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Program ResourcesTop Jobs With a Criminal Justice Degree

There are many career possibilities for graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Because graduates have relevant skills and knowledge concerning the criminal justice system and law enforcement, they can pursue numerous roles from FBI agent to paralegal.

FBI Agent

The FBI is a federal law enforcement agency that investigates federal crimes. The FBI is the investigative wing of the U.S. Department of Justice. FBI agents collect evidence, interview witnesses and suspects and analyze relevant data and information about crimes. FBI agents may detain or arrest suspects of federal crimes. FBI agents use critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They write reports on the findings that are relevant to their cases.

The FBI recruits college graduates. Generally, FBI agents have a background in criminal justice or a related field. The average salary of an FBI agent is $63,595, according to PayScale. Agents are government employees, which means they receive good benefits.

Correctional Treatment Specialist

Correctional treatment specialists work in the criminal justice system as case managers and counselors who help advise probationers and inmates toward rehabilitation. They perform psychological tests and create parole and release plans that involve education and training to aid in the offender’s re-entry into society. Correctional treatment specialists write case reports that express whether an inmate is eligible for release. Correctional treatment specialists generally need a bachelor’s degree. Many employers prefer a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, for example. The average salary for a correctional treatment specialist is $49,360, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Paralegal

Paralegals assist lawyers. They maintain and organize files, conduct legal research for cases and draft formal documents and correspondences. The area of law in which a paralegal works influences job responsibilities. Paralegals can specialize in areas like personal injury, criminal law, employee benefits, intellectual property, immigration, family law and more. In smaller firms, paralegals are given more responsibility like writing reports that help the lawyers better argue their cases. In larger law firms or organizations, paralegals work on specific phases of cases like reviewing legal materials for internal use, conducting preliminary research and collecting or organizing evidence. The average salary of a paralegal is $48,810.

Police Officer

A police officer’s duty is to protect and serve. Police officers enforce laws, respond to emergencies, patrol specific areas, arrest suspects and write detailed reports on crimes, cases and investigations. There are different kinds of police officers, including uniformed police officers, state police officers, transit and railroad police, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, detectives and more. Though a high school diploma is the minimum education requirement for a police officer, many prospective police officers choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree to better prepare them for this career. The average salary of a police officer is $58,320.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance abuse counselors help people dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction. They provide treatment and treatment plans in order to support their clients in recovery from addiction. In many cases, courts order people to undergo substance abuse counseling, and their counselors help evaluate their state of addiction and help them develop skills and behaviors that will aid in their recovery. Most substance abuse counseling positions require a bachelor’s degree and a certification through the National Board for Certified Counselors. The average salary for a substance abuse counselor is $39,980.