Criminal Justice Careers

Criminal Justice careers and law enforcement offer many rewarding opportunities for individuals with different interests and educational backgrounds. Since the bombing of the U.S. Trade Towers in September 2001 and other attacks on the U.S., there has been a heightened focus on law enforcement, public safety and security, immigration, and international and domestic terrorism.

This increased attention has created a demand for a diverse selection of qualified and talented criminal justice professionals. Here are the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates for job growth between 2014-2024 and the median annual salary (2016).

  • Private Detectives and Investigators: 5% (as fast as average) | $48,190 year
  • Police and Detectives: 4% (slower than average) | $61,600 year
  • Forensic Science Technicians: 27% (much faster than average) | $56,750 year
  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists: 4% (slower than average) | $50,160 year
  • Lawyers: 6% (as fast as average) | $118,160 year
SalaryMedian Annual Pay $61,600
GraduateJob Outlook, 2014-24 4% (slower than average)
EmployeeNumber of Jobs 806,400
Hourly PayMedian Hourly Pay $29.62
DiplomaEntry-level Education High school diploma to college degree
Search Degrees

* Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015-2016 Police and Detective Data,

What is criminal justice? Learn more.

Is a Career in Criminal Justice for You?

Both the Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement industries offer exciting and rewarding career opportunities. With new breakthroughs in forensic technology and an ever-evolving professional landscape, you can be assured that a criminal justice or law enforcement career will be anything but boring – and it might just turn out to be the experience of a lifetime.

Whether you’re interested in pursuing and apprehending white collar criminals, performing forensic testing in a laboratory setting, investigating crime scenes, or guarding our nation’s borders, criminal justice provides a variety of career opportunities for just about every interest, taste and personality.

Historically, when people thought about a career in criminal justice or law enforcement they envisioned uniformed police officers or uptight agents wearing suits and ties. Well not anymore. The criminal justice and law enforcement industries today are made up of a very diverse group of professionals from just about every cultural, ethnic, professional, and educational background imaginable.

In fact, criminal justice and law enforcement agencies hire individuals with educational and professional backgrounds not only in criminal justice and criminology, but also in accounting, psychology, political science, social work, engineering, as well as a variety of other liberal arts, science, and engineering disciplines. And for those of you who speak a second language or are multicultural, you’ll find a myriad of criminal justice positions just waiting for you.

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