Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

The 10 Biggest Labor Showdowns in U.S. History

By Nancy Farrell

When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker proposed a bill that would require public employees of the state to contribute more of their pay to pension and health insurance funds, he probably had no idea of the fight he was starting. But the protesting teachers and state workers at the Wisconsin State Capitol are only the latest in a long history of American workers who’ve banded together to fight for collective bargaining rights and pay scales based on their own rules. Our nation’s history is full of such stories. Hopefully both sides in the Wisconsin battle can look to the past and learn what not to do. (Photo credit: AP.)

  1. The Homestead Strike: The turn of the 20th century saw plenty of labor disputes as the country continued to figure out how to navigate in an industrialized age. The 1892 Homestead Strike is a perfect example. Carnegie Steel’s plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania, was one of the most advanced around, and a portion of the iron and steel workers there were members of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, or AA. After a series of strikes and negotiations, the AA went head-to-head with executive Henry Clay Frick in spring 1892 and asked for a wage increase; he countered with a drastic cut. When no agreement was reached, Frick locked AA members out of the plant on June 29, 1892, prompting a strike. Strikers battled with armed Pinkteron agents hired by Frick as the strike went on, and the state militia eventually came in. (Never a good sign.) When a wingnut anarchist unaffiliated with AA tried to assassinate Frick, public support for AA waned, and the strike eventually ended in November. The result was a huge moral defeat for AA and flagging membership.
  2. The Ludlow Massacre: Every now and then, labor showdowns go beyond the typical heated rhetoric and actually rack up casualties. Such was the case with what would come to be known as the Ludlow Massacre, which took place in Ludlow, Colorado, in spring 1914. The Colorado Coal Strike stretched for more than a year through 1913 and ’14, organized by the United Mine Workes of America as a way to barter for wages and rights for workers serving the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company, the Victor-American Fuel Company, and the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company. About 1,200 workers called a strike in fall 1913, and soon after they began clashing with hired agents called in as strike-breakers. By April 1914, the National Guard had been called in, and tensions led to a firefight that claimed 19 lives, including two women and four children who suffocated to death in a tent set on fire. The incident set off a guerilla war between the sides that took even more lives, and the battle and strike lasted until December 1914, when the UMWA ran low on cash and ended the strike.
  3. The Postal Service Strike of 1970: Although it only lasted for two weeks, this strike by mail carriers was a landmark in the development of collective bargaining rights for the group. Until that point, collective bargaining had been forbidden, and many workers were upset at not having a broader recourse for low pay and poor benefits. The strike began in New York City in mid-March 1970 and would eventually spread to include more than 200,000 employees. The effect was immediate: suddenly, the mail stopped getting delivered, and the country almost shut down. President Nixon made a TV appearance to try and end the strike, but to no avail. He eventually had members of the Armed Forces step in to deliver the mail. The strike turned out to be a victory for the postal workers: they negotiated to get collective bargaining and made headway that would eventually lead to the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, which eliminated the cabinet-level Post Office Department and created the independent United States Postal Service.
  4. The WGA Strike of 2007: Artist strikes in Hollywood are hardly unusual, but the Writers Guild of America strike that ran from November 2007 to February 2008 dealt with a new twist: digital media. At issue were the residuals that writers earned from sales of their works in new formats, specifically streaming and downloaded video, which was something that didn’t even exist in any real way when their original payment agreements had been struck. The WGA entered its regular negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (they do so every three years) but couldn’t see eye to eye on digital royalties. As a result, writers went on strike, which meant any films in production couldn’t do rewrites, and all TV series in production were cut short for that season. Legions of actors and actresses picketed with writers and appeared in promo videos for the cause, putting public sympathies largely with the creatives. The two sides eventually reached an agreement, and TV series jumped back into production to try and make up for lost time.
  5. The Air Traffic Controllers’ Strike of 1981: In August of 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization went on strike to demand higher wages and a 32-hour workweek. The group had been around since 1968 and had backed Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential race. Ironically, Reagan became their biggest foe less than a year after he took office. When they struck, they violated a law barring government unions from striking, so Reagan ordered them to return to work or risk their jobs permanently. However, of the 13,000 controllers on strike, only 10 percent went back to work. Reagan called their bluff and fired the rest, banning them from federal service (an order that woudn’t be overturned until Clinton took office) and going about the business of restaffing the work force. PATCO was decertified shortly thereafter.
  6. The Pullman Strike: The Pullman Strike kicked off in May 1894 with what’s called a wildcat strike, or a strike undertaken by workers without the say-so of union officials. About 3,000 employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company, located in Pullman, Illinois, struck to protest wage cuts, and the result was a virtual shut-down of Chicago traffic. The workers were part of the American Railway Union, headed by Eugene V. Debs, one of the most powerful union leaders in history. A nationwide Pullman boycott kicked in and eventually spread to a quarter of a million workers across half the country. President Grover Cleveland eventually broke up the strike with the aid of the Army and U.S. Marshals, though not without a fight: all told, 13 strikers died and dozens more were wounded. Debs went to jail for ignoring an injunction to end the strike.
  7. The NHL Lockout of 1994: Disputes between atheletes and owners are common enough (the NFL is currently kicking up dirt for the same reasons), but this one was severe enough to shorten an entire season of pro hockey. A fight over salary caps and revenue sharing led to a lockout that began on October 1, 1994, and didn’t end until January 11, 1995. The subsequent season was only 48 games long, though during the lockout the players’ association staged a "4-on-4 Challenge" tournament in Canada.
  8. The Chicago Teamsters’ Strike of 1905: This Teamsters’ Strike was special in that it was a sympathy strike begun in summer 1905 to show support for a local union of clothing workers, who struck for better pay and to protest the use of non-union subcontractors. Soon enough, the Teamsters and just about every other union in Chicago had joined in via sympathy strikes, essentially damaging not only Montgomery Ward (the department store that was the original target) but just about every major retailer in the area. The strike was marred by riots and fights, and by the time the strike came to a close in late July, more than 20 people were dead with hundreds more injured. The strike ended amid allegations of graft and corruption that damaged public support for the companies and the unions alike.
  9. The Florida Teachers’ Strike of 1968: One of the first statewide teacher strikes in U.S. history, if not the very first, this 1968 Florida dispute was waged by teachers and members of the Florida Education Association who wanted to receive higher pay and benefits in accordance with rising attendance in schools. Despite a growing student body from the baby boom, the schools remained underfunded and outdated, leading to low teacher morale. Even after the governor signed a package to raise taxes and inject some funds into the schools, many teachers complained that he didn’t go far enough, and they struck in February. Schools closes throughout the state, with some school districts feeling the effects for a week while others saw the strike last for months. At its peak, the strike claimed more than 25,000 educators. The lack of uniformity meant an eventual anticlimactic end as teachers eventually returned to work.
  10. The Diamond Walnut Strike: Some strikes last for months, or even a year or two, but the Diamond Walnut workers’ strike lasted 14 years, from 1991-2005. In the mid-1980s, when California’s Diamond Walnut was facing hard times, they asked workers to take pay cuts that went up to 40 percent, and though it was a brutal choice, many of them complied. Yet by the time the company’s fortunes turned around in the 1990s, union workers hadn’t had their pay returned to earlier levels. Contract negotiations broke down, and workers went on strike in the fall of 1991. Yet the company, prepared for the strike, hired replacement workers and ignored strikers’ requests. It took 14 years for the company to acquiesce to union demands, during which time many strikers suffered financially and emotionally. The whole affair is a reminder of how brutally labor and management can treat each other when no one wants to help the other out.

Becoming a Homeland Security Officer: How to Become a Homeland Security Officer

Homeland security officers are responsible for ensuring the continued safety of the United States of America and its citizens and visitors. Depending on the exact position worked, homeland security officers may work in an office tracking, evaluating, and following up on terrorist threats or in the field checking for illegal immigrants at the country’s borders or patrolling the perimeter at major airports and shipping terminals. With globalization making the world smaller and smaller, the need for homeland security officers is at an all-time high to keep the country safe from threats to national security.



Degree Requirements to Become a Homeland Security Officer:

To prepare for a career in homeland security in the criminal justice field, you will need to earn a degree in a field related to the type of work you desire to pursue. For example, if you wish to work in homeland security as a law enforcement officer, you will need to earn a degree in law enforcement and receive the proper graduate training. On the other hand, if you wish to work in homeland security as an intelligence coordinator, you will need to earn a degree in computer science or another related field. In many cases, a degree in criminal justice is a great way to enter the field.

Duties of a Homeland Security Officer: What are the Duties / Traits of a Successful Homeland Security Officer?

As a homeland security officer, your chief duty will be to protect the country from terrorist threats. You will patrol a designated area and look out for suspicious items as well as evaluate potential terror threats posed by people or the cargo they are carrying. You will also look over tips of security threats from the public and determine which are legitimate and which are fake. Some may even work in ensuring that all the official documents for people entering the country are authentic. When there is a plausible terror threat, you must work with other officers and officials to neutralize the threat in order to maintain national security.

Homeland Security Officer Salary: How Much Does a Homeland Security Officer Make?

The earnings of homeland security officers vary depending on where they work. For example, those who work specifically in emergency management earned a median salary of $45,670 annually in 2004, the most recent information available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the other hand, border patrol agents earn about $25,195 to $31,209 annually with regular pay increases as they gain more experience.

United States Marshal: Career Information

To become a United States Marshal, you must qualify in a number of areas. You must be between the ages of 21 and 36 years old, have a valid driver’s license and pass a background check. U.S. Marshals also need to have a Bachelor’s degree or at least three years of work or educational experience that is approved by the agency.

Top Schools Offering U.S. Marshal Degree Programs:

The links below will allow you to request enrollment information from top national schools that offer a US Marshal degree program:



Degree Requirements to become a U.S. Marshal:

Degree programs for U.S. Marshals include homeland security, criminal justice, or law enforcement. By completing one of these programs, you will learn about the policies, laws, psychology and players that define the U.S. criminal justice system and counter terrorism efforts. U.S. Marshals will also have to undergo a physical examination and possibly some training before being allowed into the field.

Duties of a U.S. Marshal: What are the duties / traits of a successful U.S. Marshal?

U.S. Marshals are part of a federal law enforcement agency. They are responsible for finding fugitives and bringing them to justice. U.S. Marshals conduct surveillance, make arrests and are often involved in dangerous, highly stressful situations.

U.S. Marshal Salary: How much does a U.S. Marshal make?

U.S. Marshals are hired at different levels, and entry level marshals can expect to earn $27,000 and $34,000 or $31,000 and $39,000, depending on where you live. After you earn more experience, you may be able to earn much more.

Sheriff Career Information

Sheriffs are police officers at the county level and are responsible for a number of law enforcement duties. All Sheriffs must fit the following criteria: You must be a U.S. citizen, at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma or GED and an Associate’s degree. If you are accepted into the Sheriff’s Academy, you will be enrolled in a training program to teach you about your specific duties.

Schools that offer related degrees:

The links below will allow you to request free enrollment information directly from national schools that offer Sheriff related degree programs:


Degree Requirements to become a Sheriff:

Most sheriff’s offices require their applicants to have an Associate’s degree in a field like criminal justice. A Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice or a related subject area is also worth pursuing if you think it will give you a better chance of being accepted. These degree programs will instruct you in areas like law enforcement, corrections, criminal psychology, juvenile justice and more. You may be able to specialize in one of these areas, depending on your program.

Duties of a Sheriff: What are the duties / traits of a successful Sheriff?

Sheriffs control the law enforcement rules, officers and techniques in their county. From traffic violations to reporting and carrying out arrest warrants to arresting criminals to interviewing witnesses to keeping the peace generally, sheriffs are responsible for investigating and monitoring any suspect behavior or incidents in their area. Sheriffs may also be needed to keep order in courtrooms.

Sheriff Salary: How much does a Sheriff make?

The average yearly salary for a sheriff in the United States is between $45,000 and $50,000, though some can earn up to $70,000. The specific amount depends on your county.

Becoming a Probation Officer: How to become a Probation Officer

Probation officers have a wide range of duties, from analyzing a client’s behavior and record to communicating with family members and employers of clients to working with lawyers and judges. In order to become qualified for all of these responsibilities, you will need to complete at least a four-year degree, depending on the type of court you want to work with. It is also helpful to have some previous work experience in a related field, like corrections or social psychology.

Top Schools Offering Probation Officer Degree Programs:

The links below will allow you to request free enrollment information directly from top national schools that offer a Probation Officer degree program:


Degree Requirements to become a Probation Officer:

Useful degrees for those wanting to become probation officers include criminal justice, social psychology, criminal psychology, corrections or social work. In addition, students may want to take a couple of computer science classes, as probation officers need to manage a lot of data on the computer. All of these majors and courses will help students develop the analytical and critical thinking skills they need to evaluate clients and issues reports to lawyers and judges.

Duties of a Probation Officer: What are the duties / traits of a successful probation officer?

After going through a training program, probation officers will be expected to meet with offenders who do not need to go to prison for their crime but do need a recommended probation sentence. Probation officers can recommend a probation sentence by evaluating the crime, the client’s record and meeting with his or her family members, friends and employers. They can conduct their own investigations in order to write up reports, and they also use monitoring devices and drug tests to make sure their clients are being rehabilitated.

Probation Officer Salary: How much does a probation officer make?

The salary for probation officers varies according to the type of clients they work with, the court system they are involved in and the city or region they live in. The average U.S. salary for probation officers is around $40,000, but Chief probation officers can earn up to $100,000.

Becoming a Private Security Guard: How to become a Private Security Guard

Becoming a private security guard means that you have a lot of career options open to you, from protecting high-profile professionals at a business to working for a celebrity to working for a store or bank. Just as the job outlook for private security guards is diverse, so are the educational and professional training requirements. Depending on what kind of personal security you want to pursue, you may have to go to law enforcement training school or college, or have experience working in law enforcement. Most positions require that the applicant is at least 18 years old.

Top Schools Offering Private Security Guard Degree Programs:

The links below will allow you to request free enrollment information directly from top national schools that offer a Security Guard degree program:



Degree Requirements to become a Private Security Guard:

If the position that you are applying for does require a degree in criminal justice or law enforcement, you may need to earn an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree. Courses in these programs will probably cover topics in security management, corrections, loss prevention, public safety, terrorism, business security, private security and more. Other positions may only require a law enforcement training program or experience working in a similar position in the industry.

Duties of a Private Security Guard: What are the duties / traits of a successful private security guard?

Private security guards are expected to evaluate situations, people, dialogue and environments in order to protect the public, their business or their one client. They need to be alert and may even be trained to operate or monitor different types of surveillance systems. Depending on their position, they may also be expected to exert some physical force against an offending person or group and/or carry a weapon.

Private Security Guard Salary: How much does a private security guard make?

Private security guards who work for a private firm can earn around $40,000 – $50,000 annually, while government security agents earn around $34,000 – $36,000. Some contract personal security guards could earn up to $96,000 and more.

Becoming a Private Investigator: How to become a Private Investigator

Though there is no specific career path defined for private investigators, a college degree in a criminal justice-related field is recommended. If you want to be self-employed, you should also have some previous work experience in law enforcement or criminal justice so that your clients will be assured that you know how to take on your duties. If you work for a firm, a four-year degree, background check, professional experience and even a physical evaluation may be needed.



Top Schools Offering Private Investigator Degree Programs:

The links below will allow you to request free enrollment information directly from top national schools that offer a Private Investigator degree program:



Degree Requirements to become a Private Investigator:

Private investigators often work in specialized areas, so picking a degree program that matches your specific interests would be beneficial. Possible subject areas include cybersecurity, cyberterrorism, corrections, juvenile justice, criminal psychology, social psychology, finance and others. These courses and programs would prepare you to work with advanced technological systems, understand how hackers and online scammers operate, understand the basics of fraud and money laundering, and get into the mind of a criminal.

Duties of a Private Investigator: What are the duties / traits of a successful private investigator?

Private investigators will need to conduct surveillance, interview lots of witnesses, use technology and make sure that they are always abiding by privacy laws and other Constitutional rights. They may work with other agencies or police departments on cases involving kidnapping and fraud, or they may be employed to catch a cheating spouse or an employee suspected of unethical behavior. Private investigators need to have excellent critical thinking skills and communication skills so that they can make logical deductions and get information from witnesses, lawyers and clients.

Private Investigator Salary: How much does a private investigator make?

The salary of a private investigator relies on the number of clients he or she is able to recruit. The average salary range is between $19,000 and $38,000.

Becoming a Police Officer: How to become a Police Officer

Top Schools Offering Police Officer Degree Programs:

The links below will allow you to request free enrollment information directly from top national schools that offer a Police Officer degree program:



The most basic requirements for police officer positions require applicants to have a GED or high school diploma, be at least 20 years old, and be a U.S. citizen. Many training programs also ask that applicants have some college education, ranging from an Associate’s degree to having a Bachelor’s degree. Police officers also undergo a special training program once they are admitted into the academy. The length of this training program depends on your force and your specialization, if you have one.

Degree Requirements to become a Police Officer:

If you choose to pursue a college education or if you are required to have a degree before you apply for a police officer position, consider enrolling in a program that focuses on criminal justice. If you decide to apply for a job with a state or federal force, you will have to earn a Bachelor’s degree first. Related degrees and areas of study that you may find interesting include law enforcement, forensic science, forensic psychology, corrections and criminal investigations.

Duties of a Police Officer: What are the duties / traits of a successful Police Officer?

Once you have graduated from the appropriate academic and professional training programs, you will be ready to enforce the laws of your city, state or country. Police officers are expected to be alert with good people skills and an analytical mind. Your duties could include anything from managing a security system or force to conducting traffic to managing evidence to interviewing witnesses to tracking down suspects.

Police Officer Salary: How much does a police officer make?

The yearly salaries for police officers definitely varies by location. Police officers in major U.S. cities can start earning around $55,000 or more their first year. The median salary for the country hovers around $46,000.

Becoming a Police Detective: How to become a Police Detective

This exciting career involves a range of duties, and job applicants must be organized, critical thinkers who undergo academic and practical training. To become a police detective, you need to have some college background, preferably a four-year degree. If you are accepted into a program, you will most likely need to participate in academy training if you haven’t already received related training.

Top Schools Offering Police Detective Degree Programs:

The links below will allow you to request free enrollment information directly from top national schools that offer a Police Detective degree program:



Degree Requirements to become a Police Detective:

Because detectives have more responsibilities than regular police officers, they need to meet higher educational standards. A college degree in an area like criminal justice, criminal law or psychology are especially useful. These degrees cover topics that police detectives encounter in the real world, including racial prejudices, juvenile justice, criminal behavior, the Constitution and others.

Duties of a Police Detective: What are the duties / traits of a successful Police Detective?

Police detectives have exciting careers and are dedicated to protecting their communities. Detectives investigate crimes, interview suspects and witnesses, conduct arrests, work with other law enforcement professionals and lawyers and manage evidence. Paperwork is another big part of the job, and most police detectives are assigned a specialized unit that focuses on one type of crime.

Police Detective Salary: How much does a Police Detective make?

On average, police detectives can earn around $54,000. That range extends to about $32,000 on the low end and up to $86,000 on the high end.

Becoming a Paralegal: How to become a Paralegal

The requirements for becoming a paralegal vary based on the work environment you wish to work for. Some law firms may require you to have a complete four-year degree in paralegal studies, while other offices may only ask applicants to have earned an Associate’s degree or shorter professional program from a business school or trade school. Paralegals may want to consider taking the national certification exam for legal assistants, but it usually isn’t needed.


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Top Schools Offering Paralegal Degree Programs:

The links below will allow you to request free enrollment information directly from top national schools that offer a Paralegal degree program:



Degree Requirements to become a Paralegal:

There are currently numerous programs available to those students who want to become paralegals. Some business schools and vocational schools offer legal assistant programs that last only a few months or a year, while other, more in-depth programs can last four years. Typically, paralegals in one of these programs will learn legal terminology, how to draft legal reports and briefs, office management skills, good writing skills and some computer skills.

Duties of a Paralegal: What are the duties / traits of a successful paralegal?

Paralegals are chiefly responsible for assisting lawyers with basic office duties like filing, scheduling appointments, writing up legal briefs, and sometimes even interviewing witnesses. They also need to conduct research on specific cases, rulings, policies and even judges. Paralegals can work for government agencies, independent law firms, or corporate law offices.

Paralegal Salary: How much does a paralegal make?

The average paralegal salary for a legal services office is around $38,000, while paralegals working for the federal government can earn nearly $60,000. This amount varies on the size of your office and your own previous experience.

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