Criminal justice is a broad job market involved in upholding law, deterring and preventing crime, and doling out penalties and rehabilitation for offenders. Such job opportunities would include Probation Officers, Private Investigators, Security Guards or Criminal Justice Professors. While many are hands-on, face-to-face opportunities, others involve working behind the scenes to maintain order in a public or private setting. Many people who excel at this job end up becoming Attorneys or Detectives.
Because criminal justice positions widely differ, pinpointing exactly what you will be doing proves difficult. However, some examples of daily tasks might include:
- Performing background checks
- Conducting surveillance
- Prosecuting criminals
- Interacting with former offenders
- Protecting the assets and persons in a public or private setting
- Enforcing public laws or private policies
Criminal Justice Job Education Requirements
Since there are a variety of jobs, each with their own need of skills and knowledge, education for these positions varies. Most employers require at least a two-year associate's degree in criminal justice or a related field for jobs such as Crime Scene Technician or a Detention Officer. Candidates with bachelor's degrees are more qualified to handle adverse tasks and will have the ability to advance through the ranks quickly. Certifications can also make potential employers more apt to hiring a specific person.
Other jobs require a master's degree or specialized degree such as a lawyer or a judge, but the advantage is a salary higher in comparison to undergraduate degrees.
Criminal Justice Job Market
Due to the increase in population, the criminal justice job market is expected to increase by 11 percent over the next 10 years, which is comparable to the national average. One-third of these jobs are in the government sector, including FBI Agents, Police Officers and Criminologists, while 40 percent are private company jobs, such as consulting, loss prevention or private security. Most of the job growth is almost exclusively for law enforcement professionals.
Criminal Justice Job Salary Information
The annual salary of criminal justice professionals varies widely from profession to profession. Those starting out in entry-level jobs and lacking a college degree can expect to make about $25, 000 a year. Those holding bachelor's degrees can expect to make nearly double that. Jobs that require specialized degrees or many years of experience are highly sought after making the annual salary anywhere from about $70, 000 to $166, 000.
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