The great thing about having a criminal justice degree is the fact that it offers plenty of options as far as career choice goes. A criminal justice graduate can choose from a wide variety of options that range from clerical and administrative duties, to law enforcement and being a beat cop on the street. The variety is great, and the duties that come with the career are great. Most criminal justice graduates did not pursue their career path because of the salary or wages, or even the prestige that may come with the job. Rather, these graduates usually decided to get into criminal justice because they believe in right and wrong, and they believe that criminal justice professionals can improve people’s lives for the better. There are so many options available to criminal justice graduates that, even if they have no idea what kind of job they want, they should not have any kind of problem finding at least one position that fulfills their wants and needs in a career.
1. Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers
This is the most typical job that criminal justice graduates go into after school. The growth of the job as a police or sheriff officer is just about average, which means it is not as in demand as other criminal justice jobs, but it all depends on the area in which you are applying to work. For instance, there is demand for officers in the areas around the Mexican and Canadian borders, but there may not be much demand in urban areas like Chicago or New York. But, once you are in the department, job security is very good and you may even have a job for the rest of your life- if you want. Also, the salary is not too shabby, with an average of just over $60,000 a year.
2. Probation Officer or Correctional Treatment Specialist
These positions are perfect for people who are more interested in the social work aspect of criminal justice. The pay is somewhat low for these jobs compared to others in the field, at just under $50,000, but the work is very rewarding and often challenging, which appeals to a very specific kind of person.
3. Loss Prevention Manager
This is one of the quickest growing, and most in demand, jobs in the criminal justice career field. The job is not really the most exciting, since most of them require you to bust shoplifters at big retail stores, but the pay is pretty good- at just over $50,000 a year. Also, since the job is in such high demand, the job security is very good, and the opportunity to use this experience to get an even better criminal justice job is great. This is a perfect job for a new criminal justice graduate, since it will teach them a lot about the social aspects of criminal justice, without putting them right into the line of fire.
4. Security Officer
Security may not be the most glamorous job, but it is one of the most common jobs that criminal justice students get right out of college. The opportunities are vast, the work is often fairly boring (depending on where you work,) and the pay leaves a lot to be desired- at just over $30,000 a year. It is one of the lowest paying jobs in the criminal justice field, but it is also one of the easiest to get- and it is possible to move up the ladder, or parlay security experience into getting a better job in the field at a later date.