What jobs can a degree in criminal justice get you

You have decided to further your education by attending a criminal justice college. Now what? You’re going to need to find out what jobs you can get with your degree. But wait there are hundreds of different types of jobs in the field you choose. How do you go about choosing the right one?

You can get a job in a number of fields with a degree in criminal justice, but some of the most common are in law enforcement, social work, and the legal field.

Law enforcement careers are one of the most popular options for graduates with a criminal justice degree. In this line of work, you’ll typically need at least an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree and experience working in law enforcement agencies before you can apply for an open position.

Social workers often have degrees in social work or psychology, but it’s possible to earn these degrees with a minor in criminal justice studies so that you can gain an understanding of how the criminal justice system impacts society at large.

Finally, lawyers who specialize in criminal defense often begin their careers as public defenders before working their way up to private practice or district attorney roles.

What jobs can a degree in criminal justice get you


Criminal justice is a broad field with many specializations, which makes it an excellent degree choice for anyone who wants to have plenty of job options. Here are some of the jobs you can get after earning a bachelor’s in criminal justice:

Police Officer

One of the most common jobs for people with criminal justice degrees is a police officer. Police officers are the first line of defense for their communities, and they’re responsible for enforcing laws and keeping order. They also serve as a public face of the criminal justice system, which helps build trust between citizens and law enforcement. Police officers can work in all areas of law enforcement, including patrol, investigations, community relations, or school resource officer programs.


You’ll be able to pursue job opportunities such as:

  • Detective
  • Criminal profiler
  • Forensic scientist
  • Crime scene technician or photographer

FBI Agent

FBI agents investigate crimes that involve federal laws. FBI agents work in teams and investigate cases. They also work in different areas of law enforcement, such as cybercrime, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence.

FBI agents help local law enforcement agencies with investigation and forensic services when they do not have the resources or training to do so themselves. FBI agents are trained in forensic science, surveillance (including undercover work), crime scene analysis and victim assistance.

Security Manager

You’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience. You’ll also need a security manager license, physical security certificate, background check, drug test and polygraph.

CIA Agent

While it’s certainly possible for someone with a criminal justice degree to become an agent, the process is extremely difficult. The CIA does not accept just anyone into its ranks. Unlike other federal agencies that require only a bachelor’s degree, the CIA often hires applicants with advanced degrees in criminal justice (or related subjects).

Because of this high barrier to entry, very few people have successfully made their way into the job market as agents; however, if you are able to pass all of their tests and requirements then becoming an agent may be right for you. There are many different ways that one can begin applying for employment at the CIA: online applications or via paper forms mailed directly by applicants themselves.

Agents work in various locations around the world where they conduct tasks such as gathering intelligence information through surveillance techniques or conducting covert operations aimed at disrupting terrorist groups’ activities within foreign countries’ borders or overseas locations like Afghanistan or Iraq where troops were stationed during times when there were wars raging across those areas on Earth too!


For people who want to be a paralegal, there are several things you should know. A paralegal is an individual who provides legal support and assistance to attorneys. Most of the time, they assist with researching cases and preparing legal documents for clients.

The duties of a paralegal include:

  • Researching cases to help attorneys prepare for trial or a hearing
  • Collecting evidence from witnesses in order to build their case
  • Delivering files between clients and attorneys regarding client business

One major skill needed to become a paralegal is research skills. You need excellent research skills so that you can find information on laws, cases, facts and other materials related to the case being researched by your boss or client. You may even have to learn how present this information in court if asked by your boss or client during trial or other proceedings involving legal proceedings such as depositions (questioning an expert witness under oath).

Immigration and Customs Inspector

You will be responsible for inspecting passengers and cargo entering the country. Your job is to enforce immigration and customs laws as well as other federal regulations. In addition, you may need to provide evidence in court or testify in court on behalf of the government.

Forensic Scientist

A forensic scientist is someone who specializes in the analysis of evidence gathered from crime scenes. They not only help identify a perpetrator, but they also can provide information that will help determine what happened and how to prevent it in the future. Becoming a forensic scientist requires at least an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or a related field, such as biology or chemistry. Although there are no specific requirements for employment in this industry, most employers require candidates to have completed at least two years of postgraduate education; however, some may accept applicants with only an associate’s degree.

The average salary for a forensic scientist depends on where you live; however, according to https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/forensic-scientists-(except-medical).htm#tab-4″>Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for all forensic science workers was $56000 in 2017—but if you’re coming out with experience already under your belt as well as a master’s degree then expect that number to be significantly higher.Forensic Science Salary Range by StateAlabama$55750 Alaska$54000 Arizona$57250 Arkansas California< / li ) ) ) .

Customs and Border Protection Officer

CBP officers are responsible for enforcing immigration, customs, and agricultural laws. Most CBP officers start out as Border Patrol agents, but you can also get a job with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) without having any experience working in law enforcement or security. In fact, many applicants have degrees in criminal justice or another field related to law enforcement!

One of the best ways to become a CBP officer is by earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from an accredited college or university. You’ll need this degree because it helps you understand how criminals operate so that you can prevent them from entering our country illegally again!

If your goal is to become a CBP Officer, we recommend applying for entry-level positions through OPM’s announcement series which requires only one exam: The Customs Service Exam (CST).

There are many jobs you can get with a criminal justice degree.

Criminal justice degrees are flexible and versatile, making them a great option for students who are interested in law enforcement and public service. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median salary for police officers was $55,030 as of May 2013. With your degree in criminal justice, you’ll be qualified to work in many jobs within law enforcement including:

  • FBI agents
  • Security managers
  • CIA agents

There are also many jobs you can get with a criminal justice degree outside of the world of law enforcement. For example:

  • Paralegals
  • Immigration and customs inspectors

In addition to these career options, there are also several other types of employment available to those with degrees in this field including forensic scientists, custom officers and border protection officers


We hope that this list has made it easier for you to see the value in a criminal justice degree. And remember—this is just the beginning! If you decide to pursue your passion and a career in law enforcement, there are many more jobs that you can get with a criminal justice degree. Once you start working, it’s important to always keep reading up on new developments in the field so that your knowledge base stays current and relevant. This will help you always be prepared for any challenges that may arise on the job, as well as keep your skills sharp enough to continue advancing in your career. Good luck on this exciting journey ahead!

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