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Top Jobs in Criminal Justice

Criminal justice jobs fall under several different organizations, bringing a variety of positions within law enforcement, administration, corrections, investigations, public policy and more. As technology improves and laws evolve, these types of jobs contribute to one of the more stable career fields for those with a degree in criminal justice.

According to research from PayScale.com, the top jobs entered into by those possessing a degree in criminal justice are police or sheriff patrol officer, paralegal and legal assistants, probation officer, detective/criminal investigator, legal secretary, security officer, loss prevention manager or agent, security manager, and security director. These top criminal justice jobs offer a range of annual salaries based on the level of education achieved, as well as experience within the field.

In law enforcement, the opportunities for first-line supervisors or managers of police and detectives are plentiful, as well as positions for police detectives. While more competitive positions than a patrol officer, these law enforcement careers offer salaries that average around $70,000 annually. In the field of corrections, jobs for probation officers, correctional officer or corrections officers can be obtained with a degree in criminal justice and corrections. Average annual salaries for these positions within corrections are between $46,000 - $57,000.

Criminal justice graduates that specialize in loss prevention or security can find jobs as independent contractors or within a variety of corporate, retail or business settings. A security officer can make an average salary of almost $32,000, annually, while loss prevention agents and investigators are able to earn annual salaries between $28,000 - $37,000. Loss prevention managers can expect to earn even more, with an annual average salary of $47,300 while fraud investigators can receive around $63,000 annually.

Jobs within Homeland Security, the FBI or other federal agencies require not only a dedication to uphold the law and policies put into place by the legislature, but also the education to back up the skills needed within these positions. Federal law enforcement positions are highly competitive, especially within agencies like the FBI. An FBI agent can make anywhere from $39,000 - $119,000 annually, depending on location and the type of position. Positions within U.S. Customs range from $33,000 - $86,000 annually, while a TSA security screener within an airport makes an average of $35,000 per year.



The jobs available for criminal justice graduates are plenty and provide a challenging work environment as well as the satisfaction of serving the public. The field of criminal justice constantly changes in light of new policies, technology or even political ideals, and the jobs in this field are expected to continue to grow with these changes.

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