For those who want to pursue a criminal justice degree that will allow them to work toward advanced positions in the field, a criminal justice administration degree is a good choice. In most criminal justice careers, you will need to begin at entry-level and work your way up. But earning an administration degree might increase your chances of advancement once you have done your time. Even if you do not plan to pursue a supervisory position, a criminal justice administration degree can help you on your way to a variety of careers in law enforcement, including:
- Police captain
- Police officer
- Security officer
- Social worker
- Special agent
- Corrections officer
- Highway patrolman
- Military officer
- Parole officer
Your justice administration degree can also be used as a stepping stone toward other careers, including lawyer and health detective.
Online Justice Administration Degrees
Your criminal justice program in justice administration should teach you how to study and interpret laws; investigate evidence; gather and analyze data; operate computers; and improve your writing skills. Specific courses might include international and domestic criminology, sociology, psychology, and finance.
Degrees can be earned at the associate's, bachelor's, or master's level, depending on your ultimate career goals and the length of time you would like to allocate toward school. An associate's degree can usually be completed within two years; a bachelor's degree usually takes around four years to complete; and a master's degree can usually be finished within two years once you have completed your bachelor's degree. Often, you will be able to transfer credits earned from one degree to a higher degree. For instance, if you complete an associate's degree in justice administration, and later begin a bachelor's degree, the credits you earned from your first degree might reduce the required courses you will need for your bachelor's.
Earning your justice administration degree online allows you to create your own schedule. This makes it easier to maintain your current work load, enter the police academy, or find another job while you are earning your degree.
Justice Administration Earnings and Opportunities
The salary you could earn in a criminal justice career depends on your specific job and at times your education level and geographic location. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities will be best for applicants with college training in police science or with military experience. For positions in federal agencies, which often pay more than in other agencies, applicants with bachelor's degrees will enjoy the greater prospects than candidates will a high school diploma.
The BLS provides 2007 median salaries for a variety of careers in criminal justice. These include:
- Police officer/sheriff: $49,630
- Police supervisor: $72,620
- Detective/criminal investigator: $59,930
- Corrections officer: $26,970
- Social worker: $36,640 to 45,800, depending on the subfield
The BLS forecasts strong job growth in most fields of criminal justice.