Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

Becoming a Forensic Psychologist: How to become a Forensic Psychologist

To become a licensed psychologist working in the criminal justice system, you will need to earn a doctoral degree and be responsible for designing your own degree programs. Through your undergraduate and/or graduate program, you should also pursue internships and fellowships to give you field experience. Once you graduate, you can take a licensing test or certification test to become a psychologist.


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Top Schools Offering Forensic Psychologist Degree Programs:

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



Degree Requirements to become a Forensic Psychologist:

It may be hard for you to find a designated college program just for forensic psychologists, but you will be able to design your own degree based on psychology courses and criminal justice classes. Once you enter graduate school, you may find it easier to take more specialized courses in forensics and criminal psychology, as well as social psychology, race and ethnic issues, public policy, the court systems, juvenile justice and others. These courses will prepare you to evaluate defendants, clients and the criminal justice system with an interdisciplinary approach, considering the different laws, social issues, economic issues, policies and relationships that shape criminals, the accused, and the people that represent or punish them in the courts.

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

Forensic psychologists are responsible for analyzing criminal behavior, including mental cognizance. They must interview defendants and inmates and then communicate their findings to lawyers and judges through testimony or reports. Sometimes, forensic psychologists also teach at universities and consult for probation and parole agencies, as well as the police department or district attorney’s office.

Forensic Psychologist Salary: How much does a forensic psychologist make?

Entry-level forensic psychologists typically earn around $53,000 per year, but depending on their supplemental jobs — like teaching at a university — and their levels of experience, they can earn much higher salaries.

Customs Agent Career Information

Customs agents are seeing more and more responsibilities because of terrorism surveillance and changing immigration policies. In order to become a customs agent, you will need to have a some educational experience, be a U.S. citizen, and be at least twenty years old. Some may also be required to have relevant job experience.

Top Schools Offering Customs Agent Degree Programs:

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



Degree Requirements to become a Customs Agent:

Degrees relevant to a career as a customs agent include criminal justice and international affairs. Topics like the Constitution, money laundering, smuggling, narcotics, child pornography and fraud will be covered in these classes and will be a part of everyday work for a customs agent. A bachelor’s degree is required for lower level customs agents, and at least one year of graduate education is required for higher level employees. In addition to educational experience, customs agents need to prove that they are in good standing physically, as they need to be alert and in good shape in order to be as vigilant as possible.

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

Customs agents are in charge of inspecting the luggage, clothing and transportation systems taken by visitors to the United States and citizens returning from a visit abroad. Evaluating these items may include weighing or measuring cargo, counting luggage or looking for drugs and other illegal items. At times, customs agents may also have to arrest and question suspects.

Customs Agent Salary: How much does a Customs Agent make?

Depending on your assigned level, you could make between $28,349 and $45,648 per year.

Becoming a Criminologist: How to become a Criminologist

This specialized position requires individuals who are highly analytical and insightful. Criminologists study criminal law and criminal behavior, so a graduate-level degree is required. Depending on where you work, you may need a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. if you plan to teach at a university.




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Top Schools Offering Criminologist Degree Programs:

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



Degree Requirements to become a Criminologist:

Because criminologists need to have a graduate level degree, there isn’t necessarily a required undergraduate degree, though some schools may wish their applicants to have Bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, history, political science, or a related field. Once you reach the graduate level, however, your courses will include studies in criminology, sociology, psychology, law, and even design and systems analysis. Elective classes at the undergraduate or graduate level may also include computer science, statistics, logic or writing-intensive classes.

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

Some criminologists are employed by government agencies or private organizations to conduct research and advise on specific cases and the overall criminal justice system. These professionals need to understand all the latest developments in criminal psychology, juvenile justice, corrections, drug addiction, race and the criminal justice system, victimology and more. Other criminologists prefer to teach the subject at a university, where they research and conduct classes in law reform, psychology and other related topics.

Criminologist Salary: How much does a Criminologist make?

Because the career options for criminologists are so varied, the salary outlook ranges from $38,000 to over $80,000 for professors and teachers, and between $36,000 and $45,000 for professionals.

Criminal Justice Growth for the Next Decade

If you flip on the television and surf through a few channels, chances are you’ll run across a few riveting programs that highlight the excitement of the criminal justice field. Whether the show is focused on crime scene forensics like on CSI, police work like on The Shield, or on courtroom proceedings like on Law & Order and even Judge Judy, it is clear that criminal justice is something many people find fascinating. But the fascination doesn’t have to end once the credits begin rolling – in fact, entering the criminal justice field is a very possible goal, especially with the rapid rate of growth that many justice occupations are experiencing.

Law enforcement positions are by far the fastest growing occupations in the criminal justice field. It is also the largest employer in the field, with 17,876 State and local law enforcement agencies in the country, according to the 2004 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Law enforcement positions include uniformed police officers, police detectives, and other security forces like border control. In 2004, there were more than 800,000 full-time law enforcement officers working in agencies across the nation, the Bureau reports, and undoubtedly that number has grown since then. With an increasing population, more police officers will be needed to ensure the safety of communities and most local agencies will open their doors to new recruits looking to join the team.

Paralegal positions are another quickly growing sector of criminal justice. Though most televised courtroom dramas focus on lawyers and judges, paralegals play an important role in courtroom proceedings as well. It is their work that helps lawyers to prepare for their cases as paralegals do most of the legwork when it comes to case preparation; they research the claims and cases, verify facts, look over relevant legal histories, and also gather any other information that could influence the case. It is their work that lawyers look over to determine how to best handle a case. Job opportunities are expected to increase a breathtaking 28 percent during the 2008-2018 decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pouring approximately 74,100 jobs into the market. This means that now is a great time to enter the paralegal field.

These are only a couple of in-demand specialties of the criminal justice field. As the population size swells and our cities become more crowded, the demand for criminal justice majors of all niches will skyrocket to keep crime at bay and uphold justice in the courtrooms.

Becoming a Court Reporter: How to become a Court Reporter

If you want to become a court reporter, you will be able to follow a direct program that directly leads you into a position. You may enroll in court reporting school or in a court reporting program at a community college. Earning this degree or certificate may take between two and four years.



Top Schools Offering Court Reporter Degree Programs:

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



Degree Requirements to become a Court Reporter:

Court reporting programs teach students to type quickly, as many as 200 words per minute. Classes also focus on teaching courtroom language and terms, and on using the stenotype machine for transcribing what is said in the courtroom. Students will also learn computer skills and get a basic understanding of legal language and medical terminology.

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

Court reporters are responsible for typing up everything that is said on the record in a courtroom. You will need to type at a rate of around 200 words per minute and quickly translate what you hear to what you type. Court reporters should also expect to have to sit down for long periods of time and concentrate very closely.

Court Reporter Salary: How much does a court reporter make?

An entry-level court reporter may earn between $20,000 and $25,000 a year. Within five years, however, a court reporter will probably have mastered his or her skills and can earn up to $50,000.

Becoming a Court Clerk: How to become a Court Clerk

To become a court clerk, you need to be trained in administrative duties like typing, proof reading, bookkeeping and even courtroom language. Depending on the court you work for, you may or may not need a college degree, but you will need a high school diploma. Some federal courts, however, require graduate-level degrees.

Top national schools offering a Court Clerk degree program

Use the ‘More Info’ buttons below to request free enrollment information directly from the school’s you are interested in:



Degree Requirements to become a Court Clerk:

If you choose to go to school to become a court reporter, you may enroll in an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Doctoral program, depending on your court’s requirements. Degree programs in criminal justice or business would both be useful, and taking classes in a foreign language may also help you, depending on the location of your job. In these programs, you will learn valuable skills in management, organization, the language and systems of the U.S. court system and accounting.

Duties of a Court Clerk: What are the duties / traits of a successful court clerk?

Court clerks are employed to manage administrative duties of the courts. Their job includes proof reading legal documents, mailing official notifications and letters, scheduling court hearing and appointments, preparing necessary forms for judges, and filing public records. Some court clerks may also be used to transcribe everything that is said on the record in the courtroom.

Court Clerk Salary: How much does a court clerk make?

In 2004, the median salary for a county clerk was $27,300. If you have more educational and work experience and work for a higher court, however, you may earn much more.

Becoming a Compliance Officer: How to become a Compliance Officer

Compliance officers are considered criminal justice professionals, but they enforce and implement rules in all areas of the public and private sector, including environmental organizations and workers’ rights. If you’re looking for a job in this field within the criminal justice industry, you may need to take the initiative and design your own degree program. You may also be required to pass certain certification programs or enroll in a training course once you’ve been hired to learn the specific policies associated with your job.

Top Schools Offering Compliance Officer Degree Programs:

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



Degree Requirements to become a Compliance Officer:

To prepare for a job as a compliance officer in a criminal justice field, you will want to focus on a particular niche that interests you, like law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice or homeland security. Picking a concentration will help you learn the laws, terminology and systems for that field. In addition to criminal justice classes, you will also benefit from business management classes, where you will learn how to evaluate and enforce policies, write up reports, use specific computer programs and work with all kinds of different people.

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

As a compliance officer, you chief responsibility will be to ensure that laws and policies are enforced within your department. You will analyze the internal systems for affirmative action, safe work environments, health and hygiene codes and more. You will also need to write up reports that clearly reveal your findings.

Compliance Officer Salary: How much does a Compliance Officer make?

Entry-level compliance officers earned an average of $41,729 in 2008. More experienced compliance officers may be able to earn as much as $65,000 – $70,000, depending on your department, specialty and geographic location.

Becoming a Coast Guard officer: How to become a Coast Guard Officer

Because the U.S. Coast Guard is such a highly specialized force, official training is required. Those who want to become a part of the Coast Guard may wish to enter the Coast Guard Academy after high school, finish Officer Candidate School or participate in one of the Direct Commissioning Programs. A degree from a four-year university is not necessarily required.

Top Schools Offering Coast Guard Officer Degree Programs:

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



Degree Requirements to become a Coast Guard Officer:

If you do wish to enroll in the Coast Guard Academy, you will be trained in nautical science, seamanship, leadership and law enforcement. Getting into the Coast Guard Academy is competitive, so having a strong high school record is advisable. Graduates of the Coast Guard Academy are required to serve a minimum of three years.

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

Coast Guard officers have a variety of duties. From stopping illegal immigrants at the border to rescuing boaters and swimmers to confiscating illegal drugs and weapons to responding to oil spills, the Coast Guard is often called in for a number of emergencies. Missions can be completed on small boats, helicopters and other aircraft, or on large ships.

Coast Guard Officer Salary: How much does a Coast Guard officer make?

The salary range for Coast Guard officers ranges depending on your exact position. Training managers can earn up to $85,000 while officers can earn around $42,000 to $45,000.

Becoming a CIA Agent: How to become a CIA Agent

CIA agents are a group of highly qualified individuals who are entrusted by the U.S. government to conduct operations and missions abroad in order to protect American citizens and their assets. Though there is no direct track for becoming a CIA agent, those interested in this career must be very focused, highly intelligent, and probably fluent in at least one foreign language. Agents are not required to have a college degree, but it is preferred, especially if you want to work as an analyst or officer.

Top Schools Offering CIA Agent Degree Programs:

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



Degree Requirements to become a CIA Agent:

There are several different career paths within the CIA, and those wanting to become agents can pursue one of five directions: Science, Technical and Engineering, National Clandestine Service, Language Opportunities, Analytical Opportunities and Support Services. College degrees that are relevant to CIA agent work include foreign languages, sociology and psychology, politics, science, engineering, international relations, international business, surveillance and others. These areas of study will help students think with a global perspective and understand the cultures and policies of the countries they study in real life. After graduating, you may also want to consider entering the workforce in a related field or even enlisting in the military to gain experience. CIA agents may also receive additional career or physical training before entering the field.

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

CIA agents are responsible for uncovering information that helps U.S. officials design policies that are sensitive to the international political, economic and social climates. Agents may be assigned to desk work, analytical positions or business positions which can serve as a front while they gather information. Some CIA agents also perform surveillance duties and other traditional "spy" work.

CIA Agent Salary: How much does a CIA Agent make?

CIA agents typically earn between $30,000 and $60,000 each year, though there are not public records for CIA agents. This amount depends on prior experience and an agent’s education background.

Becoming a Bailiff: How to become a Bailiff

Bailiffs are employed to keep order in the courtroom and monitor jury members, prisoners and defendants when a trial lasts more than one day. They are expected to be vigilant, well-spoken and strict. Getting a degree in a criminal justice field is preferred.

Top Schools Offering Bailiff Degree Programs:

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



Degree Requirements to become a Bailiff:

Finding a degree that prepares you for work as a bailiff is not difficult, as more and more schools are beginning to offer criminal justice degrees. Specialties within that field for bailiffs include law enforcement, corrections and public safety. Generally, you must also be at least 18 or 21 years old, pass a background check and have no felonies.

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

Bailiffs have a range of duties that they need to be responsible for, including announcing the rules for the courtroom and the entrance or exit of the judge; checking for weapons or bombs in the courtroom; dealing with unruly witnesses, jury members or anyone else present in the courtroom; and keeping jury members safe in their hotel and as they are transported to and from the trial. Bailiffs also swear in witnesses and defendants, bring prisoners to and from the courtroom, and call for help if there is a security or medical emergency.

Bailiff Salary: How much does a Bailiff make?

The salary outlook for judges currently rests around $35,000 annually. This amount could vary depending on which level of the courts you work for and where you live.

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