February 5, 2019 - 2:36pm -- Ashland University

6 Benefits of Pursuing a Criminal Justice Degree

Are you looking for a career that will give you meaning and purpose for your life but will also be financially beneficial? Do you have a desire for justice or just want to make a difference in your community? If that is you, a career in criminal justice could be the perfect fit! With a criminal justice degree, you will have steady pay, job security, a variety of career choices as well as many health and retirement benefits. There are many perks to pursuing a Criminal Justice education. Here are the six benefits to earning your Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree:

Criminal Justice Degree

1.  Variety of Criminal Justice Career Paths

Maybe you are asking yourself, “What career can I actually have with a Criminal Justice Degree?” The options are endless! An education in criminal justice can give you the opportunity to choose a career that best fits who you are as a person. Maybe you do not want to be a police officer but would rather work in security or as a private investigator. The following are a few fun ideas to get you started on your criminal justice career outlook!

You could become a:

  • Probation Officer​ - They make an average salary of ​$51,410​.(1)For many this is a rewarding career of helping parolees get back on their feet after getting out of correctional facilities. They encourage them to enter programs to deal with substance abuse issues, anger issues and other mental health issues. Not only do they hold them accountable, but they also connect them to programs that assist with housing and provide training to re-enter the workforce
  • Private Investigator​ - Jobs in this field are projected to increase to 11 percent over the next seven years. Private investigators make a median pay of $50,700 a year.(2) They are hired by individuals or organizations to collect information, locate people that have gone missing, and much more through stakeouts and heavy surveillance.
  • Loss Prevention Manager​ - Loss Prevention Managers play an important role for companies by preventing theft of their products, helping find lost children and teaching other employees how to prevent theft. They work hand in hand with law enforcement and those in management to prevent loss of profit and monitor policy violations. Their annual salary ranges between ​$32,698 - $74,110, with a median pay of $50,248.(3)
  • Deputy US Marshall​ - “Justice. Integrity. Service.” This is the motto of the U.S. Marshal Service (USMS). According to their ​website​, the starting pay is $45,371 and depends on the location where you work. U.S. Marshals have the important job of finding and arresting federal fugitives. They manage the Witness Security program by protecting innocents involved in high profile cases. Marshals are also responsible to transport federal prisoners and work hand in hand with the US Attorney's Office.(4)
  • DEA Special Agent​ - These Special Agents work for the Drug Enforcement Administration and are responsible for taking down drug trafficking operations and completely dismantling the infrastructure of the trade. DEA agents intercept the transfer of drugs from seller to buyer and are heavily involved in undercover investigations. Danger and adventure are part of the job description of a DEA Special Agent. In the beginning of their employment ​DEA Special Agents ​make around $49,746 a year. After four years that number can increase to $92,592.(5)
  • Crime Analyst - Crime Analysts assist law enforcement officers by identifying patterns, trends, and common factors in criminal activity. Crime Analysts are employed at every levels of government: local, state, and federal, as well as in the private sector. As one of the fastest growing careers in criminal justice, crime analysts earn as much as $107,000 per year.(6)

These are just a few of the many different careers to choose from in the criminal justice field! 

2.  Criminal Justice Job Growth

As the nation continues to push for lower crime rates, the demand for criminal justice professionals will continue to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a six percent increase of jobs for parole officers and correctional treatment specialist through 2026.(7) Those who want to work in public safety as a police officer or detective can also expect a ​seven percent increase ​over the next seven years!(8) If you are looking for job security, this is the perfect field to enter into! Jobs in this field are increasing over time, not decreasing. Not only are there plenty of jobs of available but there is also the freedom to switch to a different vocation in the criminal justice field if desired. 

3. Steady Pay

When you get a criminal justice education, you do not have to worry about finding a job that will pay the bills. According to the BLS, the median pay for a career as a police officer or detective is ​$62,960​ per a year.(9) FBI agents make a substantial salary of ​$138,000​ ​according to Glassdoor​.(10) As previously noted, there are many jobs you can pursue with a criminal justice degree that will produce a dependable income of over $40,000 a year. As with any job, many of these positions provide the opportunity for a promotion or raise through hard work and faithfulness. 

4.  Health and Retirement Benefits 

Not only will you be able to provide for you and your family but there are also many health and retirement benefits to consider. Most law enforcement positions offer healthcare plans and allow police officers to retire after only 20 years of ​service​. U.S. Marshals receive four hours of paid sick leave per pay period and can choose between a variety of affordable health insurance plans.​ ​Most government jobs in the criminal justice field offer extensive benefits including life insurance, paid leave, vacation time and a 401K retirement ​plan​.(11) ​The CIA ​offers their employees flexible spending accounts, student loan repayment programs, supplement insurance (dental, vision and long-term care) and ten paid federal holidays a year!(12) As you can see, there are many benefits included in a criminal justice career!

5.  Ability to Help Others 

A criminal justice career is so much more than just bringing in the “bad guys”, even though this is a large part of what they do. It is the opportunity to make a difference not just in your community but in your world. No matter what career you choose in criminal justice you will be directly impacting the people around you. If you choose this career path, you will have the opportunity to protect people, execute justice, solve important cases, enforce the law and increase a community’s quality of life. A career in criminal justice is a career of honor and integrity. Those who work in this field are impacting future generations that they will never see. A career in criminal justice is for those who want to make more than just a living. It is for those who want to truly live while they are doing it. 

6.  Flexible Learning Environments

If you feel like a degree in criminal justice is the path for you, ​Ashland University ​has reasonably priced and versatile programs to fit your unique needs. They offer a bachelor's and associate’s degree in Criminal Justice online and at a traditional campus setting. If you are looking for a flexible learning experience, their online program offers 24-hour login. Through AU’s online program you can earn your degree and not sacrifice your personal life. As of January 2019, they have lowered the cost to $350 per credit hour and broke the curriculum down into a seven -- week courses just for you. Opportunities will be given to you to have hands on experience and receive an unmatched education. With the online program that AU has to offer, you do not have to put your life on hold to pursue your dream of a career in criminal justice.

Take The Next Step

This is your chance to not only reach your personal goals and dreams but to also impact your world for the greater good! By pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice through Ashland University​, you will get a head start to reaching your full potential. Ashland’s qualified professors will make sure you receive the proper training needed for your future vocation! Click here​ to start working towards a rewarding and exciting career in criminal justice!

AU will walk with you as you take this next step.

Contact us today for more details!

  1. ​“Summary.” ​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 Apr. 2018, https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes211092.htm
  2. “Summary.” ​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 Apr. 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/private-detectives-and-investigators.htm
  3. “Average Loss Prevention Manager Salary.” ​Ecologist Salary, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Loss_Prevention_Manager/Salary.
  4. U.S. Marshals Service. “U.S. Marshals Service.” ​U.S. Marshals Home Page, https://www.usmarshals.gov/duties/
  5. FAQs.” ​DEA, www.dea.gov/faqs
  6. Crime Analyst Salary. https://neuvoo.com/salary/?job=Crime%20Analyst
  7. “Summary.” ​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 Apr. 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm
  8. 15 ​“Summary.” ​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 Apr. 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm#tab-8
  9. 16 ​“Summary.” ​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13 Apr. 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm#tab-8
  10. 17 ​“FBI Special Agent Salaries.” ​Glassdoor, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/FBI-Special-Agent-Salaries-E24637_D_KO4,17.htm
  11. U.S. Marshals Service. “U.S. Marshals Service.” U.S. Marshals Home Page, https://www.usmarshals.gov/careers/compensation.html
  12. Benefits.” ​Central Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, 23 Feb. 2018, https://www.cia.gov/careers/benefits.html?tab=list-15