The perception of many has traditionally been that students who pursue a degree in criminal justice are likely to enter the field of law enforcement. While this is one possibility, numerous other fields and careers are available to students interested in the field of criminal justice. I invite you to research the hundreds of jobs available in criminal justice, and then let Darton College and the Criminal Justice Program guide you towards completion of a degree that will support your educational and future career goals.
Law Enforcement: The Associate Degree in Criminal Justice will be valuable in entry-level employment in many municipal law enforcement agencies and is rapidly becoming a requirement for employment. In many local agencies a minimum of an Associate Degree is or has become a necessity for promotion into supervisory rank. Most local agencies provide a starting employment salary in the low to mid $20,000 range, with earning potential into the $50-70,000 range. Most state law enforcement agencies will hire without a degree requirement, but prefer baccalaureate degrees. Their salary ranges are similar to the local agencies. State law enforcement agencies, such as the GBI, require baccalaureate degrees. Their starting salaries range from the upper-$20,000 to the low-$30,000 range. Federal agencies usually require a minimum of a baccalaureate degree, with some agencies requiring or preferring graduate or professional degrees. Earning potentials there are obviously higher, with starting salaries in the upper $30,000 range and earning potentials into the $100,000 ranges.
Probation and Parole: Probation and parole officers are charged with the responsibility of supervising offenders in the community. Some jurisdictions employ probation officers for both misdemeanants and felony offenders. Parole officers supervise convicted felons who have been released from prison for community supervision. Generally, a baccalaureate degree is required for those seeking entry-level positions as probation and/or parole officers. In addition, academy training may be required. Probation and parole officer positions are available at the local, state, and federal level. Salaries can range from upper-$20,000 to low-$50,000 for probation and parole officer positions.
Correctional Officers: Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in a jail, reformatory, or penitentiary. They maintain security and inmate accountability to prevent disturbances, assaults, or escapes. Currently, most correctional officer positions require nothing more than a high school diploma. Academy training is required for correctional officers. Officers seeking to advance professionally will generally seek post-secondary education. Salaries can range from lower-$20,000 to upper-$40,000.
These are just a few areas of employment available to criminal justice majors. Obviously, some careers require additional education beyond the associate degree. For example, those who want to pursue a career as an attorney, either prosecution or defense, or those who aspire to be a judge, will need to obtain a baccalaureate degree as well as a law degree. In addition, each state has a licensing procedure for attorneys. Those professions requiring advanced education, beyond the bachelor degree, are noted below with an asterisk. However, your journey must begin with initial steps, and first year experiences are meaningful.let Darton's Criminal Justice Program be instrumental in laying the foundation for your logical progression towards your career goals in criminal justice.
Careers in law enforcement include:
Municipal law enforcement agencies:
- Albany Police Department
- Albany Code Enforcement
- Dougherty County Police Department
- Dougherty County Sheriff’s Department
State police agencies:
- Arson Investigations
- Georgia State Patrol
- Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI)
- Department of Natural Resources (Game Warden)
Federal law enforcement:
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- U.S. Secret Service (USSS)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF)
- Border Patrol
- Department of Homeland Security
- U.S. Marshall’s Service
- Military Police
- Naval Investigative Services
Careers in the Courts Include:
- Attorneys (Both defense and prosecution)*
- District Attorney and Public Defender staff personnel
- Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
- Pretrial Services Officers
- Juvenile Justice divisions at state and local levels
- Judicial Officers (judges at various levels)*
Careers in Corrections Include:
- Correctional Officers (federal, state, and local levels)
- Prison wardens
- Jail administrators
- Probation officers
- Parole officers
- Juvenile Detention Officer
Careers in Criminal Justice Research:
- Crime and Intelligence Analysis*
- Grant writers
- Statistical researchers*
- Government planners
....so many more choices.so many more agencies locally and worldwide.the sky is the limit!
For more information, or to be referred to contacts in the various professional areas, please contact:
Manswell T. Peterson Sr.
Instructor and Program Director