Criminal Justice Careers

When you have a criminal justice degree, there are plenty of ways to live out your dream of making an impact on the law enforcement or judicial system. There are a variety of careers that you can pursue that relate to the study of criminal justice. One of the greatest obstacles that you may face in pursuing a criminal justice degree is simply narrowing down your options. It can be very difficult to choose amongst the highly attractive careers that you can choose when you obtain a criminal justice degree. Here are some of the career options that also relate to the study of criminal justice.


There is a good number of law students who have a criminal justice degree in their background. When you have a background in criminal justice, you already have a strong understanding of how the law enforcement and judicial systems work together. This type of knowledge can be very helpful, especially if you want to become a prosecutor of public defender.

State Law Enforcement

It is recommended that you pursue this type of degree if you plan on eventually becoming a police officer. You can become a county sheriff or a deputy when you have a criminal justice degree. When you are a deputy, your job is to protect the citizens of your local community. You will have the power to make arrests in your community. You will also be able to make police reports, and you may be called upon to offer testimony in court. Your salary in this career field will depend on the funding that your local law enforcement agency receives in the community.

Correctional Officers

As a correctional officer, you will work in the federal prison system. You may also choose to specialize as a juvenile correctional officer. Your responsibility is to oversee the inmates who have been detained in the prison system. You may also need to oversee individuals who are currently awaiting trial. Your main task is to “keep the peace” and ensure that no inmate attempts to escape from the jail. You will also ensure that the inmates adhere to high standards of conduct and do not misbehave. Filing reports on the inmates may be one of your regular duties. One of the most important tasks that correctional officers do is to report on the good behavior of inmates. If an inmate has a record of good behavior, then he or she may be released from jail at an earlier date.

Judicial System

You may have a dream of eventually becoming a court clerk or clerk to a judge. When you work in the judicial system, you have an important role in the trials of people who have been convicted of crimes. You will need to file all of the documents that are submitted to you. Becoming a bailiff is another option that you have if you decide to pursue a criminal justice degree. A bailiff ensures that court proceedings are not disrupted, and they also escort prisoners during proceedings.