If you've just graduated from high school or college and are interested in a career in criminal justice, there are a number of roles open to you—everything from private security to public law enforcement and court positions. Here are a handful of directions you may want to take:
Five Different Types Of Security Jobs
One of the most common security jobs in the United States is that of a police officer. These men and women are charged with upholding the laws of the nation, state, and municipality. To be eligible to apply for virtually all police training programs, you need to have earned a high school diploma. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the annual median salary for a police officer in the United States as $62,960.
Private security personnel guard things like banks, bars, private parties, and sporting events. The BLS reports that there are more than one million people employed as private security guards in the United States, with a median annual salary of $27K. A high school diploma is all that is required for most private security jobs. Most companies offer their own security training classes.
Working in the court system as a parole officer is another type of security job. These men and women work with people in the court system who have been recently released from jail or have court-ordered monitoring in lieu of jail. To get a job as a parole officer, you need an associate or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. The BLS reports that you can expect to make an average of $51K as a parole officer.
Tampering with the U.S. mail is a federal offense, and the people charged with enforcing this law are the U.S. postal inspectors. A high school diploma is required to sit for the postal worker exam and apply for work as a postal inspector.
Fish and game wardens
Fish and game wardens make sure that those fishing and hunting have the appropriate licenses and are following the state fish and game regulations. BLS reports that the average salary for a fish and game warden in the United States is $56K. Most states require only that you have a high school diploma to apply for this job. However, fishing and hunting experience as well as knowledge of area wildlife is helpful.
Take Your Pick
The world of criminal justice is broad: Use that to your advantage and customize your training and degree to the position you want.