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Criminal Justice is a vital part of our society, spanning multiple areas like law enforcement and corrections. There are jobs to be found at every level, whether it be private, local, state, or federal. If you’re interested in starting a career in public service but aren’t sure what you’d like to do, keep reading to learn more about some of the most popular jobs you can begin to prepare to take on with a criminal justice degree.
Criminal justice focuses on all aspects of the legal system, specifically law enforcement and crimes. Anyone looking to enter the field of criminal justice should possess a strong sense of right and wrong with a desire to help their surrounding community. It’s important to note that it’s tough work, often not like what we see portrayed on TV. This means a good education, like a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Ashworth College, is a vital part of having a fair and effective judicial system. Once earned, you can look forward to the option of a variety of fields in which to pursue a career.
Corrections officers take on the role of overseeing those who are in a prison or jail for crimes committed. They can work at the local level housing individuals who have been recently arrested and are awaiting trial, or at the state or federal government levels housing individuals serving out their prison sentences. Some of their duties include supervising activities, escorting or transporting inmates, and inspecting facilities to ensure health, security, and safety. They must be in good physical shape, exercise strong decision-making skills, and work well with others.
One of the most common careers, and most recognizable, for those with a criminal justice degree is a police officer. Their primary responsibility is the safety and protection of the public and this is achieved in various ways. They, too, can work at the city, county, state, or federal level. Their work can vary depending on the location. Those working in cities can expect more specialized work, while officers working in smaller townships may be expected to take on more roles and work. Regardless of their location, core duties include investigating crimes, patrolling, and responding to calls for assistance.
A lesser known, but equally important, criminal justice career is a loss prevention manager. Loss prevention managers work with companies to ensure assets are protected by preventing theft, shoplifting, and fraud. As a specialized area of retail work, entry-level employees are usually not qualified to take on these roles, since experience and education is needed to perform the job duties effectively. Some of these responsibilities include developing company rules and training employees in loss prevention, detecting safety and security issues, investigating suspected theft and compliance violations, and performing inventory audits to ensure everything is properly accounted for.
Criminal investigators are a type of detective able to work in multiple fields. They can work together with law enforcement agencies, with businesses, or independently as contractors hired by individuals. Much of their time is spent conducting interviews and surveillance outside of traditional business hours, but they do perform some more traditional office work, such as background checks and other computer-based research. A prior background in law enforcement isn’t necessary, but often former police officers enter the criminal investigation field since their former experience makes them uniquely qualified to perform the job duties.
A criminal justice degree can offer you a variety of career opportunities and, with that, varying salary ranges. Your earnings will depend on which job type you decide to pursue. For instance, corrections officers in 2019 earned an average salary of $45,180, while $50,510 was the median for criminal investigators, and police officers averaged $65,170. Offering the added benefit of job security, criminal justice can be a rewarding and lucrative career.
If you’re ready to earn your Criminal Justice degree, Ashworth can help you do it affordably and at your own pace. With classes completely online, you can study when and where you’d like, giving you flexibility in your education. Call an Admissions Advisor today at or enroll online today to get started.