The criminal justice system is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. It spans both the public and private sectors. There are several career options for an individual who possesses a criminal justice degree. Here are five criminal justice jobs to consider.
1. Become a police officer
One popular job option for those with a criminal justice degree is to become a police officer. The requirements for police officers vary across departments. Not all require a bachelor's degree, but typically someone who has a degree will get hired over someone who does not. The job outlook for police officers is forecasted to grow at a slower than average pace. A bachelor's degree holder will have a competitive edge over non-degree holders for police officer positions.
2. FBI agents
The FBI is the main investigative arm of the Department of Justice. Requirements to become an FBI agent include a bachelor's degree. FBI agents investigate crimes involving federal laws like drug trafficking, terrorism and cybercrime. The FBI also investigates terrorist threats, airplane hijackings and organized crime. The job outlook for FBI agents is dependent upon funding from congress and the retirement rate of current FBI agents.
3. Enter the corrections field
Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work to rehabilitate offenders. They are tasked with assisting offenders in finding housing and employment and preventing them from committing new crimes. The job outlook is not projected to grow, but should remain stable for many years. The average salary for a probation officer is $48,190.
4. Respond to crises
Another career option for someone with a criminal justice degree is emergency management specialist. Typically, police, firefighters and EMS respond when there is some sort of disaster or public emergency. Emergency management specialists are the people behind the scenes coordinating the activity. They develop response plans, train others in their organization and coordinate with emergency personnel. The military and law enforcement are both major employers but there are also options in the private sector. Hospitals, colleges, universities and community relief organizations may have their own response teams in place.
5. Advocate for victims of crime
Being a victim's advocate is another rewarding career option for criminal justice degree holders. More organizations are recognizing the need to have a professional on staff to work with victims of crime and abuse. Victim advocates give a voice to the victims in the criminal justice system. They inform victims of their rights, accompany them to hearings and contact them if their aggressor was paroled or escaped. A victim advocate may lead a support group or offer one-on-one support, and sometimes he or she responds to crime scenes with police.
There are several types of criminal justice jobs available. Earning a bachelor's degree gives candidates a competitive edge and lead to increased salaries. It's also an important tool for advancement in the criminal justice field. The knowledge attained while earning a criminal justice degree prepares candidates to work across many spectrums of the criminal justice system.
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