As a criminology or criminal justice major, you are probably interested in looking into the available jobs for a criminologist as you approach graduation. These jobs have different requirements, but you’ll find entry-level positions that you qualify for right out of college with a bachelor’s degree, as well as those that require an advanced degree. These jobs will help you use all the research and other skills you developed in college.
One position you might find interesting is a corrections officer. Corrections officers work in prisons, though some also work in county or city jails. They are the ones responsible for keeping the inmates in line and following all the rules of the correctional facility. After going through some training, corrections officers usually need to pass an exam before working on the job.
Jobs for a criminologist include jobs as parole officers and probation officers. Parole occurs when an incarcerated criminal leaves jail and must then must meet certain conditions of their release. Parole officers do home visits and meet with convicts on a regular basis to ensure he or she is in compliance. Probation officers work with those who receive probation for a criminal offense, rather than jail time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those working in this field earn a median salary of more than $50,000 a year.
If you prefer working in academia over working in a correctional institution, you might decide to work as a criminology professor. The requirements for becoming a professor vary between schools. Community colleges that offer associate’s degrees in criminal justice may hire teachers with a few years of experience and a bachelor’s degree, but most community colleges only hire professors with at least a master’s degree. To work in a standard four-year college, you usually need a PhD and some experience. You’ll also need to stay informed about major criminal cases and any changes in the criminal justice system.
Of all the criminologist jobs available today, one of the more popular ones is that of a police officer. You can work at the county, city or state level or work for a local sheriff’s department. Police officers patrol streets on foot or car, but some areas use smaller vehicles like golf carts or bikes and have officers who patrol on horseback. You must have a keen eye for detail and the ability to keep an eye on your surroundings. Police officers must be in good physical shape and pass a physical exam as well as a mental exam. Some regions require that you go through police academy training too.
As you look at some of the more popular jobs in criminology, you’ll likely find that most involve working in small groups and around other people. Working as a private investigator is a good choice for independent thinkers and those who like being alone. As a PI, you investigate cases for your clients. While some track spouses during divorce cases or work with companies to determine if an injured worker deserves compensation, others do background checks and investigate cases for the government.
Criminology jobs require that workers have at least a bachelor’s degree, but you’ll also find jobs suitable for those with an associate’s degree and positions that require a graduate degree. The top jobs for a criminologist include police officer, corrections officer, parole officer, professor and private investigator.
Related Resource: 20 Best Online Schools for Criminology 2017