9 Jobs You Can Get With A Criminal Justice Degree

Criminal Justice Degree

FBI’s Crime Clock 2017 states that a violent crime happens in America every 24.6 seconds. Curbing these crimes isn’t possible without properly investing in the criminal justice system. So, how can you describe the criminal justice system? In this system, criminals are identified, prosecuted, and punished. Some vital components of this system include courts, corrections facilities, and law enforcement agencies. You can also become a part of this system by pursuing a degree in criminal justice. This degree lets you kickstart a career in criminal justice and contribute towards the rehabilitation of criminals. Just ensure you have graduated from a well-reputed college offering students an accredited criminal justice program.

Jobs for criminal justice majors

In 2023, the criminal justice system faces several problems, including retention and recruitment issues. It means that the system requires more criminal justice professionals to function properly. You can leverage this opportunity to create a career for yourself in criminal justice. Since America has the world’s largest imprisoned population, obtaining criminal justice degrees can easily help modern-day students acquire lucrative employment positions in this sector. Now, let’s discuss some jobs you can pursue. 

These jobs require a BCJ or a bachelor’s in criminal justice to land a decent employment position. When illustrious colleges offer Criminal Justice Degrees, they focus on developing the professional skills students require for a career in this field. 

  • Police Officer

One of the most common career choices criminal justice graduates make involves becoming police officers. These officers make $55,000 annually on average and can work on different levels, such as local, state, and federal. This job involves patrolling streets, responding to suspicious activities, and making arrests when necessary. It’s a lucrative job with an authority that attracts many youngsters. It’s a chance for you to ensure society’s welfare and redeem the police department.

  • FBI Agent

Making $63,000 each year on average, FBI agents keep America safe from organized crime. So, your work for the federal government while protecting Americans from espionage, terrorism, and other violent crimes. But a student should realize that working for the FBI can be adventurous and dangerous. Duties involve anything from office-based research to fieldwork, plus traveling. You may have to deal with unusual office hours. However, a thrilling FBI career is worth all these demerits.

  • DEA Agent

If you were into Breaking Bad, you might better understand what a DEA agent does. Earning more than $77,000 annually, these criminal justice professionals wage war on drugs and keep them off our streets. Their job involves apprehending criminals involved in distributing narcotics illegally. So, they track down the manufacturers and suppliers of illegal drugs and collaborate with the Border Patrol guys to assist in international investigations. It’s a job filled with adventures! 

  • Narcotics Officer

Like DEA agents, narcotics officers also prevent the selling of illegal drugs by tracking down the folks who bake/sell them. This rank also pays $77,000 yearly, but you can work with small communities. A person working for narcotics departments can also go undercover sometimes for surveillance. These brave officers work hard to keep society drug-free. You don’t need a BCJ to become a narcotics officer. An associate degree in criminal justice can also help kickstart your career in this field.

  • Parole Officer

These officers are responsible for – you guessed it – granting parole to prisoners and communicating with them while they’re on parole. You work with temporarily released prisoners to ensure they stay out of trouble and aren’t sent back to prison. Your job involves finding them residential and employment facilities to work towards their rehabilitation. 

  • Jail Screener

Studies from the ’80s to the ’00s have stated that around two-thirds of inmates commit another crime within three years of release. That’s why we have prison screeners who closely inspect inmates’ behaviors. Jail screeners interview inmates and monitor them properly to ensure they abide by the prison’s laws. These inspections can help the authorities grant inmates freedom under the impression that they have become law-abiding citizens again.

  • Private Investigator 

In 2019, there weren’t even 100,000 private investigators in the United States! So, it’s your chance to enter this career by graduating with a criminal justice degree and getting your PI license. So, you can offer society your services as a hired investigator and perform services such as finding missing people, verifying someone’s background, or collecting court evidence. Moreover, some tech-trained PIs will deal with cybercrimes or access online public records. The job will pay $51,000 on average.

  • Forensic Science Technician

This employment opportunity seems ideal if you’re passionate about criminal justice and forensic science. Also called crime scene investigators, forensic science technicians will gather evidence by analyzing the objects found at a crime scene. After evaluating the evidence, they discover crucial facts about the crime, helping detectives identify the perpetrator. These technicians are paid $57,000, and BLS estimates this profession to grow by 11% because of its increasing demand.

  • Youth Correctional Counselor

Many American teens have criminal records, and almost 700,000 children were arrested in 2019. So, youth correctional counselors work with juvenile offenders for their rehabilitation and recovery back to everyday life. They interact with youngsters either individually or via group sessions. On average, they earn around $62,000 a year and prevent first-time underage offenders from ruining their lives with a criminal record. Their counseling services help children become model citizens as adults.


We’ve established that criminal justice degrees can help you obtain different lucrative jobs in the system today. So, you can become a police officer – the traditional pathway – or join DEA/FBA for better career prospects. Some other jobs include narcotics, forensics, or the private sector. Some students become parole officers, criminal profilers, or youth correctional counselors. Remember that these jobs require a degree in criminal degree obtained from a well-reputed college. You can make anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000 based on the nature of your employment. Moreover, you get all the respect our nation’s law enforcement agencies deserve for their hard work!


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