So you want to pursue a career in the criminal justice field. Good for you! It takes a dedicated, and certainly brave, kind of person to choose such a bold line of work. While the criminal justice industry is a demanding one, it is also a rewarding field that offers an exciting work life.
Can you see yourself upholding the law, protecting your community, and keeping others safe? If you have the passion, but lack the training and experience, landing a job in criminal justice can feel like an impossible dream. Don’t be discouraged. Your calling can become a reality within just two years (or less!) with the help of a career-focused, criminal justice school. You can earn your associate degree in this time and develop the footing needed to qualify for jobs in the field. Read on as we break down 5 jobs in criminal justice that you can land within two years’ time.
- Police Officer
This iconic and noble role is repeatedly depicted in TV shows and movies, and is even a classic “hero” costume for children. It’s easy to see why. These brave men and women in uniform put their lives on the line daily. Police are respected and honored within their communities for their dedicated work in upholding public safety. They also earn a median annual salary of $63,380, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While police academy applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, some departments now require at least some postsecondary education courses. An associate degree in criminal justice will help prepare you for your cadet training and career on the force.
Just as police officers must keep civilians safe, there is an important need for safety and policing within the walls of a prison. Correctional officers maintain order and safety among inmates as they serve time.
Correctional officers must obtain a high school diploma or equivalent, but federal prison employees must also earn a bachelor’s degree or hands-on experience in this area of work, such as counseling or assisting individuals. An associate degree in criminal justice will help you gain the knowledge and skills desired by employers, and get you further along the path toward this role.
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Thousands work hard for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure Americans are safe when traveling. TSA screeners primarily oversee passenger safety at airports, but they also monitor railways, subways, and other transportation hubs to help prevent and address threats. Screeners need to know how to work with a variety of specialized equipment, like standing and handheld metal detectors, x-ray machines, and must also be capable of conducting physical searches of luggage and travelers. TSA agents also search for drugs, weapons, and other contraband in order to keep people safe within the U.S.
The daily life of a TSA screener is always new, interesting, and rewarding. Workers interact with people from all walks of life – from business travelers to vacationing families – as they pass through the safety checkpoints. Knowing you are keeping Americans safe every day you show up to work is a great reason to further explore this career.
- Fire Inspector
From an early age, many children talk about growing up to become a police officer or a firefighter. With the role of Fire Inspector, you get the best of both worlds! A fire inspector makes sure businesses and people are complying with state and federal fire codes. They also study evacuation plans and facility layouts to ensure that any necessary fire prevention equipment is working properly, and report any violations or potential safety hazards.
Upon earning an associate degree in criminal justice, Fire Inspectors can go on to get certified with a national group like the National Fire Protection Association. It’s well worth it, too. This position pays a median annual salary of about $62,000.
“Law & Order” fans may be curious to know more about the law-related jobs within criminal justice. With an associate degree, you can find yourself working alongside lawyers as a Paralegal. This role requires you to help prepare attorneys for hearings, trials, and other court proceedings within the justice system. You would do research for the case, prepare documents, and investigate details of testimony in a given trial. Talk about a fascinating career!
Paralegals earn a median salary of about $50,000 per year, but those who work in larger, private firms can earn significantly more. This is where an associate degree from a great school can help set you apart from the competition and get you started in your dream job.
When it comes to jobs in criminal justice, there are many options. The opportunity greatly increases with a great education from a school that puts students’ careers first. With a school like Goodwin College, you can earn your degree on a schedule that works for you. Courses are offered days and evenings, on campus and in a standard 15-week format. And, courses are taught by police commanders, detectives, state troopers, military veterans, and other criminal justice professionals – which means you will learn from the people who know the field best.
Learn more about why Goodwin College is a leading criminal justice school in CT, by calling 800-889-3282 or visiting https://www.goodwin.edu/landingpages/criminal-justice.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.