal justice degree or on-campus one is a personal choice. Research your options by checking out our top traditional and online schools.

Question: How long does it take to get a criminal justice degree?

Answer: The answer to this question depends on three primary factors: the level of degree you pursue (certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate), the program itself (as a criminal justice degree at one school may take longer than the same degree at a different school), and whether you attend full- or part-time. As a general rule, if attending school full-time, you can expect to complete a certificate program in around one year, an associate degree in around two years, a bachelor’s degree in in criminal justice in three to four years, a master’s degree in one to two years, and a doctorate degree in two to three years.

20 Jobs You Can Get with a Criminal Justice Degree

what can you do with a crook justice diploma? incomes a diploma in criminal justice allow you to get employed for many special job possibilities inside the criminal justice subject. while police officers make up a massive portion of the experts running in law enforcement, there are many extra profession options that you could need to consider from fbi agent to laptop forensic expert. with a wide variety of roles to be had, you may find a job that may be a precise suit in your unique pursuits, capabilities, abilities, and salary expectations. this aid affords descriptions of 20 jobs that you may pursue with a degree in criminal justice.

Probation Officer

in step with the bureau of hard work records the 2017 median salary for probation officials turned into $fifty one,410 in step with 12 months, with 6% job growth predicted through 2026. probation officials display parolees launched from the corrections gadget to make sure that they abide by the phrases of their probation whilst helping parolees with adjusting to existence after launch the usage of specialised treatment techniques. a probation officer is normally assigned a caseload of parolees, with whom they interact on the parolees’ homes and workplaces as well as on the office.1 this offers probation officials the opportunity to make a effective distinction inside the lives of others. the ones interested by the criminal justice device or social paintings may also find a career as a probation officer to be very profitable. read full job description>>

Forensic Science Technician

the bureau of exertions records estimates the annual income of forensic technology technicians at $61,220, although the common earnings is higher in states with high demand for these experts like california, nevada, and illinois, in which the common is between $seventy six,160 and $eighty two,650. aspiring forensic technology technicians can get a head begin at the education required for this profession as early as excessive school with a focus on science and math curriculums, however by means of acquiring a forensic technology degree, people can enter this thrilling field at any age.2 forensic technology technicians work in labs, authorities organizations, hospitals, courtrooms, and other locations in which the ability to reconstruct events based on clues consisting of hair samples, broken material, and fingerprints is wanted.2 this is an exciting profession for analytical minds with an hobby in technological know-how. read full process description>>

Police Officer

demand for law enforcement officials is expected to grow via 7% thru 2026, with a median annual profits of $62,960 suggested by using the bureau of exertions records. police officers are on the front line of the usa criminal justice gadget, running no longer just to recognize criminals but to prevent crime via network outreach and visible presence efforts. each town and municipality from rural communities to metropolises like the big apple needs a police pressure, which gives activity security for the ones accepting a position as a police officer. a hit police forces spend money on a remarkable deal of schooling for his or her officers past the preliminary degree and certification; such training consists of cultural variety attention, prison ethics, and law enforcement technology.three this is a annoying and rapid paced career with personal and expert increase possibilities. examine complete process description>>

Correctional Officer

correctional officers, who work ordinarily within jails and prisons to oversee and help the ones convicted of crimes, common a earnings of $forty three,510 in keeping with 12 months in keeping with the bureau of exertions facts. correctional officers are wished at the local, state, and federal levels as every judicial frame continues separate incarceration structures. less pre-career training is wanted for correctional officers than for different careers within the justice machine because correctional officials acquire qualification and on-the-process training on a ordinary basis to make certain their protection and that of a jail populace. the focal point for correctional officers in latest years has shifted from one in all “guarding” prisoners to one of rehabilitating prisoners through enhancing their treatment programs while incarcerated.4 stages, certifications, and/or past revel in in social paintings or crook justice will help those inquisitive about beginning a career as a correctional officer. examine complete activity description>>

Private Detective

while they may assist public detectives and nearby police forces, private detectives and investigators also tackle instances within the personal realm that don’t involve a criminal issue, adding variety to daily work while earning a mean salary of $fifty five,080 in line with the bureau of exertions statistics. private detectives are regularly hired to do history assessments and uncover information associated with divorce cases, employee’s compensation claims, and other work just like that of a public detective. information of forensics and the regulation as it applies to gathering evidence and surveillance is a have to on this field, that’s why maximum personal detectives have a degree in criminal justice as well as a few enjoy operating as a detective or officer in the public sector.5 examine complete process description>>

Fish and Game Warden

for folks who experience the outside and an lively life-style, the common annual earnings of a fish and game warden, predicted by the bureau of labor information at $58,570, is a beneficiant reward for enjoying what comes clearly. fish and sport wardens paintings in forest preserves, public waterways, countrywide parks, and other blanketed recreational and conservational regions to make sure that the flora and fauna and habitat are protected and visitors are kept safe. call for is highest for fish and sport wardens in states with many busy parks and herbal regions, such as texas and california. this position uniquely combines the understanding areas of biology and regulation enforcement in a hard career, where certifications in criminal justice with classes in forensics or biology might be useful.6 examine complete process description>>

Security Guard

safety guards are in call for wherever there are human beings or assets to protect, that’s why the bureau of exertions data is projecting 6% task growth in this enterprise over the subsequent eight years. private safety guards patrol the areas wherein they are assigned for unusual or suspicious hobby and ensure that all safety hints enacted by way of their employers are enforced. protection guards paintings in live performance with regulation enforcement and the armed forces to discourage crime and make sure the protection of the communities wherein they paintings.7 many private employers in need of security guards offer training and flexible scheduling as part of this rewarding profession. read full task description>>

State Trooper

kingdom troopers work on state highways, making sure that every one state and federal vehicle legal guidelines are met. this includes well-known laws such as dashing and seatbelt use, but kingdom troopers are also liable for imposing lesser recognized laws, such as the ones regulating the use, length, and gadget of industrial automobiles inclusive of semi-trucks. kingdom soldiers also assist neighborhood and federal regulation enforcement in looking for and apprehending wanted criminals, detecting signs of unlawful interest, and stopping terrorism.8 those professionals earn kind of the identical salary as other law enforcement officials, with a median salary of $sixty two,960 mentioned by way of the bureau of exertions records. but, fairly trained or experienced nation soldiers can also command a better earnings, specifically in higher-danger metropolitan regions. study full task description>>

Crime Scene Investigator

the sphere of forensic technology is growing as generation and new techniques placed forensic science inside the attain of extra police departments than ever before. the call for for professoinals in this discipline is predicted to develop through 17% through 2026 in step with the bureau of exertions data, making this a excellent subject wherein to pursue a degree. crime scene investigators work on the sector gathering evidence and inside the lab analyzing that proof to reconstruct past occasions, work which can help or contradict eyewitnesses – or maybe fill in when no eyewitnesses are to be had. this will become aware of suspects as well as show the innocence of people wrongly accused of against the law,9 making the paintings of crime scene investigators imperative to the due method of regulation. read complete job description>>

Computer Forensics Investigator

laptop forensics investigators or professionals combine the specialties of forensic technology, computer science, and criminal research. computer forensics investigators reconstruct records and sports on electronic media in preference to on crime scenes, because as technology actions forward crime is being dedicated more frequently with computers and digital gadgets. criminals may additionally attempt to ruin electronic proof by means of deleting it, hiding it, or even bodily destroying it, that’s in which computer forensics investigators are available.10 these tremendously skilled individuals use advanced records extraction strategies to piece collectively records that criminals hoped became lost, and may be referred to as on in court to provide their findings. study complete process description>>

Fraud Investigator

fraud investigators earn an average revenue of $sixty four,690 a 12 months in keeping with the bureau of exertions statistics, way to their in-call for specialized capabilities and enjoy. fraud investigators are frequently had to decide whether or now not a claim is actual, usually after an coverage corporation or different celebration has paid for a claim. this may involve claims of property harm, personal harm, or different kinds of fraud inclusive of company economic crimes.11 fraud investigators collect proof, interview the parties involved, and present their findings to the customer that hired them. the bureau of hard work facts forecasts that medical insurance fraud investigators can be in specially excessive demand in coming years because of the latest federal fitness care law, making fraud research a robust career choice for destiny growth. read full task description>>

FBI Agent

fbi marketers have a mess of duties, as their number one task is to put in force federal law as agents of the federal bureau of investigation. for this reason, many fbi marketers focus on one vicinity of regulation enforcement after graduating from new agent schooling. the new agent schooling is extremely rigorous, such as almost 1,000 hours of education in academics, case sporting activities, firearms education, and operations. after education, fbi sellers may go in opposition to terrorism, cyber crime, civil rights violations, public corruption, organized crime, violent crime, or important thefts, following each step of an research thru to the sentencing of a criminal. a good way to grow to be an fbi agent, candidates ought to have a 4-yr diploma by using an authorized group. there are many career paths that special dealers can input to start their profession, consisting of finance and accounting, data era, language, intelligence evaluation, and implemented technological know-how, engineering and era. the diploma received must match the access direction, though the fbi additionally suggests some important competencies that might help candidates achieve a position as a special agent. read complete process description>>

CIA Agent

special agents for the important intelligence company (cia) help the federal authorities look into violations of the regulation all around the international. like home dealers and law enforcement officials, cia retailers placed their lives at chance in carrier to their branch and community, however are greater frequently known as upon to do so covertly. this element of danger contributes to the excessive revenue of cia special agents, among $74,872 and $136,771 for retailers primarily based in washington, dc, where cia headquarters are positioned. however, cia dealers may be based totally in satellite places of work in the us or abroad, as a cia agent may be called upon for foreign journey. cia marketers collaborate with different regulation enforcement companies on a regular basis through bringing a special blend of capabilities obtained in cia schooling to the desk. the ones inquisitive about turning into a cia agent are recommended to reap a bachelor’s diploma in a field related to law, forensics, language, or criminal justice, and collect at the least 5 years of experience in research. study complete process description>>

US Postal Inspector

as contributors of the us postal inspection carrier, postal inspectors look into and clear up crimes related to the united states mail. such crimes encompass robbery, vandalism, fraud, and even identity robbery. any time a crime is dedicated that involves the postal service, postal inspectors are possibly to be involved. postal inspectors use forensic techniques, query witnesses, and studies leads a good way to clear up those crimes. which will end up a postal inspector, applicants need to have a four 12 months diploma from an authorised university or university and a smooth crook report. candidates who’re decided on receive 12 weeks of severe education at the us postal inspection service strategic mastering offerings facility in maryland. study full activity description>>

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent

immigration and customs enforcements agents are responsible for investigating, arresting, and deporting individuals who do now not have permission to be in the us. to do this they have to maintain abreast of current policies and rules, make guidelines or presentations to courts listening to immigration instances, and participate in unique assignments, which may be covert.12 the usa immigration and customs enforcement department is a component of the department of hometown protection, which entitles enforcement retailers to a number aggressive benefits consisting of lifestyles and long time care coverage, beneficiant excursion time, flexible paintings schedules, and lessons repayment, simply to call some. salary is based in element on experience, but candidates with a diploma in crook justice have an advantage in entering this exciting career. examine full task description>>

Blood Spatter Analyst

as forensic scientists, blood spatter analysts have a exceedingly particular education in the physics, biology, and chemistry of spilled blood. this education is the idea for a mean profits of $57,850 in keeping with the bureau of hard work records. blood may be the maximum crucial clue in a criminal offense scene, but expertise the way it arrived and who it belongs to may be an intense procedure. blood spatter analysts go to the scene of a criminal offense, assist find and keep blood samples, and do in-intensity evaluation at the lab. this evaluation may additionally encompass experiments to try to replicate an fascinating blood spatter sample.thirteen even small volumes of blood require an knowledgeable blood spatter analyst’s investigation considering the fact that blood styles can vary in step with motion, gravity, air strain, quantity, the floor it lands on, and plenty of different variables.thirteen this career is not for the faint of coronary heart but is a rewarding way to help the criminal justice device. examine full activity description>>

Homicide Detective

murder detectives guide law enforcement officials and other investigative detectives with fixing murders and apprehending suspects. the bureau of hard work records reports the common revenue of all detectives at $62,960 consistent with yr, but because the work of a murder detective is specialised the profits for this work is frequently higher. murder detectives must paintings to establish how and whilst a murder was devoted, what the purpose changed into, and who dedicated the crime.14 they’ll gather proof, oversee the work of crime scene technicians, and perceive and interview witnesses, every so often years after an unsolved crime is devoted; those investigations are once in a while called cold cases.15 the character of this work makes the career of a homicide detective a disturbing one, but through their work homicide detectives are able to make a real distinction inside the communities wherein they stay. study complete process description>>

DEA Agent

drug enforcement management sellers, called dea retailers for short, paintings for the usa justice department to put into effect the drug laws of america. salaries for dea agents rely on education and enjoy, however a starting income of $49,746 is not unusual, which could boom to $92,592 or greater after 4 years of operating within the discipline. dea dealers check out, music, arrest, and dismantle drug traffickers and their corporations via overt and covert operations. to excel within the competitive application method, the dea recommends that applicants have a bachelor’s degree with a focal point in crook justice, police science, or foreign languages, although other bachelor’s ranges can also help applicants prevail. a success applicants acquire 18 weeks of simple agent schooling on the dea education academy and may receive different ongoing education opportunities. dea agents should also be in exceptional bodily situation. study complete activity description>>

Secret Service Agent

even though the us mystery provider is typically idea of because the provider that protects the president and different high-degree officers, mystery service dealers simply do much extra. the name of the game service is tasked with protecting the integrity of the united states’ monetary structures by way of thwarting cyber attacks on banking structures, figuring out and putting off counterfeit forex from movement, and investigating, arresting, and prosecuting criminals who break the legal guidelines meant to protect our kingdom’s financial safety. the name of the game carrier is likewise worried with crimes such as computer and telecommunications fraud and document forgery. because of the character of the paintings, the name of the game service expects retailers to be willing to tour regularly, have a bachelor’s degree ideally with a focal point related to the paintings of the secret service, and be in superb physical situation. in return, marketers receive comprehensive government advantages with a starting income of round $forty nine,746 (gl-7), although this may be better depending on an character’s qualifications. read complete process description>>

US Marshal

us marshals shipping, manipulate, and shield prisoners and federal witnesses; arrest desired criminals; and administer the department of justice asset forfeiture software, which seizes and sells belongings bought with illegally acquired money to compensate victims and fund law enforcement applications. as individuals of the nation’s oldest law enforcement organization, us marshals additionally offer protection to judges, attorneys, and jurors in high profile or doubtlessly dangerous courtroom cases. what they’re pleasant acknowledged for, but, is apprehending fugitives from the law; in 2014, the united states marshals arrested over 33,seven-hundred fugitive felons – it’s almost a hundred an afternoon. to grow to be a part of this speedy-paced career, individuals ought to have a bachelor’s diploma or a combination of training and revel in to satisfy the government’s gl-07 stage classification. training in police work, criminal justice, foreign languages, or law will assist candidates benefit an area. examine complete job description>>

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