5 Interesting Careers in Criminal Justice

Interesting Criminal Justice Careers

  • Criminal Profiler
  • Forensic Ballistics Expert
  • U.S. Marshal
  • Criminologist
  • Probation Officer

Criminal justice is best described as the system in which crimes and criminals are identified, arrested, tried and punished. The criminal justice system consists of three main parts: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. Because this is such a vast field that encompasses so many areas, there are many careers in criminal justice. Depending on the chosen occupation, a criminal justice career may be obtained with minimal training or by completing degrees that can range from an associate degree right to a graduate degree. Here are five interesting criminal justice careers.

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1. Criminal Profiler

Criminal Minds, a popular TV show that's been on for more than a decade, centers around criminal profilers. Working as a criminal profiler is every bit as interesting as the show. Criminal profilers take detective work and criminal justice to a whole new level. They use their knowledge of criminology, behavioral science and psychology to help solve crimes. Criminal profilers use factors like where and how crimes were committed to helping create a list of traits that a suspect would be likely to have, such as age, size, occupation, and personality. Criminal profilers allow law enforcement agents to narrow down their searches to certain areas and locations.

2. Forensic Ballistics Expert

If you grew up believing physics was boring, you've never worked alongside a forensic ballistics expert. To become a forensic ballistics expert usually requires a bachelor's degree in forensic science, ballistic forensic science or criminal justice with an emphasis in ballistics or forensics. Forensic ballistics experts test guns, bullets and crime scenes to determine how and where a shooting took place. They look for various details like bullet penetration and trajectory to help provide clues used to solve crimes. Forensic ballistics experts may work in crime laboratories for state governments, local governments or the federal government, including careers with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Some ballistics experts also work for private consulting firms.

3. U.S. Marshal

U.S Marshals are law enforcement agents who work on high profile federal cases for the United States Marshals Service. They're usually requested to assist local law enforcement agencies in locating and arresting criminals. They also provide security in courtrooms and provide security for court officials. Other duties include retrieving and selling seized items, operating the Witness Protection program, and housing and transporting federal prisoners. A bachelor's degree may be all that's required in the way of degrees, but the U.S. Marshal Service does have additional requirements that must be met in order to become a U.S. Marshal according to FederalLawEnforcement.org.

4. Criminologist

Working as a criminologist can be very interesting, especially if the individual likes to research and solve mysteries. Unlike many criminal justice professionals who deal with criminals after they've committed crimes, criminologist's focus more on why the crime was committed and how to prevent it from happening again. Despite the extensive training criminologists have, there are still limited opportunities today for criminologists. Princeton Review reports that while their talents are in demand, job opportunities are not as plentiful as one might think.

5. Probation Officer

Probation officers work with people who may have been convicted of crimes but were not sentenced to prison or jail. These professionals work with various areas of the court system from municipal courts right up to the federal court system. They meet with offenders on a regular basis to ensure they're following a set of rules provided to them by the court system. They also meet with the offender's family members if needed. Probation officers generally must have at least a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a related field.

With the rate of crime increasing every year, criminal justice experts are more in demand than ever. The exciting news for aspiring criminal justice professionals is that a variety of excellent careers can be found, and many of criminal justice careers can be obtained with only a couple of years of education and training.