Criminal justice degree jobs

The previous post profiled the jobs of police officers, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, and detectives and investigators. In this article, we’ll look at a few more top jobs for criminal justice school graduates.

Correctional Officers

Correctional officers work in jails and prisons to enforce rules, keep order, and supervise the inmates. They may also participate in offenders’ counseling and rehabilitation and keep records of inmate conduct. Only about 5 percent of correctional officers work for private companies; the rest are employed by local, state, and federal governments. Correctional officers make about $40,000 per year, and although the growth in this field is expected to be slower than average, retirement and transfers will still produce job openings. As with many other careers in this field, the education required depends on the level at which you want to work. For lower-level jobs, a college degree is not required, but many agencies prefer to hire candidates who have taken some post-secondary courses in criminal justice. To reach the highest levels, such as in federal prisons, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers

Jobs in the private security and surveillance sectors are expected to increase about 18 percent over the next few years. Most of these employees work for firms that provide investigation and security services, though they may also work at institutions including schools and hospitals. Their job is to monitor and protect the company’s property, conduct security checks, check alarms and security systems, and keep their eyes open for suspicious activity. Gaming surveillance officers are special security and surveillance officers who work for casinos. Overall, people in this occupation make about $25,000 a year. Again, a degree is not required for these jobs, but particularly in the gaming sector, some post-secondary education is preferred, and it may be required for advancement.

Careers in Homeland Security

Over the past decade, many of our national resources have been going toward protecting our national security. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is a large employer, with many types of careers available. Graduates of criminal justice programs can work in border patrol, immigration services, criminal investigation, information security, the Transportation and Security Administration, the U.S. Secret Service, the Coast Guard, and more. The salary scales for these positions vary widely, but most jobs with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security require a bachelor’s degree, or at least some form of post-secondary education. A graduate degree or certificate may be necessary for some of the more advanced positions.

Over the past two articles, we’ve explored some of the most common careers in criminal justice. In the last article in this series, we’ll look at some job opportunities you might not have considered.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Correctional Officers.Occupational Outlook Handbook.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers.Occupational Outlook Handbook

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Careers in Homeland Security.

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