Criminal Justice Career Guide: Degree, Jobs, Salary

Criminal Justice Career Guide: Taking up this course and pursuing this degree of being criminal justice can be very attractive, glorifying it comes with lots of opportunities and in turn pays at a very good range. Students who want to pursue their careers in this field have the opportunity to work in both the public

Photo of author

By Hrishi

Criminal Justice Career Guide: Taking up this course and pursuing this degree of being criminal justice can be very attractive, glorifying it comes with lots of opportunities and in turn pays at a very good range. Students who want to pursue their careers in this field have the opportunity to work in both the public and private sectors. They can choose the right course in their graduate school, which may set a tone and decide their career in this field.

Criminal Justice Career Guide
Criminal Justice Career Guide

Introduction to the field of criminal justice

Unlike any other business, educational, medicine, or technology-driven field, criminal justice has proved to have a great earning potential and a career which is filled with opportunities and immense growth. Still, to get a promising career out of it, you have to look for good quality education in a good university or college. However, the elementary positions in this field do not pay you as much as corresponding other jobs. After moving up in the hierarchy, you can also make a fortune here.

Some very high-paying criminal justice jobs can exceed well over six figures in the annual salary slab. Like other jobs, these jobs also have year-end bonuses and attractive salary benefits.

Criminal Justice, as the name suggests, is a system under which criminals are identified based on their crimes. They are then detained, judged under the law, and punished based on their crime. There are three major components of the criminal justice system those are:

A system that includes law enforcement

This is one of the main systems which works semi-independently among the other criminal justice components. These 3 major components form a chain or enclosed system which leads the foundation to investigate the suspected criminal activity and which can lead to a successful administration of criminal punishment.

There are more than 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers serving in the United States of America. The percentage of women take actively participate in these kinds of jobs has increased drastically over the last decade and stood well over 12 percent. There are about 137,000 officers who work for federal law enforcement agencies. In short, we have witnessed the true scope and width offered by joining the law enforcement forces under the criminal justice system.

The court system

The whole criminal justice system is designed in such a way in the United States that it enforces laws, most importantly, it ensures public safety and punishes those under the justice norms who have committed a crime. To maintain law enforcement and order in the communities the government bureaus, some private agencies, and overarching policies work together in harmony.

There are three main levels which work in a federal court system; these are

  1. District or a Trial court.
  2. Circuit courts which are also known as the first level of appeal
  3. The topmost or final level at the federal level is the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Correction facilities

Correction facilities is an ambiguous term that includes prisons and jails in it. A prisoner who is sentenced to more than a year because of their convicted crime can be sent to federal prisons. The literal meaning of a correction facility is that it consists of a jail, prison, or other detention facility. These facilities can be used to house people who have been held, arrested, detained, or convicted by a court or criminal justice agency.

These 3 systems work together to ensure to form a criminal justice system so that laws are upheld and those who commit the crime are fairly judged and sentenced for their crimes.

Also Read-

What to expect in criminal justice degree?

Now if you have decided and mentally prepared yourself to seek an entry-level position or whether you are eyeing to have a career in law enforcement, special investigation, loss prevention, or advocacy, getting a Bachelor’s Degree in the field of criminal justice would be perfect to achieve your goals.

Many colleges and universities in the States provide offline and online courses for getting a relevant criminal justice degree. The curriculum mainly combines earning professional skills and training with a relevant course design, so that the candidate can develop a solid foundation for the criminal justice field. 

There are various online programs whose ultimate aim is to guide the graduates to become leaders in criminal justice, policy reform, and various law enforcement. It typically takes four years to complete this degree. However, interested students can enroll on the course during the summer, spring or fall semester.

How can I get a criminal justice degree?

Though there are various ways you can earn a bachelor’s degree to pursue your dream career in criminal justice, nowadays many universities have started their online programs to satisfy the demand level of well-qualified criminal justice. Some of the State’s universities and colleges might help you get a degree in criminal justice.

University/College NameLocationDuration
University of Cincinnati (Online program).Cincinnati, USA2-4 years
North-eastern Illinois University (BA in Justice Studies).Chicago, USA4 years
Eastern Kentucky University (Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice).Richmond, USA120 Hrs
Felician University (Bachelor of Criminal Justice).Rutherford, USA4 years
Lindenwood University (BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice).Saint Charles, USA4 years
Colleges for Criminal Justice degree

Steps to achieve a degree in Criminal Justice

Though there are a few similar steps in which you can pursue a degree in the field of criminal justice, these are:

  • First, you must complete your elementary education by passing High School. To join a college to pursue a criminal justice degree, you have to earn a diploma by completing high school. You need to be consistent in your studies and earn good grades in your school because you need to attach a copy of your transcripts to apply to college. Along with this, you might need to submit your SAT or ACT score along with the college application. Some universities might ask for a letter of recommendation, essay or statement of intent.
  • Do graduation or a relevant course which will eventually lead you to pursue a career in criminal justice. We have mentioned some colleges which provide online and full-time courses in the field of criminal justice. Do a full study before applying to one.
  • Keep your background clean. This is a very cautious field as you will be pursuing to become someone who represents the law and order in the states. While working in criminal justice a thorough background check is necessary. You should avoid getting in trouble because it can negatively impact your ability to enter this field.
  • Start with some voluntary jobs or entry-level jobs under a well-reputed police department. While attending a college and specializing in criminal justice, you need to be vigilant and grab any opportunity that can give you experience in this field. You need to do many voluntary jobs in the field of law so that your understanding of the legal system and law enforcement can increase.

Some of the high-paying jobs in the criminal justice field

Although this is the field which may require lots of effort, unlike other areas of jobs. Once you get high in the hierarchy, you can make very good fortune in this field of work. Some of the high-paying positions in the field of criminal justice are,

  1. Being a Judge and Hearing Officer, your annual compensation is around $128,000.
  2. If you try to become an Attorney or a lawyer, your annual compensation can go around $127,000.
  3. If you are an FBI specialist, your annual compensation can be around $100,000.
  4. There is one similar kind of job being an FBI agent your annual compensation can go around $93,000.
  5. If you are in the field of criminology, then your annual compensation can go around $92,000.

Leave a Comment