Bachelors in Criminal Justice

If you are thinking about becoming a forensic scientist, police officer, CIA agent, or something else along those lines, you may want to consider getting a bachelors in criminal justice. This degree program is one of the fastest growing in the country, and it is one that just about anyone can get involved with. There are so many criminal justice careers in the world, and each one of them can start with a criminal justice degree. Here is some information about this growing degree option so you can prepare for your future.

Popular Courses in Criminal Justice Degrees

Every bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is a little different, so you will have to check with your school of choice for information about the exact classes you will be taking in your degree program. With that in mind, it cannot hurt to review some of the most popular courses in criminal justice bachelor degree programs. Here is a list of common subjects you may come across when you get your bachelors in criminal justice:

  • Administration of Criminal Justice
  • Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice
  • Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
  • Constitutional Law
  • Correctional Rehabilitation
  • Crime and Substance Abuse
  • Crime Victim Studies
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Criminal Justice Management
  • Criminalistics
  • Ethics and Criminal Justice
  • Evidence Analysis
  • Introduction to Criminal Law
  • Introduction to Law Enforcement
  • Introduction to the American Court System
  • Juvenile Justice System
  • Offender Rehabilitation
  • Security and Loss Prevention
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Theory and Philosophy of Corrections
  • Theory and Practice of Law Enforcement
  • White-Collar Crime

As you can see, most of the classes in criminal justice degrees are related to laws and security services. You will need to take these on top of other classes, like math, English, and history. Most students spend four years in school completing the course work for their degrees, but others get through their degrees in three years or less because of AP tests, accelerated learning programs, and more. No matter how long you spend getting your degree, you should be able to find a rewarding career in criminal justice after graduation.

Online Degrees vs. Traditional Degrees

You have the option of taking your bachelors in criminal justice online or through a standard college campus. An online degree program will give you a more flexible option with regards to your coursework, but a traditional degree will allow you to have the full “college experience.” Ideally, you may want to consider an online degree because it would allow you to obtain a degree right at home. Assess your learning style and figure out which degree option would be right for you.

Pay Scales for a Bachelors in Criminal Justice

What can you make with a bachelors in criminal justice? Good question. The salary you earn with this degree will depend on a variety of factors, including your experience, location, position, and other aspects of your job. Here is a list of some popular criminal justice salary statistics that you may encounter in your career:

Potential Salary by Position

  • 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

Potential Salary Range by Industry

  • 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

With a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, you can work in some of the most rewarding careers in the job market. Thoroughly assess this degree program and see if it is right for you. You could be on your way to a new occupation in no time at all.

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References

  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. 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).
  4. 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).
  5. 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).
  6. Central Intelligence Agency: https://www.cia.gov/careers/opportunities/support-professional/special-agent.html
  7. FBI Special Agent: https://www.fbijobs.gov/61.asp