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Careers with Criminal Justice Degrees

Criminal justice degree jobs are highly exciting, rewarding, and rapidly growing. Education is a key factor in finding placement in the competitive world of law enforcement. Whether you are a graduate of Accounting, Communications, Social Sciences, or Criminology – or anything in-between – there are a vast amount of jobs with a criminal justice degree. Criminal justice is one of the few career paths that provide stable growth. Employment is not just about the salary, but also about the satisfaction that you get from the work that you do. Criminal justice degree jobs offer stability, growth, and self-satisfaction.

Police Officer

An officer of the law is one of the most common criminal justice jobs. Police officers are responsible for maintaining peace within communities and enforcing laws. In addition to earning a high school diploma, police officers must be at least 21 years old in most states and must receive training at a police academy. Many states also require that a police officer complete a degree program in criminal justice or law enforcement. Federal and state agencies typically require their recruits to have a criminal justice degree. Degree-holders may also advance their careers more rapidly with a degree, and may even receive tuition assistance from some departments.

FBI Agent

One of the more prestigious criminal justice jobs is that of an agent for the FBI. An FBI agent is an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, one of the most top-notch law enforcement facilities in the world. FBI agents oversee and investigate intelligence crimes, from examining business and accounting records to tracking stolen goods as they move across the country. To become an FBI agent, an applicant must possess a four-year criminal justice degree and have at least three years of professional work experience. All FBI agent trainees also begin their career at the FBI Academy where they live on campus and must perform in a wide range of activities to test their abilities.

Corrections Officer

Correctional officers maintain and oversee order within the population of correctional facilities. If interested in jobs in criminal justice, a correctional officer is a good place to start, as applicants only have to be 18 years old and hold a high school diploma. Many institutions seek applicants with previous experience in the law enforcement field and those who hold college training and have a criminal justice degree. Corrections officers receive professional training from federal, state, or local corrections departments, which include classes in law and criminal rights and communication.

Police Detective

Detectives have one of the more interesting criminal justice jobs, investigating, preventing, and solving crimes against properties and people. Many detectives are employed by police departments, while others work for various industries and businesses. In addition to a high school diploma, detectives must complete training that lasts between six weeks and several months. This is one of many criminal justice degree jobs that requires the applicant to be in good physical condition and possess the necessary skills required for detective work.

Criminal Investigator

If you’re looking for jobs in criminal justice, a criminal investigator may be the ideal career. Criminal investigators are responsible for investigating criminal violations of law at local, state, and federal levels. Each agency has its own set of qualifications and requirements, but generally, employers look for a minimum of a four year criminal justice degree. Most criminal justice degree jobs, such as a criminal investigator, do not require certification, although certification is always helpful in gaining employment.


Paralegals, also referred to as legal assistants are another one of the jobs with a criminal justice degree one can obtain. Paralegals are trained to assist attorneys in the delivery of legal services. They often work in corporations, government environments, or in law firms under the supervision of a lawyer. In most cases, paralegals must complete a two-to-four year degree to find jobs in criminal justice. They must also hold the knowledge of legal terminology and state and federal legal procedures and law.

Jobs with a criminal justice degree are numerous with opportunity for growth in the future. Whether you’re interested in becoming a police officer, detective, criminal investigator, or FBI agent, there is something for everyone interested in a criminal justice career. These are just a few of the most popular career options in the field of criminal justice. There are many more to choose from if you are interested in criminal justice jobs.