Advance Your Corrections Career with a Bachelor's Degree

Whether you already work in corrections or want to start working in the corrections field, you can advance your career with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice online at Louisiana State University of Alexandria (LSUA).

Multiple Choices and a Career Foundation

The corrections field is growing. Between 2016 and 2026, for example, 34,900 new positions are expected for correctional officers and bailiffs, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the same period, over 5,000 new positions are expected for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists.

The online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice at LSUA thoroughly prepares students for multiple careers within corrections. Graduates can work in law enforcement, as police or community relations officers. They can work in corrections -- in prisons, jails or courts. (Bailiffs, for example, maintain peace and security in courtrooms.) They can work with the accused or the formerly incarcerated in probation and parole. Careers in corrections exist in the juvenile and other parts of the justice system. Graduates can work in forensics, analyzing crime scenes.

People with a BS in criminal justice can also work in security for companies, travel hubs and schools.

There are promotional paths beyond the entry level, too. Police officers, for example, can become detectives and chiefs of police. Correctional officers can become wardens.

In addition, a bachelor's degree in criminal justice prepares students to enter law school or go on to graduate school in criminal justice, psychology or related fields.

Preparation for a Criminal Justice Career

Positions in these fields require a comprehensive foundation of knowledge about the criminal justice system itself, as well as knowledge of the responsibilities associated with various jobs within the system.

With a BS in Criminal Justice online, you will receive this foundation, through an array of courses on administration of the justice system, law enforcement, courts, corrections management, juvenile delinquency, forensics, and security (both private and for companies).

You will also learn how to work with the public and other professionals in the criminal justice system. You will receive instruction on communication within the criminal justice environment, both verbal and written.

Courses may include internet research, hands-on activities, and deployment of both facts and critical thinking.

Work Environments and Salaries

Corrections careers are found in courts, prisons, jails, government offices and, for security positions, corporate and private environments.

Jails and prisons operate 24 hours a day, so correctional officers and specialists may have to work in shifts. Bailiffs escort prisoners to and from the courtroom and are responsible for maintaining courtroom order. The qualifications required to be hired vary by position, but some government agencies require a bachelor's degree.

Probation officers focus on working with people recently released from prison or those sentenced to probation instead of jail. They may work in areas where the crime rate is high. These positions usually require a bachelor's degree. Job candidates may also have to take verbal and written tests and psychological assessments.

Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earn a median yearly salary of $51,410, according to the BLS. Bailiffs earn a median yearly salary of $43,510. Correction officers and jailers earn a median annual salary $47,600.

Learn more about the LSUA online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Correctional Officers and Bailiffs

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017: Correctional Officers and Jailers

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