Criminal Justice Explained:
Criminal justice is a broad system of individual practices focused on upholding social control and preventing or mitigating acts of crime. The criminal justice system attempts to achieve such goals through an institution of laws and penalties for wrongdoings. Those accused of crime; however, are awarded protections against authoritative abuse of prosecution and investigatory powers.
The criminal justice system possesses numerous jobs, that although are diverse in function, are tied into the general field of law enforcement. Regardless of the area of focus, all applicants or those interested in pursuing a criminal justice career must obtain relevant degrees and training. Law enforcement agencies will only evaluate applicants who have fulfilled these basic requirements. As a result, the obtainment of a criminal justice degree is in essence, the starting point required to pursuit a criminal justice career.
Types of Criminal Justice Careers:
A career in criminal justice will incorporate the varying aspects of social justice, crime prevention, prosecution support, crime solving activities and upholding citizen rights. The field of criminal justice is in essence, an umbrella of classifications; jobs with government agencies (such as the CIA and FBI), criminologists, clerks of court, police officers, probation officers, professionals within the field of forensics, etc. are all examples of criminal justice careers.
As a result of the broadness of the field, criminal justice careers and salaries will vary based on role and responsibility.
List of Criminal Justice Careers and Salaries:
Public Security and Enforcement Careers: These criminal justice careers jobs within the federal government, such as roles within the Tobacco and Firearms Bureau. These criminal justice careers and salaries are regarded as low level, for an individual in this field will only earn between $32,000 and $50,000 per year.
Customs Agent: These criminal justice careers are primarily focused on shipping items and checking luggage that is brought into the United States by visitors. These criminal justice careers and salaries are regarded as entry or beginner level; customs agents make between $23,000 and $45,000 annually.
U.S. Marshal: A United States Marshall works for the Justice Department and will be responsible for a number of functions, including protecting judges and witnesses and protecting assets seized from criminal investigations. Entry level positions will earn roughly $27,000 per year while GS II Grade’s will earn between $50,000 and $60,000 annually.
FBI Agents: Agents of the FBI are positioned at the higher end of federal law enforcement. These individuals investigate crimes (from white collar crimes to acts of terrorism) and interrogate suspects. Individuals in this field will need to obtain a criminal justice degree. An FBI agent will initially make $50,000 per year, but can quickly earn raises following completion of graduate programs or through promotion.
Bailiff: These types of criminal justice careers are aligned with court jobs; a bailiff is responsible for maintaining order in a courtroom. These individuals will earn approximately $25,000 per year.
Court Clerk: Another common criminal justice career classified as a court job, these individuals are responsible for various administrative functions within the court. The national average for a court clerk is roughly $27,000 per year.
Probation Officer: These employees of the court system oversee the activities of a person on parole. When observing activities, the probation officer must communicate with the underlying lawyers, judges and employees involved. Entry level jobs pay an average of $26,000 while an experienced probation officer will earn roughly $50,000 per year. Supervisors who oversee departments will earn roughly $100,000 annually.
Corrections Officer: These individuals will earn roughly $25,000 per year, but salaries fluctuate based on the geographic location.
Crime Scene Investigator: These careers, which are classified under police or law enforcement roles, require individuals to evaluate crime scenes and issue reports that aid the police in determining which suspects to seek out. The salary for crime scene investigators will vary between $30,000 and $60,000.