Criminal Justice Careers

In today’s society, safety and security is an important concern, and demand for police and law enforcement professionals is higher than ever. Criminal justice degree holders are often employed in the law enforcement, government and legal professions. A career in law enforcement extends far beyond patrol officers and detectives; in fact there are many exciting roles to fill in the criminal justice system that require knowledge of science, data analysis, computer forensics, personal counseling, crime scene investigation, social services and corrections.

Employment Opportunities

Criminal justice professionals find work in a variety of occupations, including:

  • Police officers
  • Correctional officers
  • Private detectives and investigators
  • Probation officers
  • Security guards
  • Gaming surveillance officers
  • Paralegals and legal assistants


Criminal justice professionals draw upon a wide range of capabilities, including:

  • Knowledge of the law
  • Ability to communicate with a wide variety of people
  • Ability to react to stressful situations
  • Basic computer skills
  • A high level of ethical standards
  • Research and investigative skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Compassion and patience

Industry Spotlight

Job opportunities in most local police departments will be excellent for qualified individuals, while competition is expected for jobs in State and Federal agencies.

Employment of police and detectives is expected to grow 11 percent over the 2006-16 decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

- Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008