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Career Opportunities

The criminal justice system employs nearly two million people across the nation and offers a variety of career opportunities. These opportunities include corrections, law enforcement, the court system, probation and parole. Careers in corrections and juvenile justice are challenging and rewarding. A degree in corrections and juvenile justice studies can help you start or advance your career in the field of criminal justice.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics* (BLS) estimates that the number of individuals employed as probation officers and correctional treatment specialists will see an increase through 2026. BLS reports that the national median salary for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is 36% higher than average.

Positions for correctional officers and other job opportunities in the criminal and juvenile justice fields are also expected to rise. The majority of these positions are housed in state and local governments within the department of corrections in prisons, youth correctional facilities and community agencies.

Although education was not historically mandatory in the corrections field, it has become increasingly necessary as the profession evolves. Advanced degrees are required for many positions at the federal level and will likely become essential for advancement.

Job opportunities include:

  • Corrections officer
  • Corrections administrator
  • Detention officer            
  • Probation officer
  • Parole officer      
  • Treatment specialist
  •  Jailer
  •  Bailiff
  •  Juvenile services worker
  • Caseworker or counselor
  • Substance abuse specialist
  • Delinquency prevention specialist
  • Policy analyst
  • Program evaluator

Recent graduates are employed by:

  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Federal Probation
  • Department of Corrections (Institutional Division, Probation and Parole Division)
  • Department of Juvenile Justice (Detention Centers, Youth Development Centers, Community Supervision Programs)
  • Administrative Office of the Courts (Pretrial Services, Court Designated Worker Program)

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm