Criminal Justice and Legal Degrees

Career summary: Police and Detectives

Average Salary


National Average, Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook


5% job growth by 2028, which is as fast as average

Earn a degree in criminal justice and legal from an accredited college

According to Wikipedia, “criminal justice refers to the system used by government to maintain social control, prevent crime, enforce laws, and administer justice.” The means of doing so are accomplished through several different agencies as directed by both the federal and state governments.


Criminal justice and legal original

What classes will I take to get my criminal justice degree?

To earn an associate’s degree, you’ll study basic procedures for criminal justice, including methods for evidentiary law and collection, crime scene processes, forensics, and interrogation techniques. From here, you may decide to specialize further. For example, some colleges offer concentrations in juvenile corrections or crime scene, criminal, and forensic investigation. Subjects like Internet security, public safety, information control, and witness processing may be covered as you enter more advanced programs, like bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The coursework incorporates elements of science and technologies, math, law, and sociology to teach you how to analyze evidence and understand the role of legal systems in criminal investigation.

Job Description

What kinds of jobs could I get with a criminal degree?

Common career paths in criminal justice include special agent, detective, investigator, police detective, FBI agent, and more. Most employers are in the public sector. You can also choose to operate privately for clients. Related occupations are such as licensing and insurance examiners, fire inspectors, immigration and customs officers, security guards, accountants, financial advisors, and correctional officers.


How much could I make?

Criminal investigators and detectives make a median wage of $68,030. The west and east coast regions generally pay best. As a private detective or investigator, you’re more likely to receive average $50,510. Virginia, Texas, and Arkansas are the highest paying.

Sources: and

Career Outlook

How is the job market?

The employment growth is projected to be much faster than average, however, take note that there is serious competition. Increased securities, more connectivity, and an expanding need for protection of private and confidential property, spur the growth. Criminal investigation is changing. Illegal activities on the Internet may influence your work to be on the cyber theater of war.

Career Path

What skills do I need?

You need to have critical thinking and complex problem solving skills to get into criminal investigation. If you like puzzles, you’ll find criminal investigation an exciting, real-life challenge. With the aid of technology to enhance your ability, you’ll piece clues and events together with logic and science to reconstruct a snapshot of the crime. Active listening and social sensitivity are also crucial. You need to able to pick out the most trivial details and observe behaviors closely. Good communication skills will be necessary for you to properly express your own conclusions. Certain proficiencies with computers, software, chemistry, and organization are likely needed as well.

Salary and career outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learning Format



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