5 Unconventional Careers for a Criminal Justice degree

You may be asking yourself, “What job can I get with a criminal justice degree?” 

When most people think of careers for those who have earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, they tend to think of police officers, FBI agents, or forensic scientists. What many people don’t realize is that there are a vast number of other jobs in the criminal justice field for a criminal justice major.

Below is a list of out-of-the-box career possibilities for those interested in criminal justice.

1. Victim Advocate

Victim advocates work with victims of crimes and provide emotional support throughout the entire process. Often they accompany victims and their families throughout the legal process and are highly knowledgeable of victims’ rights as well as the information and processes the victims need to go through. 

A victim advocate’s salary range is a bit all over the board and tends to depend on your experience level. On average, they earn $16.14 per hour, according to Payscale.com. Victim advocates can work for a variety of different organizations including, but not limited to, nonprofits and government agencies.

2. Arson investigator

Arson investigators work after a blaze to determine the cause and whether or not criminal intent was involved. They work with fire departments, law enforcement, and the whole of the criminal justice system and make, on average, $52,233 per year according to Glassdoor. While further training is needed in order to properly understand the ins and outs of fire investigation, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice provides the basic understanding necessary for the job.

3. Park ranger

If you love the outdoors and want to spend your days working in a national park, a potential career path for you is to become a park ranger. Park rangers work to protect and preserve parks across the country. This includes larger parks such as Yellowstone National Park or Yosemite National Park as well as lesser-known parks like Prince Gallitzin State Park or Tuscarora State Park. Often, park rangers have the authority to enact fines and arrest those who violate the law specifically in national and state parks. 

On average, park rangers who work for the federal government make $69,395.60 per year as a base pay, with the potential for higher pay depending on the area and specific job requirements.

4. Court clerk

Judges and lawyers typically are front and center when you think about courtrooms, but the court clerk, or court administrator, is vital to keeping the courts going. They provide clerical duties and prepare the docket of cases for the courts. They also work with judges and the courts to secure information, answer official correspondence, and verify the authenticity of important documents. Without a court clerk doing all of these tasks, among many others, courts would not be able to run efficiently. The national average, according to Ziprecruiter is $33,664 per year, though that can depend on the area, experience level, among other factors.

5. Fish and Game Warden

Fish and game wardens, sometimes referred to as wildlife officers or conversation officers, are employed through a state’s fish, parks and wildlife department or through the US Fish and Wildlife Service within the Department of the Interior. Their job description varies depending on the specific area of the country they work in, but often involves monitoring and managing wildlife populations. They can also be involved in apprehending poachers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median earnings for fish and game wardens is about $58,040 per year. 

These options represent some of the more unconventional places that a criminal justice bachelor’s degree recipient can work. 

Do you want to learn more about justice and law? Check out our Bachelor of Professional Studies in Criminal Justice program page or sign up using the form below. 

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