What Are the Career Options in Criminal Justice Administration?

If you are physically fit, willing to carry a firearm and want to ensure that criminals are punished, you might be interested in building a career in criminal justice administration. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Options

Outlined below are some of the occupational options that may be available to you with sufficient education and training.

Important Facts About These Occupations

Police Officer/Detective Probation Officer
Median Salary (2018) $63,380 $53,020
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 7% growth 6% growth
Key Skills Perceptiveness, physical stamina, empathy, and communication skills Emotional stability, critical-thinking, organizational, and decision-making skills
Similar Occupations Correctional Officer, Firefighter, Paramedic Social Worker, Substance Abuse Counselor, Social and Human Service Assistant

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Police Officer

There are many types of police officers in the U.S. Some of them work for small jurisdictions and some work for larger entities such as entire states. Almost all require that you complete a training program prior to beginning your career. Training programs include first aid, a review of local laws and weapons use.

After your training, you may be assigned a specific patrol for each shift. If any calls come through over the radio, you'll respond to them and go to the designated sites in order to resolve criminal justice issues. When you aren't out on patrol, you could be filing reports or completing other related paperwork.

Probation Officer

Probation and parole are opportunities for criminal offenders to remain out of jail while still being punished for criminal activities. During this time, offenders must meet requirements such as finding employment, locating places to live, passing drug tests and obeying the law. There are usually specific terms for each parole case that depend on the offenses that were committed.

As a probation officer, you're in charge of following these offenders. You'll help them fulfill the terms of their probation or parole stay on the right side of the law. You might work with a local community or collaborate with the offender's friends and family to ensure that he or she is receiving the proper support. You'll regularly check up on ex-offenders, write reports and testify in court to make your recommendations to the judge regarding the cases of offenders.

FBI Special Agent

If you have acquired formal education in criminal justice administration, you might be eligible to become an FBI special agent. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an FBI special agent works on issues such as terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, organized crime, public corruption, bank robbery and other violations of federal statutes.

You must have a bachelor's degree and three years of experience to apply. After meeting the FBI's entry program and critical-skill requirements, you can apply for training. Once accepted, you'll have opportunities to complete the training and enter the field. You can choose your training program from FBI subject areas such as accounting, information technology, language and law.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent

Criminal justice administration in the U.S. includes special agents that enforce controlled substance laws. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is the agency that oversees these special drug enforcement agents.

As a DEA agent, you'll pursue and bring to justice criminals and drug gangs who traffic drugs in the U.S. and across its borders. The DEA provides its own training programs, and you need a minimum of a bachelor's degree to be eligible for training. A degree in criminal justice administration or a related field is preferred by the DEA. You'll also need to meet additional requirements such as having physical strength and abilities, sharp hearing and excellent vision.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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