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Criminal Justice Careers

Careers in Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is a broad field that encompasses legal and protective services. The types of careers that fall under the criminal justice umbrella include lawyers, paralegals, law clerks, police officers, correctional officers, border patrol, and government law enforcement agents. The criminal justice system is a collection of laws, agencies, and legislative bodies that protect society, deter crime, and seek justice against individuals who break the law. The amount of jobs in criminal justice is on the rise across several areas, but getting into this field requires dedication and hard work.


Most entry level criminal justice jobs require some form of education. This may include taking a class to earn a certification or enrolling in an associate’s degree in criminal justice program. Criminal justice certificate programs may be as long as one week to one year to complete. Associate’s degree programs usually take two years of full-time study to complete.

If you would like to earn a higher degree, there are criminal justice bachelor’s degree programs available. For professionals who would like more senior level positions in their field, programs for a master’s degree in criminal justice or a PhD in criminal justice will help you gain the knowledge to qualify for leadership and managerial positions.

Students now have the option to enroll in online criminal justice degree programs if a traditional degree program is not feasible. Online education has many benefits that include schedule flexibility, use of new technology, not having to commute to a campus, and some are even lower in cost.

Criminal Justice Jobs and Careers

There are a wide of range of careers that individuals could enter in criminal justice. Here are a few of the many that are available:

  • Police Officer: One of the most popular jobs in the criminal justice field. Police officers are an important member of a community. They protect their community, help in emergencies, and serve their community.
  • Paralegal: Law offices and lawyers could not function as efficiently without paralegals. These professionals do everything from filing to writing reports and contacting experts for a case to prepping witnesses. This is a career that never gets dull and keeps you on your toes.
  • FBI Agent: One of several federal law enforcement agency careers one could choose to pursue. While many of these federal positions don’t require one type of degree, criminal justice degrees are a top choice because of the background graduates receive in law and the legal system.
  • Law Office Manager: These entry level criminal justice jobs help keep a law office running efficiently and keep lawyers on track. Without law office managers, lawyers would probably forget their court dates and lose files. A criminal justice education helps these professionals learn the basics of the legal system, so their aid is more beneficial to a law office.

There are many more careers an individual could choose from, but getting the right qualifications to pursue these careers is important. Education and experience are essential to help get you started. To get more information, facts, and salary for these careers, select the career you are interested in to learn what you have to do to get started.