Criminal justice careers are increasingly available. So, how can you get in while the demand is high?
If you are interested in a career in criminal justice, your timing is just right. Not only are there plenty of job opportunities in the criminal justice field, but the demand for these types of careers continues to climb. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is a need for more than 33,000 police officers and detectives, a subset career within the criminal justice system, by the year 2024.
If you are looking to take advantage of these career opportunities, you should take the time to understand what exactly those career opportunities are, and the process needed to enter the field. This includes participating in a program that offers a criminal justice associate degree. The criminal justice degree programs available to you can help you discover where your interests lie and how to get started in your criminal justice career.
Career Opportunities in Criminal Justice
When many people think about criminal justice, they immediately think about positions as law enforcement officers. Although this is one example of a criminal justice career, it is not the only option available to you. Jobs and careers in criminal justice include working with the courts as bailiffs, stenographers, court reporters and other related roles.
There are also careers available to you in the areas of corrections, investigations, and court supervision. You may also use your criminal justice education and experience as a jumping off point to enter a pre-law program eventually become a lawyer or judge. As mentioned previously, the growing job demand for trained professionals in the different areas of criminal justice means that there is no limit to what may be available to you once you enter a criminal justice degree program.
What Do Criminal Justice Careers Pay?
A range of salaries gives you some insight into what type of pay is available for different types of criminal justice jobs. For example, police and detectives received a median pay of $58,630 or $28.19 per hour in 2012, according to the BLS Occupation Outlook Handbook. Crime scene investigators or forensic science technicians, individuals who assist with the collection and analysis of physical evidence gathered at a crime scene, earned on average of $52,840 or $25.41 an hour, also based on data from the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. These examples of salary scales for different criminal justice careers illustrates how life changing these positions can be and what is available to you once you complete the required education and training.
Obtaining a Criminal Justice Associate Degree
The requirements for the various careers in the criminal justice field vary. One way to ensure at least an entry-level type position is through the acquisition of an associate degree in criminal justice. A criminal justice associate degree allows you to meet the core requirements of many criminal justice jobs and gives you the foundational learning from which to consider other opportunities that may be available to you as you advance your profession.
When choosing criminal justice degree programs, it is important to ask questions about cost, the amount of time needed to complete your degree requirements and whether or not job placement assistance is available. You should also get a sense of the number of graduates who are successfully placed in jobs within the criminal justice field. This information will help you choose the correct program with greatest value or return on your investment.
The Value of Hands-On Training and Engaged Learning
To be successful in the criminal justice field, choose a career training program that challenges you inside and outside the classroom. Through on-the-job training, or experiential learning, you have the opportunity to transform the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom into real-life experiences. Not only does experiential learning better prepare you for your career of choice, but it makes you a more suitable candidate when you are ready to enter the criminal justice field.
Prepare yourself for employment in the criminal justice field in just two years when enrolling in the criminal justice associate degree program at Daymar College. Students engage in active learning to provide real-world experience while faculty helps you excel in school and after you graduate. Discover how to get started on your way to an exciting, rewarding and fast-paced career in criminal justice and contact Daymar College today.