Criminal Justice Careers

When different people think upon law enforcement occupations, or criminal justice careers, they probably will think of different occupations. Some people might think of police officers, private investigators, or even prison guards whose jobs deal with solving crimes or tracking down criminals. However, occupations in law enforcement also deal other emphasizes such as forensics, or even Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists.

Forensic science, within this career, will use science and technology to discover facts in a criminal case, and then present these facts before the court. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists work together to keep criminals who are on probation out of trouble.

Other opportunities, unrelated to the field of criminal justice, but may work with them are accountants who may work for the FBI, CIA, or Homeland Security helping to trace the money of tax evaders or even terrorists.

Careers in Criminal Justice

While the courts and prison systems comprise a significant part of the criminal justice system, most people will work with a police agency at least once during their career. Some people work as employees at local prisons while studying Criminal Justice. The average median income for correctional officers, prison guards, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010) is $39,020 per year, correlating with $18.76 per hour of pay.

One of the most fascinating careers in criminal justice, however is police work. When you work with the police, you have the opportunity to investigate crimes, help crime victims, and arrest criminals. You can also work in a supporting role in administration, transportation, or medical services. You can even work for Internal Affairs, the agency responsible for investigating police misconduct or illegal activities — the police for the police. There are many criminal justice careers but none is more oriented to public service than the police. From learning how to become a police officer, to using modern technology to analyze a crime scene, to counseling the victims of crimes and saving children from abusive situations, police work is very rewarding. It can be challenging as well, though, and some police departments may require at least an Associate’s Degree in Criminology or Psychology before you can be admitted to the Police Academy.

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