BS in Criminal Justice: Careers

A Cincinnati public safety cadet signs a document.

Graduates of the Cincinnati Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) program are prepared to pursue careers in policing, law enforcement, security, safety, corrections and investigations. These people protect lives and property in work environments that can be stressful or dangerous.

Workers in the criminal justice field work long hours, deal with the public and must remain calm under pressure. They must gather information, make judgments and decisions, solve problems and resolve conflicts.

Here are a few of the many criminal justice careers available:

  • Police and patrol officers
  • Corrections officers
  • Parole and probations officers
  • Criminal detectives and inspectors
  • Private detectives and investigators
  • Narcotics officers
  • Security guards
  • Safety and training managers
  • U.S. marshals and air marshals
  • Juvenile probation officer
  • State police officers and state troopers
  • FBI agents
  • Homeland Security agents
  • Public safety instructors
  • Correctional re-entry specialists
  • Behavioral support professionals
  • Victim/witness specialists
  • Victim advocates
  • Loss prevention investigators
  • Asset protection specialists
  • Store detectives
  • Youth support specialists
  • Financial intelligence investigators

The U.S. Department of Labor projects slightly above average wages than the national average for graduates with a Criminal Justice Bachelor of Science degree.

National Wage Estimates for Criminal Justice Careers








Hourly Wages






Annual Wages (1)





$79, 690

Figure 1. National wage estimates for protective service occupations. Adapted from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Protective Service Occupations. Retrieved from

(1) These wage averages are a result of multiplying the average protection service worker’s hourly wage by 2,080, the number of hours in a full-time worker’s year. Where hourly wages were unavailable, these calculations derive from the average of survey results indicating annual salaries.

Additional Training

Some law enforcement agencies require new hires with no previous law enforcement experience to attend a training academy to learn local and agency-wide training and instruction in laws, protocols, procedures, citizens’ rights and ethics. Training often extends beyond the academy to include a probationary period with supervised on-the-job experiences such as patrol, firearms, traffic control and first aid.

Candidates for these law enforcement academies must pass background checks, physical fitness and other exams.

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