As a criminal justice major, you can work as a probation officer, evidence technician, private investigator, or paralegal. Though the criminal justice field does include police and detective positions, it expands far beyond criminal arrests. In fact, while police officer positions are projected for slow growth over the next few years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), other criminal justice jobs are growing at a rapid rate.
The demand for the kinds of jobs that criminal justice majors may get can be attributed to the increasing population. A population increase leads to a greater likelihood of crime and thus, a greater demand for criminal justice workers to work on cases, protect residents, and rehabilitate offenders. For this reason, the best opportunities for employment in the field will be located in the most populous cities.
In particular, probation officer positions are expected to grow by 18% by 2020, according to the BLS. This position brings in around $47,200 annually. Private detective positions are expanding at an even faster rate, with growth projected at 21% by 2020, according to the BLS. This position averages around $42,870 annually.
For criminal justice majors interested in working in a law firm and/or courtroom, the BLS also reports that paralegal positions earn a comparable salary and are projected to grow 18% by 2020. Although salary figures and job prospects will vary according to experience and location, getting an education in a criminal justice field can open up a variety of job opportunities, which can help students launch their careers after graduation.