Are you fascinated by the criminal justice system and looking for some guidance on what career you should pursue? There are numerous sectors to choose from including law enforcement, legal, homeland security, IT, emergency management and forensics. As follows are just some examples of careers within the criminal justice field that show positive job growth. (The job outlook percentages represent growth or newly created jobs between 2010 and 2020; median salary represents the middle salary, where half of the professionals make more and half make less than that figure. All data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Information Security Analysts
Job Growth: 22%
Median Salary in 2010: $75,660/year
These professionals essentially safeguard a client, company or organization’s information systems against cyber attacks. They plan, research, install and teach information security standards and protocols.
Private Detectives and Investigators
Job Growth: 21%
Median Salary in 2010: $42,870/year
Private detectives are challenged with the task of finding answers to legal, personal or financial questions that many average citizens might find impossible to uncover. Through surveillance, interviews and research, they get to the bottom of a variety of unknowns.
Forensic Science Technicians
Job Growth: 19%
Median Salary in 2010: $51,570/year
Forensic science technicians play a vital role in criminal investigations by analyzing evidence. They may work in the lab or in the field at crime scenes.
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
Job Growth: 18%
Median Salary in 2010: $47,200/year
Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists essentially monitor offenders in the attempts of preventing them from ever committing crimes again. A focus of their job is to facilitate rehabilitation through visits with offenders and possibly their loved ones and providing access to treatment.
Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Job Growth: 18%
Median Salary in 2010: $46,680/year
Paralegals play an essential role in the success of a lawyer’s practice through conducting research, meeting with clients, assisting during trials and writing legal documents. Some paralegals choose to go on to law school and become attorneys themselves. Speaking of lawyers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth for this profession is 10% between 2010 and 2020; the median salary for lawyers in 2010 was $112,760/year.
Job Growth: 14%
Median Salary in 2010: $47,700/year
Court reporters transcribe, word for word, a variety of legal proceedings. They must have top notch listening and concentration skills, pay close attention to detail and have a wealth of legal knowledge.
If you are interested in any of these careers, start by finding an educational program (such as a criminal justice, paralegal, information security, law enforcement, legal studies or forensic science degree) that will fulfill your professional ambitions. You can check out our list of criminal justice schools organized according to state.