Criminal Justice Careers
Keeping the community safe
Criminal justice is a broad category that encompasses many social science fields. There are opportunities available in civil service institutions such as police, courts and correction, and also in the private sector, which offers positions in research, consultation and security.
Some of the jobs found in this field include:
- Bailiff / court officer
- Coast guard
- Compliance officer
- Corrections officer
- Court staff, including court clerks and reporters
- Customs agent
- Government agent, including ATF, CIA, DEA, FBI, INS, Secret Service
- Security agent
- Social worker
- Police officer
- Probation officer
People who work in or with the criminal justice system provide a valuable service to their community. They are the people who maintain safety and order, and work to solve public social problems.
Criminal justice professionals will also work closely with decision makers - whether they're in public or private service. They're seen as the eyes and ears of an organization, and are usually the most in touch with the individuals of any particular group. For example, probation officers are able to make significant impacts on the futures of their clients regarding work, school and any future involvement with the law. In private industry, security agents can offer insight into safety and security requirements and policies. Whatever path they take, members of the criminal justice field are considered a valuable asset to any team!
How to Choose
The vast amount of career options available in the criminal justice field can make it difficult to decide where you'll focus your education and job prospects. In a field such as this, it's important to base your choice on your personal interests - for example, if you enjoy working with young people, social work or probation are viable options. If you prefer to work more independently, a security agent could be right for you.
There are also different educational requirements for each division of the criminal justice field. Once you've decided which positions appeal to you, you'll have to research the qualifications of each one. Sometimes you'll find different expectations depending on the state or area you reside in.
Expected salaries also vary, depending on the type of position you choose and the organization you're working for. Both public and private sectors offer high paying opportunities, but they both also have their lower paying and entry level positions. Choosing the criminal justice career that's right for you will depend on your expectations, education and experience.