A criminal justice degree can be the gateway to a number of positions. If you have an interest in criminal justice and the legal system, yet don't want to be a police officer or sheriff, explore these six alternative criminal justice careers.
Immigration and customs agent
ICE, the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has opportunities all over the U.S. for those interested in maintaining the security of American borders. Job positions at ICE include detention and deportation officers, immigration enforcement officers, Homeland Security intelligence specialists, technical enforcement officers, and criminal research specialists. If you want a job where every day is different and you are directly contributing to the safety of your country, then this could be a good fit.
Fish and game warden
Do you love the outdoors and have a passion for criminal justice? You might enjoy working as a fish and game warden, protecting U.S. wetlands and wildlife. Game wardens investigate reports of poaching and other illegal activities, seize illegally obtained game, inspect processing plants, and offer public education and outreach.
U.S. postal inspector
Combine your interest in the law with a stable position as a U.S. postal inspector, in charge of enforcing over 200 federal statutes that affect U.S. mail. Postal inspectors can open mail, serve subpoenas and warrants, and make arrests for postal-related offenses committed in their presence. U.S. postal inspectors often cooperate with other law enforcement officials regarding issues or jurisdiction.
Do you enjoy the satisfaction of problem solving, stopping crime, and catching those who have the intent to harm or deceive? If so, a fraud investigator could be the ideal position for you. Fraud investigators may specialize in an industry, such as medical or banking, or may work on more general terms. Investigators typically work on cases, interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and preparing reports on behalf of their client.
Protect your community, catch speeding drivers, and assist rural law enforcement in a career as a state trooper. These positions are often high stress, do not have a regular schedule, and require frequent night or weekend work. However, the position offers a meaningful way to keep your community safe, protect the common good, and hold a law enforcement position that actively draws on criminal justice experience.
Surveillance and undercover work make U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent jobs both difficult and thrilling. It is difficult to get one of these positions, as the DEA rigorously screens applicants and has a stringent list of job requirements. However, the position is a great one for those with high-level interest in law enforcement.
Do What You Love; Love What You Do
As you can see, the path of criminal justice opens up many doors. You can select a job that offers security and a stable schedule or go after that high-octane enforcement job and still be involved in the field you love.