Top 10 Criminal Justice Jobs & Career Pathways

You did it! After several years of toil, sweat, blood, and tears, you have emerged victorious with a degree in criminal justice! Congratulations! Now here’s the bad news. Now you have to enter the real world and find a job. Here are a couple of options for you to look into.

Law Enforcement Policing And Investigation

Forensic investigator

Were you always a fan of CSI? Here’s your chance to live the dream. You get to be the person who collects the clues, analyzes the DNA, and makes cryptic, sarcastic references to the killer. Nice.

Private investigator

Here’s your shot at being Humphrey Bogart. You are a hired gun with this job, so you won’t necessarily have steady work, but you will have an awesome title.

Police dispatcher

You’re literally at the top of the criminal gossip food chain. You receive calls about disturbances and send the police out to stop the bad guys. In other words, you know all.

Criminal profiler

Get into people’s heads. With this job, you get to look at the clues, and from that information, create a description of the criminal the police are looking for. It’s like being a psychic… sort of.


Career Guide For Police Officer or Detective

Correctional officer

Perhaps it isn’t an office with a view, but it’s important to work. You are responsible for standing guard over inmates and keeping them in line. Not an easy job, and sometimes incredibly difficult, but a necessary one indeed.

Secret Service

James Bond, American style. Seriously, a degree in criminal justice can open up the door to be one of the most important kinds of bodyguards- those who protect our government officials!
FBI or CIA- If you have a degree in criminal justice and play your cards right, you could serve among some of the country’s top law enforcement officials. Handle the big cases, and bring in the most wanted criminals in America.

Police Detective

Though you may not be able to land this job straight out of school, it is certainly a prestigious position. You are responsible for taking all of the pieces of evidence brought in from cops of every walk of life and making a cohesive story to put criminals behind bars. Crack the case!


If you have an interest in the law, but you aren’t exactly thrilled by the idea of standing up and arguing in court, the position of a paralegal might suit you. You get to do all of the research that a lawyer does, but you work mostly behind the scenes.

Criminal Psychologist

You know those who testify about defendants’ psychological state during a trial? That could be you! You work with the accused and can provide evidence for either side about the psychological components of a criminal.

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