12 Jobs With A Criminal Justice Degree

Last Updated on January 31, 2024

Pursuing a degree in criminal justice is an excellent choice as there are many high-paying job opportunities within the field. High-paying jobs with a criminal justice degree you can get after graduation are exposed in this article. Find out about them ASAP!

Do you want to fight crimes, put the bad guys behind bars, and protect innocent people? Then a career in criminal justice awaits you, that is, if you are not already pursuing a degree in criminal justice. This field is ideal for anyone with a commitment to community values, a belief in the rule of law, and a dedication to serving others.

The meaning of criminal justice is the delivery of justice to those who have been accused of committing crimes. The criminal justice degree is an academic program at the undergraduate or graduate level with coursework that focuses on various parts of the criminal justice system.

The three main parts of the criminal justice system are:

  • Law enforcement agencies, for example, the police
  • Course and accompanying prosecution and defense lawyers
  • Agencies for detaining and supervising offenders for example prisons and probation agencies.

Each of these systems has various job opportunities within them and you can get into any of them with a degree in criminal justice. Now, you can imagine the number of jobs that are in this field, there are varieties of them.

In this article, I have exposed all the jobs with a criminal justice degree that you can focus on when you graduate and begin to make a significant impact in your community and the country at large. Criminal justice degree is not the same as a law degree because the latter is an undergraduate degree but to become a lawyer, you have to attend law school which is also graduate school.

You can go to a law school when you complete and earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. The main thing you have to know is that after completing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, there are a whole lot of career opportunities for you to explore and that is what this article is here for.

The list of jobs with a criminal justice degree compiled here are jobs you can instantly get into with the degree or use to advance your studies in graduate school to then become a lawyer or any job that requires graduate education. If you are equally looking for high-paying jobs with a criminal justice degree then continue reading.

If it is high-paying jobs that you are particularly looking for regardless of the field, we have several articles you can explore like the highest-paying jobs without a degree and high-paying bachelor’s degree jobs that you can get into ASAP!

Having said that, let’s dive into the main topic.

Jobs With A Criminal Justice Degree

When you complete your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, you have the opportunity to either apply for jobs in law enforcement, corrections, legal, and advocacy roles or go on to graduate school or law school. Whichever of these options you choose to go for depends on what you want and where you want to work and they are all excellent options.

However, if you want to make the major move of going into the criminal justice job market, here are high-paying jobs with a criminal justice degree you can get into ASAP:

1.     Drug Enforcement Administration Agent – $76,795

Drug Enforcement Administration agents also known as the DEA are in nearly every country and their major responsibilities are to prevent the distribution of illegal drugs, enforce laws on controlled substances, and engage with communities to support public health and safety. These agents play a huge role in the war on drugs.

You can kickstart a career in the DEA with a criminal justice degree but that is not all that will be required. When you apply and get selected, you will join other new agents for intense training. The duration of this training varies from one country to another. It is also one of the highest-paying jobs you can get with a criminal justice degree. The top earners receive $125,000 per year.

2.     Victim Advocate – $57,756

A degree in criminal justice, psychology, or social work can increase your chances of working as a victim advocate. The job of a victim advocate is to provide information, offer emotional support to victims, accompany victims to court proceedings, and provide access to services and a wide range of assistance to the victims of crimes.

This is an ideal job for those who are compassionate and empathetic towards other people. You will also be trained to handle your duties efficiently.

3.     Probation Officer – $51,323

Sometimes, a court can release an offender to the community on the conditions of probation, parole, or supervised release. Now, when the offender is released, someone is sent to investigate and supervise this offender and report back to the court or law enforcement, this person is known as a probation officer. The probation officer is likely to help the released offender stay away from crime.

With a bachelor’s or master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field, you can become a probation officer.  

4.     Secret Service Agent – $65,642

Do you see those cool men in black suits and dark sunglasses always around the president or a top government official? They are secret service agents. And if you have always wanted to join them, a degree in criminal justice can get you started. Although there are other pathways one can take to become a Secret Service agent a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice seems like the easiest path.

Aside from the protection services they offer government officials, they also investigate financial crimes like fraud, counterfeiting, and identity theft.

5.     Police Officer – $63,326

Police officers are the law enforcers at the local, state, and federal levels tasked with upholding laws, investigating crimes, and making arrests. They protect the lives and properties of citizens, respond to emergencies especially related to crimes, complaints, and suspicious activities, and patrol the streets, roads, and highways to ensure welfare and safety.

A degree in criminal justice can set you up in a high-ranking position within the police force because, usually, a degree is not required to become a police officer. You can just enroll in a police academy with your high school diploma. The requirements to become a police officer vary from country to country but whether you have a degree or not, you must still enroll in the police academy to undergo training.

6.     Private Investigator – $52,000

I have watched enough movies to know what private investigators do and their job is so cool and genius. They are licensed by the government to conduct investigations from local to federal levels and can be hired by anyone, as long as the person who hires them can afford their payment. It is one of the jobs with a criminal justice degree you can get into when you graduate.

7.     Computer Forensic Investigator – $76,607

You will need more than a degree in criminal justice to enter this role. As you can see, it has a “computer” in it, right? That means you have to learn how computers work and how to use them for investigation. They are also known as digital forensic investigators.

After a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, you can pursue a master’s degree in computer science with a focus on forensic investigation or a master’s in forensic science with a focus on computer science. You could also pursue a degree in cybersecurity to work as a computer forensic investigator. There are many pathways to get into this field and a degree in criminal justice is one of them.

8.     FBI Agent – $60,000

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents are professionals who carry out research, investigate, gather evidence, carry out arrests, and engage in other activities that protect the US from terrorism, espionage, and organized crime. They may also work with other law enforcement agents like private investigators, the police force, and the military to achieve their aim.

Working as an FBI is a demanding, yet extremely important role. If you have been looking to get into the role, a degree in criminal justice can get you started but that will not be all you need. You need to demonstrate unique abilities that will make you stand out from other candidates.

9.     Correctional Officer – $50,032

Correctional officers are also known as prison officers, they work within jails, prisons, and correctional facilities at local, state, and federal levels. They must maintain order and daily operations of the facility and they are also responsible for the care, custody, and control of inmates.

Correction officer is one of the jobs with a criminal justice degree you can get into but there is also a training course you will enroll in for weapons training, officer survival training, and get equipped with knowledge on policy and procedure.

10.  Customs Inspector – $42,901

Customs inspectors or officers are uniformed government officials tasked with controlling the movement of goods and people. They are usually at airports and borders monitoring both people and cargo to prevent the smuggling of drugs, weapons, humans, and any other thing that will pose any threat to their country. They also enforce customs laws and regulations.

A degree in criminal justice, psychology, or security management can help you successfully kickstart a career in this field but that is not enough as you must undergo rigorous training which includes weapons training.

11.  Crime Scene Investigator – $59,636

After a crime has been committed, a professional is often called to analyze the scene and collect evidence that will be used for investigative purposes to catch the culprit. Some of the evidence they may collect includes DNA and fingerprints. They also create sketches of suspects observed by witnesses and present all of this evidence to the police or detective who will continue the investigation from there.

To become a crime scene investigator, you must have an eye for details, that is, aside from a degree in forensic science or criminal justice which will help you kickstart your career.

12.  Court Administrator – $56,609

This is one of the highest-paying jobs with a criminal justice degree. This role involves a lot of duties and responsibilities such as human resources management, fiscal administration, information management, community relations, jury management, space management, intergovernmental liaison, case management, research and advisory services, and technology management.


So, here are the jobs with a criminal justice degree you can get into when you graduate. The blog provides some key duties of each job role as well as their average salaries per year. Some of the jobs require extra training aside from the degree you have acquired and the requirements for those training are country-specific, so if you are interested in those types of jobs, check their requirements.


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