Having a degree in Criminal Justice is the stepping-stone for many careers relating to law enforcement and the justice system. This field hosts dedicated individuals who want to protect the innocent and insure society’s safety.
An Evidence Technician handles and observes all the evidence produced in an investigation. Much of their time is spent in a lab testing for forensics; however, they occasionally attend a crime scene where they will collect evidence alongside the police department. They often photograph the scene to later reflect on the placement of objects or people. Their main concern is to figure out what happened at the scene of the crime by using the evidence. If they can form a story that is factually and scientifically supported, it can make a huge difference in the outcome of a trial. Evidence Technicians earn roughly $50,000 per year and the expected career growth is 20%.
Court Reporters attend legal events that require transcribing. They are similar to stenographers in that they copy down all the dialogue and action with a courtroom. They keep the official dialogue that lawyers and judges will refer back to throughout the case. Court Reporters will give their notes to those who are deaf or hard of hearing so they can keep up with the proceedings. In some cases, they are allowed to use digital recording devices, while in others they will hand type on a stenograph. They must provide a completely accurate copy of the dialogue because it can affect the outcome of a case. The average salary is $47,000 per year and the career is expected to grow by 14% in the next five years.
Members of the police force are an essential part of society. They enforce laws and help out in any kind of disaster. Police will patrol the streets to look for signs of danger and have the authority to arrest suspects. They are also in charge of issuing citations for traffic related offenses. All members are required to fill out a large amount of paper work daily, regarding any citations or arrest they might have made. They must give a detailed analysis of their accounts in case there are any legal repercussions later on. Many policemen and women are called to the stand to testify in court. They will identify perpetrators and give verbal accounts of their actions. The average annual salary is $55,000 and has an anticipated growth of 7% through 2020.
While there are many sections of law, those who participate in criminal law are generally the products of Criminal Justice degrees. The prosecution side represents the state, a company, or an individual who is charging another with a violation of justice. The defense represents the person or company who is being charged. Regardless of their representation, many of their daily duties are the same. Criminal lawyers are in charge of proving a point regarding either their own client or the opposition. They conduct thorough research and find evidence to support their claims. They must communicate and advice their client to the best of their ability based on past experience. While in court, they will verbally present their case before either a judge or jury and argue their side. Depending on if you work for the government or an agency, the average salary can range from $50,000 to $100,000. Those who work for private practices earn significantly more.
A criminologist studies a mixture of criminal justice, psychology, and sociology to attempt to understand the minds of criminals and the affects their actions have on society. They use this knowledge to try and prevent future occurrences. Criminologists study statistics that affect individuals and their situations, such as education, race, and crime relativity. Not only do they interview and make psychological judgments of the perpetrators, they interview family and friends who are affected on either side. They will occasionally testify in court to explain how a client’s mental activity was affected by surrounding environments or how a family has reacted to the situation. Both the prosecution and the defense use criminologists due to the wide range of their observations. The average salary is $73,000 and the career is expected to grow by 17%.
Careers in the criminal justice field are both well respected and versatile. If you are leaning towards law, science, or fieldwork, this may be the degree and career path for you.