Top Jobs with a Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree

If you’re considering a career in law enforcement, corrections, or criminal justice administration, you may be wondering what kind of education you’re going to need. Is an associate’s degree enough? Many professionals in the field start with nothing but a high school diploma, but your career options can be very limited with just high school. But maybe you need to get your career started more quickly; maybe you feel like you don’t have the four years for a traditional bachelor’s degree, or you want to start working sooner. Perhaps you should consider Criminal Justice associate’s degree jobs.

“What can I do with a Criminal Justice associate’s degree,” you might wonder. In fact, your options are quite wide. Associate’s in criminal justice jobs include entry-level positions in every area of criminal justice, from law enforcement to law to administration. Some top-paying jobs with an associate’s degree in criminal justice include positions that have a great deal of promotion potential as well. Many police officers, correctional officers, and administrators begin with an associate’s degree, getting their foot in the door and earning the trust and respect of their supervisors and colleagues. Then, once they’ve worked for several years, saved some money, and are ready to pursue promotions and raises, they can go back to school for a Bachelor’s degree online and move into higher positions.

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You should be aware that employers are not only looking at your degree when they hire you for a position in the criminal justice field. They may also ask questions that help them establish your current level of knowledge and your training. They may ask you to complete a test to further evaluate your abilities, and they base their trust on a combination of your degree and your performance on a test or interview. As associate’s degree in criminal justice doesn’t mean a guaranteed job – it means getting the skills you need to do the job, and the credentials an employer needs to give you a chance. The rest is up to you.


Working as a bailiff is one of the top associates in criminal justice jobs. This job pays an average salary of over $45,000, making it one of the best-paying jobs that graduate from an associate’s in criminal justice program can get. It is not just the high salary that makes a bailiff position one of the best associates in criminal justice jobs. Bailiffs are highly regarded law enforcement officers who help judges keep order in their courts. This means that their job is higher-profile and vital, yet it is less dangerous than the duties of many other law enforcement officers. Also, bailiffs usually work more regular hours than the vast majority of police officers, who may have to work the graveyard shift regularly. Many criminal justice graduates who get positions as bailiff confirm that it is one of the best associates in criminal justice jobs.

Correctional Officer

A position as a correctional officer is on the top 2-year criminal justice degree jobs. The population of prisoners in the United States is very large and is growing all the time. This means that are many openings for different correctional officer positions. These positions may be easier to obtain than other 2-year criminal justice degree jobs, such as a police officer position. Working as a correctional officer also may be less dangerous and offer more regular work than working as a regular law enforcement officer. Correction officers, however, don’t get paid quite as much as some 2-year criminal justice degree jobs. The average salary for a correctional officer comes in at $43,550.

Criminal Investigator

Criminal investigation positions are some of the most highly sought-after criminal justice associate’s degree jobs. These criminal justice associates degree jobs do usually require several years of experience in addition to the associate’s degree. Criminal investigators often work for government agencies within the state and federal governments. Those who have the title of criminal investigator usually have more specialized duties than regular law enforcement detectives. However, they often work closely with these detectives, especially criminal investigators that are employed by the District Attorney’s office.

Criminal justice professionals who are looking for criminal justice associates degree jobs after getting some experience in the field may want to look into getting a criminal investigation position, as this is a growing and highly paid field. The average criminal investigator’s salary is roughly $80,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it one of the best-paid criminal justice associates degree jobs.


If you’re asking yourself “What can I do with a criminal justice associates degree?,” working as a paralegal may not be one of the associate’s degree in criminal justice jobs that comes to mind immediately. Many people who think of paralegals expect them to have degrees in legal studies. However, a position as a paralegal can be one of the best associate’s degrees in criminal justice jobs. Many paralegals that do have a degree in criminal justice work for district attorneys or for criminal defense attorneys. Graduates that are looking for associate’s degree in criminal justice jobs but do not want to go into law enforcement may want to become paralegals, as the field is growing and the average salary is a hefty $56,000.

Police Officer

A police officer position is one of the top-paying jobs with an associate’s degree in criminal justice. Police officers don’t get paid a high salary when they are starting out, however they can make much more when they get promoted after a few years of experience. That is when this position becomes one of the top-paying jobs with an associate’s degree in criminal justice. Some police departments want their officers to have bachelor’s degrees. However, the majority of police departments only require a two-year degree, which means they offer many top-paying jobs with an associate’s degree in criminal justice. The average salary for a police officer is over $60,000, and the number of positions is growing, as is the criminal justice field as a whole.


Top 10 Campus Associate’s in Criminal Justice
Top 10 Online Associate’s in Criminal Justice
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