Criminal justice is the process through which government officials and other workers reduce crime rates, solve crimes, and make the world a safer place to be. There are many different degrees that make up the field of criminal justice, and they are all important in ensuring the safety of a nation’s population. If you want to work in court systems, prisons, police squads, and other venues along those lines, you may do quite well in criminal justice. Here we take a closer look at what this sector of the job market is designed for, and we will provide you with some basic information about how you can get involved with it in the future.
Common Criminal Justice Careers
There is no shortage of criminal justice careers to choose from, and they all work together to improve the safety of a community. Law enforcement officials work at keeping the peace on the streets, and forensic scientists work in labs to put violent criminals behind bars. The list goes on from there, but you can easily see how much these careers influence one another. Popular careers in criminal justice include:
- Forensic Scientist
- Forensic Psychologist
- Criminal Investigator
- Document Analyst
- Legal Assistant
- Parole Officer
- Police Officer
- Probation Officer
There are many other professions that could go on the list, but those are some of the most common positions that people think of when referring to criminal justice careers. Most of those jobs have several subdivisions in them, so you could work in a very specialized area of this career path if you wanted to. You just have to take the right classes during your college degree program, and you could do just about anything.
Pay Rates in Popular Criminal Justice
The criminal justice salary range is pretty expansive because there are so many different careers options in the field. Your experience, location, degree, and profession will all play a role in determining your salary in the future, but you should be able to make a good living no matter what your circumstances are. Here is a list of some of the most popular employment options in criminal justice:
- Forensic Scientist Annual Mean Wage: $55,660
- Forensic Psychologist Annual Mean Wage: $73,090
- Detective/Criminal Investigator Annual Mean Wage: $75,720
- Paralegal or Legal Assistant Annual Mean Wage: $49,960
- Parole Officer Annual Mean Wage: $52,110
- Police Officer Annual Mean Wage: $56,260
- FBI Agent Annual Median Wage: $55,010
- CIA Special Agent Potential Wages: $74,872 – $155,550
Industries Criminal Justice Employees Work for
The industries an individual chooses to work within will range in salary contingent upon the organization they work for, their professional experience, their geographic location, their personal reputation, the possible danger on job, overtime pay, and other bonuses (dependent upon each employer):
- Federal Executive Branch Wage Range: less than $29,320 up to or more than $95,240
- State Government Wage Range: less than $29,210 up to or more than $79,550
- Facilities and Support Services Wage Range: less than $31,210 up to or more than $74,400
- Local Government Wage Range: less than $30,020 up to or more than $85,250
- Hospitals Wage Range: less than $28,160 up to or more than $75,360
- Architetural, Engineering, and Related Services Wage Range: less than $32,760 up to or more than $72,660
- Insurance Carriers Wage Range: less than $31,980 up to or more than $82,320
As you can see, some people in the criminal justice field make good money; some just happen to make a little more money than others. If you find a good employer that you remain devoted to, you may see an increase in your earnings over time.
How to Find Work in Criminal Justice
If the information above has enticed you to work in criminal justice, you will need to figure out what career path you want. This will determine what kind of criminal justice classes you take during your college degree program, and it will determine how high of a degree you need to pursue. Most careers only require bachelor’s degrees, but some require master’s or doctoral degrees. Thus you need to make a plan now so you can figure out what sort of education you should get.
Criminal justice careers are in high demand at the moment. Governments around the world are trying to reduce crime rates and ensure that their citizens are protected at all times. That is where criminal justice workers come in. You could make a big impact on your community by working in this career field, and you could earn an income strong enough to support any family. It should only take a few years to become a police officer, forensic scientist, or other employee in this line of work, so what do you have to lose? You could be off to a rewarding career in no time.
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Forensic Science Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/forensic-science-technicians.htm (visited February 08, 2013).
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Psychologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm (visited February 08, 2013).
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Police and Detectives, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm (visited February 08, 2013).
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Paralegals and Legal Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm (visited February 08, 2013).
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm (visited February 08, 2013).
- Central Intelligence Agency: https://www.cia.gov/careers/opportunities/support-professional/special-agent.html
- FBI Special Agent: https://www.fbijobs.gov/61.asp
Popular Schools and Recommended Degrees
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