Enrolling in an online criminal justice degree program can help you get started in a career that is exciting and meaningful.

Criminal Justice Careers

The criminal justice field offers a wide variety of career opportunities – local level law enforcement, State and Federal agencies, and private sector law enforcement. A career in law enforcement will allow you to make a difference, whether you are a young probation officer or an FBI agent.

One of the things that attract people to online criminal justice programs is their desire to help people. Often criminal justice is a second career for those who have found their first career to be unsatisfying. Entering the criminal justice field is an important step. An online degree program in criminal justice can get you there.

Some of the more common criminal justice occupations are described in short below. The usual educational requirements needed for each job are listed. For further information, you may refer to the U.S. Department of Labor website and check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook for specific jobs.

Corrections Officer

– Corrections officers work in jails, penitentiaries, and prisons with individuals convicted of crimes or who have been arrested and are awaiting trial. A big majority of correction officers work in State and Federal facilities with inmates. Prison workers in most State and all Federal prisons must attend college (States 2-4 years, Federal 4 years) and have previous related job experience to be considered for employment. There are many criminal justice degree programs online.

Crime Scene Investigator

– A crime scene investigator gathers and analyzes evidence at crime scenes. They must be trained in investigative procedures including finding, handling and preserving crime evidence. Some investigators are trained in forensic science and some as sworn police officers. Most crime scene investigators are graduates of 4 year criminal justice programs. There are also associates degree programs. Both are offered online.

ATF Agent

– An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent works for the Federal agency ATF to investigate criminal violations relating to explosives, firearms, arson, alcohol, and tobacco. These agents are also involved in preventing and fighting terrorism and investigate unexplained explosions and bombings. Qualifications are very stringent regarding physical and mental fitness and character. There are several grades of special agents, requiring from 4 years of college at the least to a masters degree. Previous investigative experience is also required.

Online Criminal Justice Degrees Available

We depend on those in the criminal justice system to keep us safe. Education and training are vital to develop and maintain the necessary skills to perform well in these occupations. Although the above list is not exhaustive, it is clear that an online criminal justice degree would serve to complete the educational requirements for most occupations in the field. There is an online program for you whether you need an associates, bachelors, or masters degree.

Finding the right online criminal justice degree program will take some research. There are several good websites that can direct you to online criminal justice programs.