What Can I do With a Major in Criminal Justice?
Possible Career Occupations
(Note: not all criminal justice occupations are listed. Some career options may require additional study. Some of our Graduates go on to graduate school or law school.)
- Department of Homeland Security (Border Patrol, Customs)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Federal Police Officer
- Deputy U.S. Marshal
- Secret Service Officer and Secret Service Investigator
- Drug Enforcement Agency
- Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent
- Department of Transportation
- Office of Inspector General
- Internal Revenue Service Special Agent
- U.S. Secret Service Uniform Division
- U.S. Postal Inspector Agent
- Federal Air Marshal
- Transportation Security Administration Office of Law Enforcement
- State Highway Patrol or State Police
- Crime Labs
- Victim-Offender Advocate Programs
- Attorney General’s Office, Narcotics, Organized Crime, Bur of Motor Vehicles
- Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Enforcement Officer
- State Watercraft Officer
- State Liquor Control
- College Security
- Worker’s Compensation
Policing in Municipal, Village, Township, County Sheriff’s Departments, and Park Police Departments
- Federal, State, County, or Municipal Probation Officer
- Juvenile Probation and also Detention Centers
- State Parole Officer
- State Victim-Witness Assistant
- Federal or State Prisons (Officer, Case Management, Unit Supervisor)
Private Sector Law Enforcement:
- Retail Loss Prevention and Corporate Security
- Insurance Companies
- Private Detective
- Hospital Police or Security
- Security Patrol Officers
United States Department of Labor; Bureau of Labor Statistics
Checking with the United States Department of Labor; Bureau of Statistics on May 14, 2021, the following information is detailed in their “Occupational Outlook Handbook” regarding employment in the following fields:
Police & Detectives: Employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The need for public safety is expected to lead to new openings for officers, although demand may vary by geographic location.
Correctional Officers: State and local budget constraints and prison population levels will determine how many correctional officers are necessary. Changes to criminal laws can have a large effect on how many people are arrested and incarcerated each year. Community-based programs designed to rehabilitate prisoners and limit their risk of repeated offenses may also reduce prisoner counts. Job prospects should still be good due to the need to replace correctional officers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force, such as to retire.
Private Detectives and Investigators: Employment of private detectives and investigators is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for private detectives and investigators will stem from security concerns and from the need to protect confidential information. Strong competition can be expected for jobs.
A Few Classes Could Change Your Job Prospects
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Criminal Justice Career Outlook
One of the most appealing things about a degree in criminal justice is how versatile it is. Not only does it open doors for a career in local, state, or federal law enforcement, there are opportunities for careers in corrections, forensics, probation, and parole, and the private sector in security and cybersecurity. Employment in protective service occupations is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average, and will result in about 95,200 new jobs. Applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree, especially those with experience, are the most likely to be hired by federal agencies. Learn More!