Top Criminal Justice Careers – Best Jobs

Working in the criminal justice system is challenging, adventurous and fulfilling. It takes a lot of hard work, determination and perseverance. Fortunately, a career in criminal justice allows you to work with a diverse group of people on a number of issues at any given time. This keeps the job interesting and therefore, developing lack of interest in your job is highly unlikely. Unfortunately, many people studying criminal justice take too much time to decide on the most suitable career in this academic field. Some may even choose a career that they may not like. Here are several careers in criminal justice. Knowing them will help you to make the right choice.


As you may know, bailiffs are responsible for keeping order in the courtroom. They defend people gathered in the courtroom against attacks by others present in court or from general disorder in the courtroom. They also deliver documents to the court, take custody of offenders, announce the arrival of judges and call witnesses to the stand.

You can become a bailiff by studying criminal justice in addition to a number of other requirements. For example, bailiffs have to undergo training on proper court procedures, security protocols in the courthouse, use of firearms and self-defense tactics. Currently, there is surge in the demand for bailiffs. In fact, the overall number of bailiffs between 2010 and 2020 is set to increase by over eight percent.

Correctional Officer

This noble but challenging task involves the maintenance of security and order within our prison system. This means that correctional officers are responsible for preventing prison assaults, supervising the activities of inmates, conducting searches for contraband in prison cells and thwarting attempts at a prison break.

Usually, you would need a high school diploma and a number of college credits to work as a correctional officer in a prison. However, the federal government requires an undergraduate certificate in criminal justice before you can work as a correctional officer in federal prisons. Correctional officers, just like bailiffs, require some kind of training in self-defense tactics as well as training on how to handle firearms. Relevant government agencies predict that the uptake of correctional officers by our prison system will increases by five percent between 2010 and 2020.

Crime Scene Investigators

This job involves the identification, collection, classification and analysis of evidence after someone commits a crime. The aim of a crime scene investigator is to find the criminal who committed the crime through forensic evidence. This evidence is usually indisputable or very hard to dispute. Therefore, the work of a crime scene investigator is critical when it comes to finding the perpetrator of a crime and prosecuting this perpetrator for the crime in question.

This career is set to grow by over nineteen percent before 2020. The lowest earners in this career take home $32,900 a year while the highest earners normally take home $82,900 a year. It is important for you to note that Crime Scene Investigators do a bit more of scientific training than other professions within the criminal justice system. This is especially true when it comes to DNA testing, firearm analytics and handling of evidence.

Probation Officer

A probation officer works with criminal offenders whose sentence was a probation period and not jail time. The probation officer is responsible for drafting up rehabilitation plans for these offenders. Then, the probation officer conducts household visits, drug tests and holds counseling meetings to ensure that the rehabilitation plans set in place are going on smoothly.

Normally, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is sufficient for one to become a probation officer. However, specialized training on certain issues or topics such as social perceptiveness, problems sensitivity, interpersonal relationships or inductive reasoning is becoming highly necessary as the job becomes more competitive. The median annual salary for these professionals is $47,200. Some probation officers earn as much as $80,750 a year.

These are the main careers in criminal justice. Other careers in criminal justice may include being a custom agent, police detective, military officer, private investigator or sociologist among many other careers. As you can see, criminal justice is a worthwhile field that can get you the kind of job you want i.e. there are many careers in criminal justice that you can choose. Focus on your studies in criminal justice and you will surely find a suitable career of your choice.