Job Opportunities for Criminal Justice Graduates

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July 13th, 2009

Many criminal justice students enter the field because they have a desire to ensure safety to the people in their communities, believe in rehabilitation efforts, or find the criminal justice system intriguing to work for.  Jobs in criminal justice vary greatly from entry level administrative positions and law enforcement to attorneys and judges.  Degrees, credentials, and experience also vary greatly as people in the field may have a high school diploma, while others possess a doctorate law degree.

A common job opportunity for criminal justice graduates are police officers. A police officers job responsibilities mainly include the enforcement of laws, as they are responsible for ensuring that citizens abide by laws and that those that do not, are sought, captured, and dealt with accordingly.  Police officers are also responsible for maintaining social order, the prevention and detection of crime, and have the ability to place individuals under arrest and detain them.  Police officers earned a median annual salary of $51,410 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Another common job opportunity for criminal justice majors is a security manager. In most instances, a security manager works as the head of security at a company or specific building.  Job roles can include overseeing security operations in procedures of the company, maintaining and monitoring security equipment, and the overall plans and procedures with security of the premises.  Security managers earn an annual median income of $54,978.

Probation officers are also amongst common career choices for criminal justice graduates.  The main role of a probation officer includes supervising offenders that have been on placed on probation, rather than doing jail time, for crimes they committed.  Supervision includes meeting with the offender, helping them find employment, and ensuring they are abiding by the conditions of their probation.  They are also responsible for overseeing the assessment and treatment of individuals with mental, emotional or substance abuse problems.

Detectives, also a common profession chosen in criminal justice graduates, are investigators who dress in plain clothes and gather facts in criminal cases.  A major part of the job of an investigator’s job responsibility includes gathering evidence and information relating to the case they are working on.  They conduct interviews with witnesses and acquaintances, examine records, observe suspects, and conducts raids and arrests.

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