As you forge your criminal justice career path, ideally you want to select a field that matches your skills, qualities and passions. But naturally you also want to ensure that you have a job once you complete your studies.
We’re going to look at some of the criminal justice careers that are high in demand in the United States. Note that these are generally based on cross-country averages; each region in the U.S. varies in terms of demand for a particular employment category.
Private Detectives and Investigators
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected Job Outlook for private detectives and investigators between 2010 and 2020 is an increase of 21% positions (which is “faster than average”).
- As of May 2012, the median salary for private detectives and investigators was $45,740, states the BLS. (This means half of private detectives made more than, and half made less than, $45,740.)
Forensic Science Technicians
- According to the BLS, the projected Job Outlook for forensic science technicians between 2010 and 2020 is 19%.
- As of May 2012, the median salary for forensic science technicians was $52,840 states the BLS.
Paralegals & Legal Assistants
- According to the BLS, the projected Job Outlook for paralegals and legal assistants between 2010 and 2020 is 18%.
- As of May 2012, the median salary for paralegals and legal assistants was $46,990 states the BLS.
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
- According to the BLS, the projected Job Outlook for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists between 2010 and 2020 is 18%.
- As of May 2012, the median salary for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists was $48,190 states the BLS.
Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers
- According to the BLS, the projected Job Outlook for security guards and gaming surveillance officers between 2010 and 2020 is 18%.
- As of May 2012, the median salary for security guards and gaming surveillance officers was $23,970 states the BLS.
Police and Detectives
- Although the overall job outlook for police and detectives is “slower than average” (7% between 2010 and 2020), the BLS adds that “Continued demand for public safety will lead to new openings for officers in local departments” (although state and federal law enforcement positions “may be more competitive”).
- As of May 2010, the median salary for police and detectives was $55,010 states the BLS.
“From building cloud computing networks to creating security applications, the services provided by computer systems design and related services are constantly evolving and in high demand,” reported Lauren Csorny for Beyond the Numbers April 2013, a BLS publication.
Csorny added that within the Computer Systems Design and Related Services Industry, software developers make up the largest proportion of professionals. Within the specific computer systems/related services industry, applications software developer positions are expected to increase by 57% and systems software developers by 72% (2010-2020). “The rapid increase in both types of software developers is attributable to an increased demand for new and updated software,” stated Csorny adding that the need for increased cybersecurity is one of the factors driving this demand.
This is an illustration of the increasing job outlook for information security/cyber security professionals.
Remember: It’s important to research the current and projected demand for criminal justice careers in your particular locale. Check out your state’s Department of Labor, talk to professors at your prospective school and find out about the various employers in your area that offer relevant positions.