criminal justice degreeThe criminal justice field offers a lot of thrilling and fulfilling career opportunities.

There are a lot of new developments in forensic technology as well as in other areas of criminal justice landscape. Because of this, taking on a career as a criminal justice professional is anything but boring.

In addition to an ever growing list of career opportunities, it’s one of the rare fields out there that accept people with diverse professional and educational backgrounds. Whether your interests lies in psychology, political science, criminology, social work, forensics, or even law, there’s definitely a criminal justice career geared to your passions and skill set.

Are you thinking what jobs you can get with a criminal justice degree? Below is an extensive list of some of the most sought-after criminal justice career:


A career in this field often requires a degree in Criminology. Being a criminologist requires an academic program that combines criminal justice and sociology together. What this job entails is finding out the causes and consequences of a crime. This is so they’ll know how to prevent it. This career also necessitates knowing group behavior how criminals function and behave.

Forensic Psychologist

For individuals who want to take this path, the most common way is to take a degree in psychology. Basically, the main brunt of work as a forensic psychologist lies in assisting crime investigation. They specifically apply psychological concepts in bringing to light specific motives or grounds that could’ve induced a crime. This then allows the criminal justice system to recognize the intent and decide on a suitable conviction.

CIA Agent

CIA agents are often responsible for gathering intelligence that can prevent threats to the country and governments. Additionally, these agents also carry out law enforcement missions. Unlike jobs in other criminal justice fields, work as a CIA agent isn’t confined to the country. They also cover foreign intelligence on other countries’ governments. As part of the organization’s Special Activities Division, some CIA agents also undertake covert operations done in line to protect US citizens and interest.

Crime Lab Analyst

Crime lab analysts mainly work in the lab and not in crime scenes. This is the common depiction in mainstream television. Despite this, a career in this field is still challenging and exciting. The majority of work requires analyzing evidence that can be used in a trial to convict criminals. More specifically, included in specialists in this field have to take photos and collect evidence. This is to assess if there were any anomalies in the crime scene.

Crime Scene Investigator

Crime scene investigators are further sub-divided into various types and categories. What’s common in all those, however, is the investigative nature of the job. Previously, crime scene investigators were also law enforcement officers. But then later took on job responsibilities related specifically to investigating crime scenes and any evidence gathered from it.

FBI Agent

FBI agents can be either special agents or support specialists. Special agents usually go on the field while support specialist work typically entails translation, and analyzing intelligence, to name a few. Among all fields in criminal justice, FBI has one of the biggest acceptance of women, minorities, and people with disabilities. One of the primary jobs of being an FBI agent is investigating federal law violations. They do this by doing undercover operations and monitoring suspicious activities. This includes looking into organized crimes, drug trafficking, and foreign espionage among others.

Police Officer

Police offers are typically assigned traditional police duties. Aside from patrolling regular routes and monitoring for suspicious activity, they also do a lot of paperwork and citizen assistance work. Also included in their additional duties are directing traffic, assisting in automobile accidents, and giving first aid to hurt people. To become a police officer, you must obtain the necessary education, submit an application, and complete the required training. Furthermore, in order to obtain promotions, you must actively work and learn the ropes of the job.

Private Investigator

A private investigator or private detectives’ primary duty is gathering information. They then analyze the information in order to uncover facts. Moreover, private investigators are often hired by companies for screening employees, investigating people’s backgrounds, or for protection services. This includes but is not limited to copyright violations, identity theft, and cyber harassment, to mention a few.


Bailiffs are the people you see providing security in the courtrooms. They are the ones who comb the premises in order to search and identify weapons, explosive devices, or any other type of security threats. Bailiffs are also the one who ensure that courtrooms are efficient and organized before every court proceeding. Other responsibilities include introducing the judge when he or she enters the courtroom. They are also the ones who keep the order during court proceedings.


For areas outside the coverage of municipal police departments, sheriffs are the ones who enforce the law. Their job responsibilities are basically the same with police officers. From responding to 911 calls to apprehending people with traffic violations, and apprehending suspected criminals, being a sheriff is a versatile, all-around job.

Corrections Officer

Being a corrections officer (also known as detentions officer) primary involves guarding inmates and people who are awaiting trial. Not only do they provide security in a correctional facility, but they also fend off inmate fights and transport them as needed. Correction officers can be employed in any of the following departments or agencies: municipal jails, police, agencies, sheriff’s departments and as well as state and federal prisons.

Probation Officer

This job is similar to a corrections officer, but you’ll be guarding former inmates who are now free. The field is set to grow to as much as 18% by 2020. The bulk of your work will be to monitor and track parolees to make sure they’re complying with the terms of their release. More than that, you’ll also be helping the newly released parolees to adjust to life in the real world after years of confinement. You’ll be commonly getting a number of caseloads with whom you have to communicate and interact with on a regular basis. This means that you’ll be making house calls or even work visits to check up on them.

Security Guard

This is a very in demand job wherein your job will be to protect and secure properties or people. This job is vital because it keeps violence and theft from happening in a place they’re guarding. Although having a guard is no guarantee that there will be no attempts, it makes people feel safe if there are guards around. Security guards have their own duties and work in shifts. Some patrol while some inspect. Places that hire security guards have a team of them and also require a security guard director who manages everyone.

Choosing the Most Suitable Job for You

Every field in criminal justice has its own job specialties and it’s important to know what each one entails. If you’re still thinking what jobs you can get with a criminal justice degree, learn more about each career’s specialties. For instance, a lot of people want to become a “CIA Agent,” but not many realize that there are different types of CIA agents (e.g. Operations Officer, Intelligence Officer, and Language Officer, among others). In addition, at every law enforcement agency, there are various “support and professional” positions. By knowing what the duties of a job are, you can explore the opportunities it offers and make the right selection with your skills and interests in mind.

Applying to Get a Criminal Justice Degree

There are general requirements that should be observed so that your application can be accepted when applying to get a criminal justice degree.

Various criminal justice school requirements differ depending on their policies or the state they are located. You should make sure that when applying for school it should be the one that will help you to attain your goals. The school should provide opportunities where you will be able to access learning and research materials.

Admission Requirements for A Criminal Justice Degree

When you’re applying for a criminal justice degree, you should be ready to provide transcripts from an accredited institution. This is one of the requirements be considered for admission. It is important to submit your transcripts because it will be used to look at your grades.

Many of the schools offering criminal justice degrees will require you to have a minimum of GPA of 3.2. However, this may differ depending on the institution you’re applying to. You must have finished other form of credits that are required for the course.

You should also be able to meet university transfer status. When you are applying to the schools, you should provide the hard copies of the transcripts. Note that you can only be accepted into the school of criminal justice if your documents are complete.

For International Students

If you are an international student, then you will still have to take an entrance test. One of the tests you will take will be an exam that will evaluate your English language proficiency. However, you don’t need to take a test if you have taken your degree from an institution where English was a medium of instruction.

For international freshman students, most schools do not require them to submit evaluations. Nonetheless, students will still be required to take either the SAT or ACT in order to be evaluated for admission.

All undergraduate applications are commonly processed through the city in which the university you’re applying is based. Whether you’re coming in as a freshman or a transferee, make sure to research the different requirements before turning in your application.

Other Tests and Requirements

Your acceptance to the college of your choice depends on the test score you’ll get. Most colleges will either require applicants to pass SAT or ACT. When you complete your test, be sure to report your scores because the admissions board will use it to rate you if you qualify.

There are also some schools that will require you to undergo visual and hearing tests so that they’ll know if you’re fit enough to study. In some of the schools, it is a must for you to provide a certificate of good conduct from the police so that they can check if you have any criminal offenses.

It is necessary for you to note that the requirement that has been noted above is at the behest of most criminal justice schools. If you do not meet each school’s requirements, it will be less likely for you to be considered for admission.

You might also be required to complete some short essay questions. These questions will give a detailed background on the reason you’re applying to a particular school. For example, you can be asked about your career goals after you have finished your criminal justice degree.

You can give answers that will be related to the kind of the program you would want to take. For example, I would like to fight for the justice of the minority group and so forth. It is important that you give a satisfactory answer when you’re writing your essay because it can increase your chances of being considered for admission to the school.

In Conclusion

The bottom line is that a reputable school is likely to put you on a fast-track to success in the criminal justice field.

When looking for a suitable criminal justice online degree, start by compiling a list of all the colleges in your state and the surrounding states which offer the program that you are looking for. Eliminate the worst or poorly ranked programs from the list in order to narrow down to the most reputable course programs. Have a finalized list of reputable colleges along with what it would cost you to attend each of those programs.

Once you have found a reputable institution that you can comfortably afford, explore what each of these offers by contacting their respective criminal justice departments.  You can call them or even email them in order to inquire about the specifics so that you can determine if they will be a good fit for you.