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What Kind of Jobs Are Available For A Person With A Criminal Justice Degree?

People who earn a criminal justice degree have the potential to have a very rewarding career. One of the many great things about this field is that it gives people the option of taking several different career paths. Below are some of the many criminal justice jobs:

Correctional Officers

Correctional officers usually work in prisons or jails. They are responsible for overseeing inmates who have already been sentenced or are awaiting trial. Their specific job duties may include making sure that all rules in the prison or jail are enforced, supervising inmate activity, searching inmates and reporting inmate conduct to the appropriate personnel. Correctional officers are required to complete on the job training. Good judgment, critical thinking skills, negotiation skills, physical strength and self-discipline are the skills that are necessary for working in this field.

Most employers do not require that people possess a degree. However, candidates who have an online criminal justice degree may be a step above the competition.


Paralegals are professionals who perform a variety of tasks to assist lawyers. They are also known as legal assistants. On a typical day, a paralegal may investigate the facts surrounding a case, conduct research, write reports and assist lawyers during trials.

The vast majority of paralegals work for legal services. Paralegals are not required to be certified. However, paralegals who are certified may have a better chance of finding a job. There are a number of professional organizations that certify paralegals.

Probation Officer

Each year, millions of people go to prison. Many of these prisons do not have enough room for any additional prisons. Therefore, some people who have been convicted of a lesser crime may be put on probation. That is why there is a great need for probation officers. Probation officers work with criminals and try to prevent them from committing crimes in the future.

In addition to possessing a degree, probation officers are required to successfully pass written, oral and psychological examinations. Probation officers need to have great speaking, writing and critical-thinking skills. They should also be emotionally stable. Over half of probation officers in the United States work for the state government.


Lawyers are professionals who provide legal services and advices to clients. This is a career in criminal justice that is very demanding. People who are interested in this profession are not only required to earn a degree in criminal justice, but they are also required to spend at least three additional years in law school. Furthermore, all lawyers are required to pass the bar examination.

Police Officers

Police officers are responsible for protecting lives and property. Their job duties may include making sure that laws are enforced, patrolling areas, arresting suspects and writing detailed reports. You will be required to complete police academy before you can become an officer. It takes most people anywhere from three to four months to complete police academy. You will also be required to pass a written examination, drug test and a physical examination.

You may also want to check out our article “What can I expect to do with a criminal justice degree?”, How Do I Become…, or Criminal Justice Careers: A Guide for more information.

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