The criminal justice field is wide-ranging but offers plenty of career pathways for people interested in protecting and serving their community. A Master of Science in criminal justice degree can lead to a rewarding, long-lasting career in law enforcement, the court system or detention and supervision of offenders. If you already have an undergraduate degree, the benefits of getting a Master of Science in criminal justice are plentiful. With job prospects projected to rise over the next decade, now could be a great time to take your career to the next level by earning a graduate degree in criminal justice.
Reasons to Get a Master of Science in Criminal Justice
There’s no limit to what you can do with a Master of Science in criminal justice. Earning a master’s degree improves your ability to earn high wages, both in the short- and long-term, and also makes you a competitive candidate in a crowded job market. Earning a graduate degree in criminal justice also opens the opportunity for leadership opportunities in your chosen field.
Who Typically Earns a Master of Science in Criminal Justice?
The career opportunities with a Master of Science in criminal justice are diverse, and so are the people who earn their degree in this field. In general, people apply to this program because they have a deep passion and interest in upholding the laws of the land and ensuring communities are safe from criminals. There’s really no limit to what you can do with a Master of Science in criminal justice and earning a degree online at Tiffin University is a flexible and affordable option for students who have busy schedules.
Benefits of Getting a Master of Science in Criminal Justice
What can you do with a graduate degree in criminal justice? A lot — and the job prospects for a number of careers in criminal justice are expected to grow over the next decade. This is a field that provides competitive wages even at entry-level, and with a Master of Science in criminal justice, you can expect even higher pay. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for private detectives and investigators is expected to grow by 13 percent over the next decade, which is faster than average. The BLS expects the number of police officers and detectives to grow by seven percent, and forensic science technician jobs are expected to grow by 16 percent. These are just a few examples of fast-growing and fast-paced careers in criminal justice.
Careers with a Master of Science in Criminal Justice
You can take your pick of plenty of careers with a graduate degree in criminal justice, and your role can range from the classroom to the courtroom. Because crime is an unfortunate part of society, this is a field that will continue to see demand. Between 2020 and 2030, careers in criminal justice are expected to grow by eight percent, resulting in about 286,400 new jobs. Here is a sampling of what jobs are available with a Master of Science in criminal justice.
A special agent is a law enforcement officer who conducts criminal investigations under state or federal jurisdiction, and sometimes both as in the case of FBI special agents. If you want to earn higher wages as a special agent, this is a job requiring a graduate degree in criminal justice. The salary range for this career depends on a number of factors, including your location and experience level. The median annual salary for police and detectives employed by the federal government is $92,080.
Private Detective or Investigator
One of the benefits of getting a Master of Science in criminal justice is the wide range of opportunities available. For instance, you can strike out on your own and become a private detective or investigator. Private detectives and investigators are not always part of a state or federal law enforcement agency, but their work can still be used to prosecute criminal cases. Annual median salaries range from $53,320 to $96,950.
Many careers with a graduate degree in criminal justice are in an office setting, rather than the field. As a criminal psychologist, you’ll need to get inside a criminal’s mind and understand why they commit crimes. Your work setting could be a private consultancy or within a detention center, and you could work with many different types of people — from criminals themselves to law enforcement officers. Psychology is a well-paying field, with a median salary range of $79,820 to $105,780 annually.
This is perhaps the most well-known of the careers with a Master of Science in criminal justice. There are leadership opportunities for candidates with an advanced degree, but in general, your role as a police officer is to protect people and places. Depending on where in the country you’re working and what you’re doing, your salary can approach six figures. The national median average salary for a police officer is $67,290, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $113,860.
A graduate degree in criminal justice can teach you to understand the motives behind crime, which you can apply to a career as a fraud investigator. When a company suspects criminal activity that is costing it money, a fraud investigator is called upon to sort things out. Fraud investigators can work for the federal government, state agencies, private corporations and public entities like hospitals. As such, salary varies depending on where you’re working. The median average salary range spans $58,740 and $79,830 annually.
When a criminal is released from detention, a probation officer is responsible for ensuring that person is rehabilitated and ready to re-enter society, without committing more crimes. One of the many benefits of getting a Master of Science in criminal justice is you can apply for more senior-level leadership positions as a probation officer. At the state level, the average median salary is $53,430, and at the local level, the median average is $59,690 annually.
Criminal Justice Professor
You can apply your Master of Science in criminal justice degree to the classroom as a college professor. In this role, you’re responsible for educating and training the next generation of professionals for a career in criminal justice. In addition to giving lectures and assignments, you can publish scholarly articles, present at conferences, serve on academic committees and more. The average median salary for a criminal justice and law enforcement teacher is $63,560.
Forensic Science Technician
Forensic science technicians can play a critical role in criminal investigations by analyzing crime scenes and collecting evidence that can be used to solve the case. A graduate degree in criminal justice is helpful in advancing to a leadership role in this career. The median annual wage for forensic science technicians is $60,590, with the top 10 percent of earners receiving more than $100,910 annually.
Advancing Your Career Path in Criminal Justice
Now that you know what jobs are available with a Master of Science in criminal justice, the first step is pursuing your degree. Tiffin University’s Master of Science in criminal justice program is one of the top-ranked in the nation, and one of the benefits of earning a graduate degree in criminal justice at Tiffin University is flexible online options that make it easy to balance work, life and learning.
Take your career to the next level and unlock what you can do with a Master of Science in criminal justice. Get started by learning more about our program today.