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Careers in Criminal Justice

gavel and scalesWhat can you do with a degree in Criminal Justice? Careers include professional positions in law enforcement at the federal, state, and local level of government; in corrections, including institutions for juveniles and adults as well as in probation for juveniles and adults and parole; in the courts; and in community treatment settings. Criminal Justice is an excellent pre-law program for persons planning a career in public law (prosecution, defense, government legal representation).

Related careers include:

  • research personnel in law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions
  • auxiliary personnel in specialized fields of communication and laboratory research
  • private investigative agencies
  • counselors
  • rehabilitation counselors
  • staff personnel in private youth agencies such as Big Brother/Big Sister programs, halfway houses, and residential treatment centers

A bachelor's degree is required for most state and federal positions and is becoming increasingly important for municipal and county positions. While you may be hired without a degree in some municipal and county agencies, your career advancement may be limited. Civil service entrance examinations or other specific examinations may be required on the local, state, and federal levels, and most law enforcement agencies have a minimum age requirement of 18.

Field Experience

One of the ways the department helps prepare you for your future career is through internships. Internships provide an opportunity for part- or full-time work with an employer in the field you want to work in, giving you experience that will look great on your resume. Spring and Fall semester internships are 15 weeks in duration and Summer semester internships are 12 weeks. Read more about our internship program.

Make the First Move

Start your search here at UAB. To talk about professional opportunities in Criminal Justice, make an appointment with Kent Kerley, the Chair of the J. Frank Barefield, Jr. Department of Criminal Justice.

Career and Professional Development Services has job and internship listings, job fairs, resume builders, and many more resources for UAB students. 

There are plenty of other websites that can help you with your career search. Start with one of these:

Careers in Criminal Justice

Below you'll find some of the many careers you can pursue with a degree in Criminal Justice.

  • Law Enforcement

    Positions in city, town, county, state, and federal police departments and agencies:

    • Patrol
    • Investigation
    • Probation
    • Parole
    • Court Security
    • Surveillance
    • Loss Prevention
    • Forensics
  • Judiciary and Law
    • Court Reporting/Transcription Services
    • Court Clerkship
    • Security
    • Legal Assistance
    • Legal Research
    • Administration
    • Legal Representation
  • Business
    • Private Security
    • Consulting
    • Investigation
    • Systems Integration
    • Global Intelligence
    • Internet Security
    • Surveillance
    • Loss Prevention/Property Loss Management
    • Program Development
    • Staffing and Training
  • Social Services
    • Corrections
    • Probation
    • Parole
    • Juvenile Justice
    • Outreach/Mentoring
    • Victim’s Assistance
    • Counseling
    • Prevention Services
    • Advocacy
    • Administration
    • Reporting
    • Grant Writing
    • Consulting
  • Education
    • Teaching
    • Research
    • Supervision and Consultation