A degree in criminal justice can lead to a career as a law enforcement officer, a job in the court system, in private security, investigations or even in the corrections fields. Degree programs in criminal justice can be found in community colleges, vocational schools, as well as universities across the nation.
An associate’s degree in criminal justice takes approximately two years to obtain. Classes are usually comprised of mandatory core classes and electives. These are designed introduce you to the different parts of the criminal justice system. After obtaining your two-year associate’s degree in criminal justice, you can begin working in your career field. Alternatively, you can also use your degree to continue on to a four-year bachelor’s degree.
Jobs with Criminal Justice Degree
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can qualify you for positions in probation and parole, detective work, research, federal government, and supervisory roles. If you choose to continue beyond a bachelor’s degree, you can choose a path in law or judgeship.
Most careers available to students after graduating with their associate’s degree in criminal justice. However, these careers require extensive training for the position such as law enforcement officer, corrections officer, security guard and probation officer, to name a few. Each training program is designed to train new employees regarding the details of the job. Most will be entry-level positions and you’ll need more experience or further education to advance in the field. Crime scene technicians are also employed through law enforcement agencies and have sought criminal justice careers, often leading to officer training as well.
Some criminal justice careers, such as those in law enforcement and corrections, also have an age requirement. In many states, for an applicant to be accepted into a police academy, they must be at least 21 years of age. You must also have taken at least some college courses. Age requirements will vary between the state and federal levels for law enforcement and corrections.
All criminal justice careers typically require background screenings. These include, but is not limited to, physical screenings as well as character and personality screenings.
Criminal Justice Salary
Depending on your level of education and in which sector of the criminal justice field you work, your salary will vary. But almost all positions obtained in the criminal justice field provide benefits and profitable compensation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, corrections officers earn an average of $39,700 per year. For law enforcement officers, they earn around $58,630 per year, which includes detectives and bachelor degree holders. For probation officers, they earn an average of $49,060 per year.
Working as a federal law enforcement agent with one of the numerous agencies within the federal government can present additional opportunities for travel and relocation benefits.
Regardless of which route you choose to enter the field of criminal justice, getting the right education is your first step. Take some time to research the degree options and career fields available before you make a big move. With dedication and perseverance, you could find yourself in a rewarding and highly respected position in a matter of years.
For more information, or to find schools, visit www.criminaljusticeprograms.com today.