EKU Online > Online Criminal Justice Degrees & Certificates > Criminal Justice Career Opportunities

Make a Positive Impact in Your Community and Beyond

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.

EKU’s online criminal justice degree combines the professional skills of specialized areas of criminal justice with the analytical skills needed to help you enhance your qualifications and pursue more challenging responsibilities in criminal justice agencies and organizations.

Learn More

Increase earnings and advancement opportunities

Career Success Starts with a College Degree

Regardless of U.S. labor market conditions one constant holds true: Education boosts earnings and reduces unemployment.

According to the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) the earnings gap between college graduates and those with less education continues to widen. In 2021, median income for recent graduates reached $52,000 a year for bachelor’s degree holders aged 22–27. For high school graduates the same age, median earnings were $30,000 a year.

Those with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, 75% more over the course of their lifetime.* In addition to increased earning potential, a bachelor’s degree can provide opportunities for promotion or entry into a new career.

*Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce

People with a bachelor’s degree earn on average

more over their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma

Popular Criminal Justice Careers

Police Officers/Detectives

National Median Annual Salary
3% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
Updated March 2023
Companies for Police Officers in Kentucky:
City of Louisville, KY
City of Paducah, KY
City of Covington, KY

Bachelor typically required for entry-level positions

Probation Officers & Correctional Treatment Specialist

National Median Annual Salary
Little to no growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
Updated March 2023
Companies for Probation Officers and Correctional Officers in Kentucky:
United States District Court
U.S. Probation Office
Kentucky Department of Corrections

Bachelor typically required for entry-level positions

Social Services Assistant

National Median Annual Salary
12% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
Updated March 2023
Companies for Social Services Assistants in Kentucky:
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Kentucky Department of Corrections
Valhalla Post Acute

Bachelor typically required for entry-level positions

*National job opportunities data is based on national medians and figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook handbook.
*Local job opportunities data is based on estimated base pay and figures from Indeed.com.

Other Criminal Justice Careers

  • Correctional officer
  • Victims advocate
  • Court administrator
  • Border patrol agent
  • Treatment specialist
  • Corrections administrator
  • Bailiff
  • Caseworker or counselor
  • Policy analyst
  • Caseworker

EKU Criminal Justice Program in the Workforce

Where Have EKU Criminal Justice Graduates Worked?
  • Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport Police Department
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Lake Cumberland Youth Development Center
Increase Job Opportunities and Earning Potential

Criminal justice is a dynamic, multidisciplinary field of study that prepares students for a wide range of career options. A degree can open doors to numerous roles and graduates pursue careers in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, the court system, forensic science, security, and private investigations.

Employers in the criminal justice system often require a degree for entry-level positions. Having a criminal justice degree on your resume can increase your chances of landing a job in the field. Moreover, having a degree enhances your opportunities for career growth, promotion into leadership positions, and higher salaries in comparison to those without a degree. 

EKU Online Career Services

Career planning is tough, but with EKU you don’t have to tackle the process alone.

The EKU Office of Academic and Career Services is a one-stop shop for all of your career and professional development needs. We offer a variety of services to current online EKU students and alumni to help you with your career development, decision-making and job search.

Services include:

  • Creating/Updating Your Resume and Cover Letter
  • Interviewing Tips and Coaching
  • Career Documents Review
  • Job Search
  • “I can confidently say that — as someone who doesn’t even live in the United States — EKU’s online program has been extremely accommodating and flexible. I can discuss advising appointments over email, and I can have my textbooks shipped to my address overseas.” – Sydney Garner Lewis
  • “After the birth of our first child, I knew I needed to go back and finish what I started,” said McKenzie. “I was happy that I could pick up where I left off at EKU even though I lived in a different state.” – EKU Online student and mom
  • “I chose EKU because I am a unique student with unique needs, and EKU provides an avenue for students like me to succeed.” – EKU Online Psychology student Jason Tate
EKU Online Power E Logo

Apply To EKU Online