Those aspiring to work in the fields of criminal justice and law can earn an undergraduate or graduate degree online in any of the following specialties: forensic science, criminal justice, corrections, law enforcement, justice administration, homeland security, and law.
Criminal Justice Careers
Criminal justice specialists are responsible for ensuring the legal and corrections systems operate smoothly. Since the field of criminal justice is comprised of corrections and law enforcement personnel at all levels, numerous opportunities are available in this field, such as:
- Border patrol agent
- CIA agent
- Corrections officer
- Court reporter
- Crime scene investigator
- Customs agent
- Drug enforcement agent
- FBI agent
- Industrial security specialist
- Law librarian
- Legal secretary
- Police officer
- Postal service investigator
- Private investigator
- Probation & parole officer
- Secret service agent
- U.S. Marshall
Criminal Justice Career Training
The type of degree you should earn depends on the job that interests you. Degrees in criminal justice are available at the certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate levels. Those interested in completing a year-long certificate program can specialize as technicians, national security and terrorism managers, and criminal justice specialists.
Those with associate’s degrees can begin careers as paralegals, court reporters, private security guards, and corrections and law enforcement officers. It typically takes 2 years to earn an associate’s degrees. Workers with bachelor’s degrees enjoy enhanced job opportunities and earning potential, but it usually takes 4 years to earn one. Social workers, correctional treatment specialists, and probation officers usually hold bachelor’s degrees. Individuals with master’s degrees often fill management positions and jobs as college professors, FBI agents, police chiefs, and law enforcement professionals. After earning a bachelor’s degree, it typically takes 2 years to earn a master’s degree.
Most colleges and universities offering criminal justice degrees permit students to transfer credits completed at community colleges to colleges and universities. For example, many students earn associate’s degrees prior to transferring to schools offering bachelor’s degree programs. Many schools now offer criminal justice degree programs online at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate levels, making it possible for working professionals to continue working while obtaining additional education.
Criminal Justice Earnings and Opportunities
Annual salaries in the field of criminal justice are affected by education level and specialty. During 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that median annual earnings for sheriff’s patrol and police officers fell a little under $50,000. During this same year, median annual earnings for first-line supervisors exceeded $72,000, while criminal investigators and detectives made more than $59,000 a year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth in the field of criminal justice will grow by 11 percent through 2016.
Job growth for correctional officers is projected to increase by 16 percent until 2016. During 2007, the median annual earnings for these specialists exceeded $36,970, while correctional officer managers made $55,720 a year. During this same year, median annual earnings for security guards exceeded $22,000 annually, while correction treatment specialists and probation officers earned $44,510 a year.
Online Degrees in Criminal Justice
Online degrees in crimal justice, law and legal services provided by accredited colleges and universities:
Online Degrees in Law Enforcement
Online degrees in law enforcement, policing, investigation, and more from accredited colleges and universities:
|Crime Scene Investigation||- Crime Scene Technician and Crime Scene Technology certificates, associate and bacher degrees|
|Law Enforcement||- Police Science, Police Leadership, Law Enforcement asssociate, bacher and master degrees|
|Forensic Accounting||- Certificate Programs, Bachelor and Master Degrees in Fraud Management, Forensic Accounting, and Economic Crime Management|
|Forensic Science||- Associate, Bachelor and Master Degrees in Digital Forensics, Forensic Science, and Forensic Nursing|
Online Degrees in Security and Corrections
Online degrees in homeland security, loss prevention, and security provided by accredited colleges and universities:
|Corrections||- Corrections Management Certificate, Associate and Bacehlor Degrees|
|Public Safety||- Public Safety Management, Terrorism and Homeland Security Certificates, Associate, Bachelor and Masters Degrees|
|Security & Loss Prevention||- Security Management, Private Security and Business Security Degrees|