There Are Many Options When it Comes to Satisfying Careers in Criminal Justice

Criminal justice careers run the gamut of educational requirements. Court clerks and legal secretaries, for instance, can find work right out of high school, as can personal title examiners, abstractors, and searchers. These stalwart pillars of the legal system review documents and contracts to make sure all the necessary information is accounted for, organized, and written in a way that’s agreed upon by all concerned parties in the hopes of avoiding the need for formal legal action. 

To become a paralegal or legal assistant, one would need a two-year or associate’s degree, though a four-year or bachelor’s degree would increase your options for advancement and specialization. These professionals shoulder the research and administrative needs of a legal office. Arbitrators and mediators need to earn at least a four-year degree. Their role in the legal process is crucial, as they attempt to help aggrieved parties find common ground and avoid costly, lengthy trials. Not only does this save everyone involved time and money, but it keeps the court system from becoming overwhelmed as well.

Lawyers, likely the most famous category of criminal justice professionals, are an incredibly varied group of people who can start from almost any educational background. In fact, the American Bar Association (an organization of legal professionals that regulates and influences the way law is practiced in the U.S.) states that students with a wide assortment of undergraduate degrees gain admission to graduate schools, including mathematics and journalism. Before being accepted though, all aspiring lawyers must pass the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, as a core part of the process. 

The many different ways that practicing lawyers are categorized reflect the complexity and diversity of modern society. A lawyer can specialize in real estate and property law, intellectual property issues, or malpractice and litigation in the healthcare industry. Environmental law is becoming an increasingly important topic, and lawyers who focus on the media and entertainment sectors are in high demand as well. Of course, one can’t forget the importance of legal representation for businesses large and small when navigating the complexities of corporate law, and the need for criminal lawyers to both defend and prosecute alleged criminals.

It’s important to mention that a criminal justice career can extend beyond lawyers. Judges are needed to make the final decisions in all matters, and professors of law train the next generation of legal professionals. These highly specialized positions require advanced degrees, including a J.D. (Juris Doctor) and/or PhD (Doctor of Philosophy). 

Salaries are often a reflection of the level of education one receives, but by and large one can earn a very comfortable salary with just an associate’s degree. Paralegals average around $45,000 a year in the U.S., for example. The growth projections for the legal industry are rosy as well – it’s estimated that employment will increase by about 10 percent for the foreseeable future. A degree in criminal justice is likely to be a wise investment.



6 schools found

Bryan University

AR, MO & Online

Bryan goes above and beyond to make each students’ experience exceptional. We want our students to leave with more than an education. We want them to have an unforgettable experience.

City College

FL and Online

The mission of City College is to educate and train students in their chosen major, in preparation for employment in specific career fields. City College awards Associate of Science or Bachelor of...

Colorado Technical University


Since 1965 Colorado Technical University has been proud to educate career focused students to advance their education and help achieve their goals. CTU’s commitment to provide innovative, real-world...

Northcentral University


Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionallyrelevant, and academically-rigorous education...

Remington College


Each day at Remington College, we talk to people looking to make a change - people who believe that an education can make a real difference and can lead to new and better opportunities for those who...

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)


Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing...