College Resources

Career Tracks: Criminal Justice

This curriculum is designed to provide professionally educated and competent criminal justice practitioners.

Experiences in the classroom, internships and simulated situations provide the student with the basis for and understanding of the laws and procedures required of law enforcement agencies, courts and correctional institutions. One must be 21 years old to work in the criminal justice field. Disqualifying factors that may affect a decision to choose this curriculum are:

  • DUI conviction

  • criminal record

  • bad driving record

  • bad credit rating

  • past use of illegal drugs
     

Duties

Graduates in this field may be required to:

  • ensure that laws are followed

  • protect the lives and property of community citizens

  • patrol community areas to watch for traffic problems, fires, robbery or other problems

  • respond to reports of emergencies, criminal actions and accidents

  • apprehend criminal offenders

  • complete administrative and investigative reports

  • participate in court proceedings when necessary

  • do investigative work as needed and assigned

  • render service to members of community
     

Working Conditions

Graduates in this field commonly experience:

  • partly office / partly outdoors

  • some degree of danger exists

  • very structured and confined environment (prison / jail)

  • work under little direct supervision

  • work in cooperation with others

  • work under stress in emergency situations

  • considerable paperwork

  • work weekends, holidays, nights, overtime as needed
     

Physical Demands

  • mildly active (some walking, standing, moving about)

  • lift to 50 lbs.
     

Characteristics & Temperament

Graduates in this field should have:

  • ability to work with data (numbers, symbols, words)

  • excellent written and oral communication skills

  • ability to work cooperatively with people of all backgrounds

  • ability to "catch on" quickly

  • mechanical reasoning (understand how things work and how to fix them)

  • ability to proofread; avoid errors in writing and computation

  • good motor coordination (hand / eye coordination, accurate and swift movement, finger/manual dexterity)

  • ability to make generalizations, evaluations or decisions

  • ability to deal with and work under stress

  • ability to deal with critical, unusual or dangerous situations

  • ability to work with speed and sustained attention

  • ability to change form one task to another quickly and efficiently

  • ability to maintain composure under stress

  • self-discipline
     

Employment Outlook

Graduates in this field can expect the following developments:

  • salary average: $27,489.00 for 2011 - 2013 graduates

  • 77% placement rate for 2011 - 2013 graduates

  • employment in cities and towns of all sizes

  • some entry level positions: police officer, deputy, dispatcher, corrections officer, trooper, private security officer, juvenile court officer, probation technician and with variety of positions in social services agencies

  • advancement opportunities are good for associate's degree graduates

  • unlimited possibilities with more education and training
     

Employers

Some recent graduates have found work at: