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What Can I do with my Criminal Justice Degree

Careers with criminal justice degree are mainly dependent on your education level, specialization area, and the accreditation of your institute. The associate and bachelor level degrees lead to various entry-level positions, while master level degrees are likely to provide better career prospects due to their advanced curriculum and concentrations.

Some of the best opportunities in terms of Criminal justice degree jobs can be found in FBI, CIA, ATF, and Department of Homeland Security. Salary and benefits gained by criminal justice graduates depend upon the sector and the location of employer. Pay increases and promotion prospects are higher for those with more experience and relevant skills.

Take a look at some of the top criminal justice careers:

Paralegal
Median Annual Salary in 2012 (BLS): $46,990
Paralegals are also known as legal assistants. Their main responsibility is to reduce the workload of lawyers. Paralegals generally perform tasks such as research, drafting legal documents, and carrying out day-to-day administrative tasks that exist in a legal setting. Employers also offer on-the-job training to paralegals to provide specific skills and enhance their performance.
Education: High school diploma or GED, Associate or Certificate in Paralegal Studies, Bachelors degree

Forensic Analyst
Median Annual Salary in 2012 (BLS): $52,840
The responsibility of forensic analysts is to analyze, categorize and identify evidence that may relate to a certain crime. You will find forensic analysts working in laboratories, where they analyze DNA and other evidence with the help of specialized equipment. They may also be also be required give testimonies in certain cases.
Education: Bachelor’s degree plus supervised training

Police Officer
Median Annual Salary in 2012 (BLS): $56,980
Police officers are known for protecting general public and enforcing local and federal laws. They are required to patrol their assigned areas, respond to emergency calls, and apprehend law violators. They also play an important role in enforcing local traffic laws.
Education: High school diploma or some college education

Judges and Lawyers
Median Annual Salary in 2012 (BLS): $113,530 lawyers, $115,760 judges
Judges and lawyers fall under the category of some of the most common jobs in criminal justice. Lawyers represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues. Once lawyers have gained expertise in the field, they may be appointed as judge or magistrates.
Education: Bachelor’s degree, law degree, and clear the Bar Exam

Parole Officer
Median Annual Salary in 2012 (BLS): $48,190
A parole officer keeps an eye on parolees. Parolees are people who have been released from prison, prior to the completion of their sentence, generally due to good conduct and behavior. An important part of a parole officer’s job is to help the parolee adjust into the society. Parole officers help them find employment and schooling. They also make sure that parolees follow the conditions of their parole.
Education: Bachelor’s degree

Correctional Officer
Median Annual Salary in 2012 (BLS): $48,190
The major responsibility of a correctional officer is to maintain discipline in a correctional facility and ensure that inmates follow the rules. They supervise and search cells for illegal substances and dangerous objects. Correctional officers also have to report on the conduct of the detainees.
Education: High School diploma

FBI Agent
Median Annual Salary in 2012 (BLS): $56,980
An FBI agent’s job falls under the category of the most sought after in the field of criminal justice. These agents work under the directive of Federal Bureau of Investigation to carry out investigation, solve crimes at federal level, and work on special assignments. Apart from the salary, FBI agents also receive other benefits such as regular health checkups, bonuses, housing allowance, and vehicle allowance.
Education: Four year Bachelor’s degree

Coroner
Median Annual Salary in 2012 (O*Net): $62,020
Coroners are also known as medical examiners. They carry out autopsies and other tests to find out the cause of death. Coroners generally work for the government, whether it is local, state or federal. They provide reports to local police departments and other law enforcement agencies. They are also required to stay updated with the latest medical information to effectively determine the cause of death.
Education: Doctor of Medicine

Criminal Profiler
Median Annual Salary in 2012 (BLS): $69,280
Criminal profilers are responsible to help police departments identify the real culprits. They create a general profile of a potential criminal to help police departments with tricky investigations. They have the option to work with federal agencies or for private organizations.
Education: Bachelor’s degrees, Psychology and Criminal justice

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