Careers with an Administration of Justice Degree
Explore career options available with an administration of justice degree. Find out if the educational requirements, work tasks and environment are a good fit for you and your interests.
A degree in administration of justice prepares you for a career in law enforcement or corrections. A variety of job and career options are available in both areas of work. Explore the differences in education, pay, and career outlook via the table below that highlights details for three jobs available with this degree.
|Police Officer||Detective||Probation Officer|
|Education Requirements||High school degree and police academy training; college degree helpful||High school degree and police academy training; college degree helpful||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Outlook*(2018-2028)||5% (police and sheriff's patrol officers)||3% (detectives and criminal investigators)||3%|
|Median Pay* (2018)||$61,380 (police and sheriff's patrol officers)||$81,920 (detectives and criminal investigators)||$53,020|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Career Options are Available with an Administrative Justice Degree?
Administrative justice degrees are commonly offered at the associate level, but bachelor's degrees are also available. Most people with a degree in administrative justice go into law enforcement or corrections. Police officers, detectives, FBI and other federal agents, fish and game wardens, security guards, and custom agents are examples of possible law enforcement jobs. Jobs in the field of corrections include parole or probation officers, correctional officers and juvenile justice counselors. Other job possibilities are pre-release employment counselor and halfway house manager. Administrative justice can also prepare for work in the courts, in positions such as a judicial law clerk.
What Do Workers in These Careers Do?
Police officers most commonly work on patrols, responding to emergencies and criminal activities. They may issue traffic citations, make arrests, and testify in court. They also spend time writing reports. Detectives collect evidence and investigate crimes on a case-by-case basis. They may interview suspects and witnesses in addition to making arrests. Probation officers help rehabilitate criminal offenders who are placed on probation. They visit with offenders and ensure they are not a threat to the community by interviewing them, testing for drug use, and writing details reports.
What Kind of Training/Experience is Required?
Law enforcement positions generally require training and may require experience. Prospective police officers, for example, attend a training academy and receive additional on-the-job training in state and local laws, ethics, civil rights, first aid, use of firearms, self-defense and other relevant topics required in police work. The training for federal agents is more rigorous. Detectives usually work as police officers before promotion into investigative work. Probation officers must attend state- or federal-sponsored training, pass a certification test, and potentially work as a trainee for up to a year.
What is the Work Environment?
Police officers and detectives mostly work for municipalities. They may work in the office or be out on patrol several hours per day. The work can be at times very rewarding, such as assisting people in need. At other times the work can be very dangerous and stressful, even life threatening. Probation officers must visit potentially hostile homes and search property, which is also stressful. They will also usually have to work on-call and travel through high-crime areas.
What is the Employment Outlook for These Careers?
Job outlook in these fields varies. Demand for police and sheriffs patrol officers will grow at about 5% between 2018-2028 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists should see 3% growth during the same period, while detectives and criminal investigators could expect 3% growth.