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Top 10 Criminal Justice Jobs for Veterans

Veterans who previously served in the military are often seeking jobs that are both rewarding and lucrative. The Veterans’ Administration provides these individuals with a wide variety of resources, including access to many different career search websites. The veterans affairs department strives to help veterans thrive in the civilian world. Veterans searching the VA for criminal justice job sites have access to many different websites that post available criminal justice positions in many different fields. Veterans have an advantage because their prior military training often equips them with excellent skills. Discussed below are the top 10 criminal justice jobs for veterans based on popularity, pay, and demand.

Police Patrol Officer
Working as a police patrol officer is one of the most popular positions in the criminal justice field. Police patrol officers drive on highways and streets, monitoring the activity occurring around them. They look out for traffic violations, investigate traffic accidents and minor crimes, and provide assistance to individuals as needed. Police patrol officers must complete the necessary police academy training, and many police departments sponsor qualified candidates. Police patrol officers are always in demand in nearly all metropolitan areas due to the need to control and reduce crime to protect people, property, and assets. More patrol officers are needed as the population increases and more vehicles are on the road. The median pay for police patrol officers is around $58,000 per year.

Police Detective
Police detectives, also called criminal investigators, usually focus on a specific area, such as homicide, burglary, and domestic violence. They conduct thorough investigations of incidences, and they interview witnesses and other individuals who may be able to provide details about an event. Police detectives commonly work undercover conducting surveillance on individuals and places. These individuals wear regular clothes and sometimes disguises. Police detectives typically need at least a high school diploma or equivalent, and many police departments seek individuals with some college coursework. Some departments require individuals to pass an examination. Majority of police detectives receive extensive training prior to completing detective work. The median yearly salary for police detectives is around $80,000.

FBI Agent
FBI agents serve as the lead investigators for criminal activity that concerns the national security of the U.S. They conduct a variety of duties, including research and capture of high profile offenders. They may look into bank robberies, organized crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, and other extreme offenses. They often face dangerous situations, and they typically work off hours. FBI agents commonly need previous experience in the law enforcement field and specialized job training. Some have a college degree in criminal justice. New FBI agents must complete an 18-week training program. FBI agents earn a median annual salary of nearly $78,000 per year.

Criminal Justice Instructor
Criminal justice instructors commonly work at colleges and universities providing instruction to students about criminal justice topics to prepare them for future careers in the field. Some work for professional and government organizations, and those individuals provide job training to employees. Criminal justice instructors may teach only one course or several at a time. They usually teach a certain topic in criminal justice, such as law enforcement. They are responsible for creating a syllabus for the course, preparing lectures and presentations, distributing course materials, grading work, and providing assistance and support to students. The mean wage for criminal justice instructors is around $66,000 annually.

Crime Scene Analyst
Crime scene analysts investigate crime scenes to evaluate the physical evidence. They collect various types of evidence, such as hair, bodily fluids, and clothing fibers. They also create drawings of crime scenes, test objects for fingerprints, and send evidence to laboratories for further analysis. Crime scene analysts who work in crime laboratories conduct physical and chemical examination to assist in connecting the evidence with potential suspects. Some build mock crime scenes based on the gathered evidence found at the actual scene. Many employers require crime scene analysts to have a least a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or related area or significant related work experience. New crime scene analysts undergo extensive training in various areas, including DNA analysis and fingerprint collection. The mean yearly salary for crime scene analysts is around $56,000.

Cyber Security Analyst
Cyber security analysts work to protect websites and virtual networks from hazardous threats, including viruses, malware, and hacking. They constantly monitor computer information systems to prevent the infiltration of sensitive information. They evaluate and lessen security risks while improving the overall protection of computer systems. They recognize security weaknesses and implement efforts to decrease these flaws in the system. They also provide recommendations for security hardware and software. Cyber security analysts commonly set up information security policies and procedures. Cyber security analysts must have an expert knowledge of networks, databases, firewalls, and encryption. Many complete a college degree in cyber security or related field. Since technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the demand for cyber security analysts is increasing at an amazing rate. The median yearly pay for cyber security analysts is around $76,000 per year.

Private Investigator
Private investigators obtain facts to evaluate information regarding a wide range of legal, financial, and personal activities. They commonly work for individuals, businesses, and legal professionals. They offer many different services, including tracing missing persons, protecting high profile individuals, looking into people’s backgrounds, and investigating crimes. They gather information using a variety of sources, including public records and interviews. They also conduct surveillance on individuals and obtain evidence to present in court situations. Most private investigators work undercover to observe individuals and gather information. Private investigators typically need previous investigative experience, and majority of states license these professionals. The median yearly pay for private investigators is around $43,000 per year.

Victim Advocate
Victim advocates provide support to individuals who have been victims of crimes, such as domestic abuse or rape. They commonly work for legal professionals or nonprofit groups. They work with victims to explain investigative procedures and provide support and encouragement during the process. They also provide information about available resources that may help victims. Victim advocates strive to minimize the physical, emotional, and psychological effects on victims. They commonly accompany victims to court. Many victim advocates specialize in a certain area, such as sexual assault. Victim advocates typically need at least an associate degree or related work experience assisting individuals who are victims of crime. The median yearly salary for victim advocates is $41,000.

Paralegal
Paralegals are professionals who work in the legal field providing assistance to lawyers and other professionals. They gather necessary information, prepare legal documents, and conduct other tasks to help lawyers prepare for court proceedings. They also perform research about cases, investigate claims, and provide assistance on the best way to proceed in court. A lot of the time, paralegals perform similar duties as lawyers, but they are not allowed to practice law on their own or argue cases in courtrooms. Paralegals usually need at least an associate degree in paralegal studies or related area. Most employers provide thorough on-the-job training to ensure new paralegals are prepared to perform job duties. Paralegals earn an average salary of around $53,000 per year.

Probation Officer
Probation officers supervise those who have been arrested and are serving a probationary period instead of jail time or previously convicted individuals who are on parole. They monitor criminals and meet with them on a regular basis to document their activities and assess their progress. They provide regular reports to the court about the behavior of the offender, and they often conduct random drug screenings. Sometimes probation officers make arrangements for services for individuals, such as job training or substance-abuse rehabilitation. Many probation officers handle up to 100 cases at a time. Some probation officers perform pretrial investigations to determine if an individual accused of a crime is unlikely to commit other crimes and provide recommendation for probation instead of trial. These probation officers gain information about the background of an individual and previous criminal records. Probation officers typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related area and one to two years related work experience. The median pay for probation officers is around $46,000 per year.

Veterans wanting to work in the criminal justice field may have a competitive advantage over other candidates due to the significant experience acquired in the military. The military enables individuals to pursue a wide range of related positions to the criminal justice field and it provides the essential training needed for success in both the military and civilian job market. Veterans commonly acquire essential skills during training that many employers accept either in lieu of or partnered with college education. When seeking a specific job in the criminal justice industry, veterans should list their military experience related to that particular position. For example, a veteran who served as a military police officer on a military base would have a competitive edge when applying for a police patrol officer.

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