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10 Great Jobs You Can Get With A Criminal Justice Degree

For individuals who want to work in a law enforcement career, there are many criminal justice careers that can be a good fit for students from all walks of life and interests. If you want to get a glimpse of some top positions in this field, check out these 10 options that can show you what you can do with a criminal justice degree.

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  • Police Officer. We know, this was an easy one to start off with, but there are opportunities for quality officers across the nation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states the annual median wage for police officers is $58,320. In California, the highest paying state for this occupation, the annual mean wage is $93,550. If you want to be on the front lines of criminal activity and work to build confidence from your community, consider becoming a police officer.
  • Forensic Science Technician. Individuals in these roles help analyze what happened at crime scenes to figure out which evidence needs to be examined. On the lab side, you may perform the actual analysis on the evidence, which could include chemical, biological and other methods. The real appeal of this occupation isn't the $56,320 annual median pay, it's the anticipated job outlook of 27%, which is much faster than the national average of 7%.
  • Criminal Justice Teacher. We need more than trained criminal justice professionals, we need teachers who can shape the minds of the next generation of law enforcement. As a criminal justice teacher, you can share your knowledge and experience from working in the field into the classroom. You can serve both as an inspiration and sharer of critical knowledge that can help their careers. The BLS states the median wage for this position is $64,460.
  • Mental Health Counselor. Not all criminal justice careers are all about tracking criminals and solving crimes. Mental health counselors play an important role in the system, considering many criminals also suffer from some form of mental illness. As growing awareness sheds light on the need for quality mental health counselors woven into our criminal justice system, this role will only become more important and relied on. Like the forensic science technician occupation, the need for mental health counselors is expected to grow 19% between 2014-24, much faster than the national average. The median wage is $43,190 per year.
  • Security Manager. These managers oversee security operations at private and public places. This could include a variety of businesses, such as luxury hotels and resorts, condominiums, corporations, real estate communities, and other businesses that require security operations. Although we only rely on BLS statistics for data, GlassDoor.com lists the average salary for this position as $60,361.
  • Private Detective & Investigators. Not every one of these positions requires a traditional degree. However, if you want to work in a corporate environment, you'll probably need a bachelor's degree. In this role you will likely search for evidence and information related to a variety of matters. These can be financial, background verification, helping find people who are missing, or looking into possible cyber crimes. This occupation is growing as fast as the national average, and has a median wage, according to 2015 data, of $45,610 per year.
  • Correctional Officer. This is a common entry-level position that individuals can enter while pursuing their bachelor's degree. Many corrections facilities do not require a college degree from these workers. The BLS states that professionals in this role earned a median wage of $40,580 per year.
  • Forensic Accountants. If you like to crunch numbers and have considered a career in accounting, you might find this area of the field exciting. In this role you would examine financial documents to gather information and evidence of wrongdoing. The BLS says this occupation pays an average wage of $67,190 per year (according to 2015 data).
  • Forensic Nurses.These nurses help provide care to victims of assault, as well as help collect evidence. The BLS says that registered nurses can earn a median wage of $67,490 per year (2015 data).
  • Forensic Psychologists. The 2015 median annual wage for psychologists was $72,580 per year. These therapists help those with mental disorders work towards positive psychological outcomes. You will most likely need to complete a doctoral program before working as a forensic therapist.
  • Which one of these jobs you can get with a criminal justice degree sounds like a good fit for you? If you want to learn more about jobs in criminal justice and degree programs, you're at the right place. You can use our directory of criminal justice schools to compare several programs before you enroll.