While there are plenty of career opportunities both behind a desk and in the field for criminal justice professionals, those who obtain a bachelor’s degree will have the chance to apply for superior job openings on a state, federal, and local level.
Whether your aim is to work in the police force, as a private investigator, or probation officer, once you’ve obtained an online bachelors criminal justice degree, here are 6 of the most highly sought after professions you can go into.
There to protect and serve the general public, the role of a police officer is to promote public safety within the community. Some of the typical duties you can expect to perform as a police officer include:
- Engaging with the community
- Dealing with paperwork
- Interviewing suspected criminals
- Gathering prosecution evidence
- Providing evidence in court
Some duties may require you to have a strong level of fitness, so if your dream is to work in the police force, incorporating regular exercise into your routine before making your application is important. While there are some local forces who may require minimal education, federal agencies require a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Solving minor and major crimes, the main duties of a detective are to:
- Collect evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Review records
Most detectives work in a range of areas within crime, such as drugs, robbery, and homicide. Many detectives begin their career as a police officer, before working their way up the law enforcement ladder. While experience is a major qualification to work as a detective, gaining the right qualifications is just as important, making a bachelor’s in criminal justice a key component.
If you have a passion for hunting and wilderness, gaining the credentials to become a game warden in your area may be suited to you. The main duty of a game warden is to patrol community waterways and lands, and enforcing fishing, boating, and hunting safety laws. A game warden may also need to assist throughout a search and rescue mission. Game wardens are expected to have a sound knowledge of hunting, wildlife regulations, and management.
State-level law enforcement roles are in huge demand across the United States. While each state may differ in terms of on the job duties, a state trooper is generally expected to:
- Patrol highways
- Make statewide criminal arrests
- Respond to roadway emergencies
If this is a career that interests you, most states require a college degree at minimum to consider you as an employee. Significant experience is also desired, however, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice will put you one step ahead.
Many first-time offenders receive probation over a jail sentence. In these circumstances, the role of a probation officer is to monitor their behavior and activity to prevent them from committing another crime. Some of the main duties of a probation officer include:
- Evaluating offenders to establish the best level of treatment
- Providing offenders with resources and help to rehabilitate
- Arranging treatment programs
- Holding meetings with offenders
- Writing progress reports on offenders
While previous experience is expected, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can help when it comes to looking for job placements. Probation officers need to have excellent communication skills when engaging with offenders to help them on their journey, and they must be critical thinkers.
Crime Scene Investigator
Using forensic science like DNA to solve major crimes, many individuals who undergo a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice go on to become crime scene investigators. Some of the main duties of a crime scene investigator include:
- Observing a crime scene
- Photographing blood splatter evidence
- Bagging fiber and hair samples for testing
- Lifting fingerprints
- Making footprint and tire castings
In addition to the duties listed, a crime scene investigator will also evaluate and prepare reports during the initial stages of a crime, such as property crimes, homicides, armed robberies, and sexual assaults. Education requirements will differ by agency and department, however, a strong knowledge in biology, chemistry, and anatomy, in addition to a degree in criminal justice is desired.
Criminal justice careers are diverse in scope, meaning that professionals have more choice than ever in finding a role that suits their experience, education, and interests.
As the field expands in sophistication and complexity, more and more departments and agencies are needing criminal justice professionals to possess a bachelor’s degree at the minimum. So, if you’re passionate about a role in criminal justice, gaining the right credentials and qualifications is crucial.