When considering criminal justice, the first profession that crosses the mind is a police officer or a prison warden. And while these are two crucial roles, the field transcends the realm of law and order. As a result, criminal justice offers heaps of job opportunities to its freshly minted graduates. They can work either in law enforcement, the legal sector, or corrections.
Criminal justice career gives a purpose and meaning to life. The term ‘justice’ implies keeping the individuals and society, as a whole, safe. It’s primarily about redressing the wrongs. Being a criminal justice major, you will have to live up to people’s expectations and ensure that all are equal according to the law. Given all this and more, a profession in this field will always seem daunting. Still, the right person will find it immensely gratifying.
Speaking of education requirements, it varies according to the type of job position. For instance, individuals with a diploma in criminal justice are eligible for entry-level job positions only if they have completed training. However, more advanced roles require copious requirements, such as associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.
Criminal justice aspirants have this golden opportunity to become real-world superheroes and crime-stopper guys, the ones who have inhabited the Hollywood smash hits. Not only this, but the field also offers employment security because justice needs to prevail at the end of the day.
With the increasing rate of crimes, the need for criminal justice officials will never cease. So it is because these workers make efforts to prevent, defend, and solve crimes. Therefore, it is safe to say that criminal justice job growth is promising; after all, the professionals need to serve justice at all costs. However, the earning potential and growth opportunities are highly contingent upon the level of education and the training an individual has acquired. Numerous criminal justice occupations offer attractive salary packages; however, these salaries might differ depending on the employer and the location.
Wish to learn about the career pathways you can choose with a degree in criminal justice? Then, continue reading to find out the top lucrative ones:
- Police Officer
One of the most commonly known career options with a degree in criminal justice is a police officer. Police officers are primarily responsible for saving human lives and property to maintain the community’s peace in which they work. Some typical day-to-day job duties in a police officer life include:
- Investigate crime scene by interviewing victims, suspects, and witnesses
- Prepare an accurate report on the case based on observation and evidence
- Respond to emergency calls or complaints
- Patrol different assigned geographical areas and monitor residents’ activities
- Serve warrants on court’s order or testify in a courtroom
So if you wish to become a reputable and trustworthy police officer, you must have strong communication, leadership, and judgemental skills. Police officers don’t sit behind their desks, so you also need to be physically strong to prevent or respond to any illegal activity in your assigned zone. According to BLS, the job outlook of police officers would grow by 7% from 2020 to 2030.
- Secret Service Agent
Secret service agents are responsible for guarding and protecting the renowned country’s leaders, such as presidents, vice presidents, and other governmental figures. Some secret agents are easy to spot since they are in their uniforms, while others play their roles secretly. Below are some typical job functions of secret service agents:
- Conduct detailed investigations on cybercrimes that may adversely affect the country’s economy
- Ensure the safety of political figures and their families
- Provide route plans and security at different events
- Evaluate national financial payment system to identify any illegal activity of money laundering
To become a secret service agent, you must possess a strong sense of judgment and physical stamina to catch the offender. Furthermore, you must be vigilant at all times and act quickly to any irregular situation. Most agents work 24 hours a day or rotate shifts with other agents.
- Forensic Psychologist
Do you wish to learn what makes criminals get sidetracked from societal norms and commit crimes? Then, the field of forensic psychology might interest you. These psychologists investigate the reason and mindset of criminals at the time of the crime. The job duties of forensic psychologists may include:
- Monitor accuser’s state of mind at the time of the crime and learn whether they are compatible to withstand the trial
- Assess potential witnesses and provide accurate evidence in the courtroom
- Design and develop rehabilitation programs for the offenders
- Provide training to the trainee forensic psychologists
- Conduct research and develop policies to ensure improved services
Professionals in this field must have excellent communication, attention-to-detail, and critical thinking skills. Forensic psychologists may work in various settings such as police departments, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or practice privately.
Suppose you have always wanted to fulfill your thirst for crime knowledge. In that case, there’s no better time like the present to pursue a career in criminal justice. The field offers the foolproof opportunity to decipher the deep-seated cause of crimes and deter the delinquencies from the get-go.
Remember, a career in criminal justice isn’t steady; however, it sure is a rewarding one. Moreover, a criminal justice career equates to a future full of freedom. You need to work day in, day out to put your talent to best use. However, know that your endeavors will most definitely make this world a secure place for everyone and establish a brilliant career ahead. Therefore, steel yourself, let your enthusiasm drive you, and the world is your oyster.