What can you do with a criminal justice degree? – ConsumersLocal
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

What can you do with a criminal justice degree?

Criminal justice jobs are demanding, but the rewards of serving your fellow citizens are unparalleled.

As a criminal justice major, you have the unique opportunity to get a job as a real-life equivalent of the mythical superheroes and crime-fighting good guys that populate plenty of Hollywood blockbusters. But in the real world, criminal justice careers can also offer you a certain sense of job security—after all, justice always needs to be served.

Where Can You Earn a Criminal Justice Degree?

Criminal justice programs are offered at all degree levels: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. A criminal justice associate degree provides students with a foundational overview of the criminal justice system in preparation of entry-level positions in law enforcement (patrol and corrections officers, for example). Associate degree programs are usually two-years in length and are typically offered by community and vocational colleges.

Bachelor degree programs in criminal justice expand on the topics covered in associate degree programs. A bachelor’s degree is often a prerequisite for parole and probations officer jobs, as well as most federal law enforcement positions. Graduate degree programs (master’s and doctoral) prepare graduates for supervisorial and administrative positions with criminal justice agencies, as well as postsecondary academic positions in research and teaching. Both bachelor’s and graduate criminal justice degrees are available at an ever-growing number of college and university campuses, both public and private, throughout the U.S.

Can You Earn a Degree in Criminal Justice Online?

Absolutely. Online criminal justice degree programs are plentiful, and like those available on college campuses, high-quality online criminal justice programs from fully-accredited schools are available at all degree levels. Online programs often feature both full and part-time study options to accommodate working professionals. Programs that offer accelerated curriculums are also popular online and can be completed in less time than standard programs, allowing students to graduate earlier and get a head start on their professional careers.  

What Careers Can You Get with a Criminal Justice Degree?

Corrections Manager

What you’d do: Corrections managers supervise employees at a prison or other correctional facility. This mid-level role requires working with supervisors as well as supporting staffers, in addition to dealing directly with inmates in the facility. Corrections managers are responsible for ensuring frontline security and safety for workers and inmates, and overall administration.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree and several years of work experience is generally a minimum expectation.
What you’d make: $44,400 per year

Crime Scene Investigator

What you’d do: In this position, you would aid police and detectives in their investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence from crime scenes.
What you’d need: Many crime scene investigators are police officers, but your bachelor’s degree—preferably with some science background—should be sufficient to get a job.
What you’d make: $46,053 per year

Emergency Management Coordinator

What you’d do: In this role, you would prepare plans and procedures for responding to natural disasters and other emergencies as well as lead the response during and after. Most emergency management coordinators work for state or local governments, but you can also find jobs at hospitals and nonprofit organizations.
What you’d need: This mid-to-senior level role will require you to have multiple years of experience in emergency response, disaster planning, or public administration.
What you’d make: $55,245 per year

FBI Agent

What you’d do: A job at the FBI is perhaps the pinnacle of criminal justice jobs. FBI agents’ roles include investigating federal crimes, organized crime, and cybercrime, as well as combating terrorism. Agents can be stationed in the U.S. or overseas.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice—with at least a 3.0 GPA—plus three years of relevant work experience are only the first steps for the rigorous process of becoming an FBI agent. Candidates must also be at least 23 years old, and will face tough interviews, background checks, personality profiles, and physical standards.
What you’d make: $64,629 per year

Forensic Accountant

What you’d do: Essentially financial detectives, forensic accountants sift through account records, calculate assets, assemble timelines of financial activity and gather evidence of possible wrongdoing to assist in legal cases like bankruptcies, embezzlement, insurance claims and fraud.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree with a strong focus in accounting is required. Most employers also expect applicants to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
What you’d make: $70,500 per year

Forensic Psychologist

What you’d do: Forensic psychologists’ evaluations can be used by courts to consider factors such as a suspect’s mental competency for trial or risk of committing additional crimes if released from custody. Their work and observations also can come into play in civil cases or on broader issues about mental health issues in relation to the court system.
What you’d need: Your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice would need to be supplemented with a master’s in psychology for this role.
What you’d make: $79,010 per year


What you’d do: As a paralegal, you would support lawyers by maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research and drafting documents.
What you’d need: Although not always required, a certificate in paralegal studies can supplement your bachelor’s degree.
What you’d make: $50,940 per year

Police Officer

What you’d do: Police officers patrol and respond to incidents as needed, while seeking to keep the peace on the streets. It’s a challenging job that combines the need for soft skills, hard physicality and life-or-death decisions, but the rewards—including camaraderie and knowing you’re serving your community—are ample.
What you’d need: Educational requirements vary, but a college degree is usually enough. U.S. citizenship is required, and candidates generally must be at least 21; after that come physical and personal qualifications and then training in a police academy.
What you’d make: $63,380 per year

Private Investigator

What you’d do: Private investigators look into whatever issues their clients bring to them—for example, running informal background checks or searching for missing persons. Their work can involve personal, financial or legal matters.
What you’d need: There generally are no formal education requirements beyond a high school diploma; usually the emphasis is on work experience, including in law enforcement or the military. Nearly all states require licensing.
What you’d make: $50,090 per year

Social Worker

What you’d do: A career in social services could mean helping poor families with money, child or food assistance, conducting drug abuse prevention programs, or counseling incarcerated minors.
What you’d need: In addition to your bachelor’s degree, you’ll want to get some work experience under your belt, perhaps through a volunteer program or internship. Although not required for entry into social work, some employers prefer candidates who also hold a master’s degree.
What you’d make: $49,470 per year

Get to work

A criminal justice degree can take your career in any number of directions, but in order to actually get hired, you need to be visible. Recruiters search job sites every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you.



You May Also Like


Quickly & easily find painting jobs near you!

Real Estate

Trying to find the best apartment or house to rent that’s within your budget without help can be hard, but not impossible. You just...


A medical alert system can give you peace of mind knowing help is only a button-press away. Here's everything you need to know to...

Home & Garden

Are you looking for a new mattress? Find the ideal mattress for your needs with our complete mattress buying guide below. You deserve a...

Copyright © 2021 ConsumersLocal - All Rights Reserved

The information found on this website is not intended or implied to replace professional, legal or financial help. All content contained on this website including, but not limited to, images, text, graphics, and information are for general informational purposes only. This website is meant to provide general information to users that are researching general information, including but not limited to, legal, financial, auto, health, home & more. The site should simply be used as a resource for information and should never be a substitute for speaking with a professional if you want expert advice.