What are Criminal Justice Master’s Career Options?

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Criminal Justice master’s career options include higher-level roles and management positions in both public and private agencies. Are you thinking about going to graduate school? A master’s degree in Criminal Justice could be for you.

Our world is under the constant threat of crime, both locally and globally. Whether you are switching careers or looking to expand on your current knowledge, an online master’s degree in Criminal Justice could propel you to new heights. There is a lot you can do with this degree, and here are some ideas.

Police Supervisor

If you have a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice or work as a police officer, a master’s degree qualifies you for advanced leadership positions. As a supervisor, you will ensure that your team is motivated and also follows all of the procedures and rules of the department. Additionally, you can expect to earn a generous salary and have lots of opportunities as the demand for leadership roles is likely to increase over the next decade. Cops starting annual salaries range from $65,000- 95,000.


A master’s degree can also help you gain supervisory roles in correctional facilities. If patrolling the streets in a police car doesn’t tickle your fancy, a correctional facility may be your calling. You can work in locations like jails, prisons, and courtrooms. The responsibilities include hiring and training staff, creating schedules, maintaining safety measures, and also assigning caseloads to correction officers. Your master’s degree will teach you how to handle escalations both safely and efficiently.

Federal Agent

A high-profile government job could be for you once you get your master’s. Some options include the FBI, DEA, and also DHS. Positions include everything from human trafficking to white-collar crime. Throughout your coursework, you’ll gain a better idea of your interests, so you can find jobs to match your skill set.

Emergency Management Leader

With a graduate degree, your job options broaden significantly. With the recent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and other natural disasters, emergency management professionals develop plans for local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel. These professionals may also respond to larger-scale threats like terrorist attacks. You’ll learn the skills necessary to make difficult decisions and apply the best-practice theories for reducing and eliminating potential risks.


As the world continues to advance, the threat of cybercriminals is imminent. You can help prevent virtual crimes, including identity theft, credit card scams, internet fraud, phishing scams, and child pornography. Government positions or private investigator careers are also a possibility. You’ll learn the integrity and the skills to keep your community and nation safe from digital crimes.

Victim Advocate

If you want to work on the back end of a crime, a victim advocate is perfect. Much of the criminal justice process deals with what happens after someone commits a crime. Advocates help victims recover from the trauma and stress of a crime. The role entails everything from offering emotional support or explaining legal rights to victims. You can find employment in locations like non-profit organizations or shelters.

Forensic Psychologist

A master’s degree in Criminal Justice will teach you advanced psychological concepts. You can put these skills to use in a rewarding career as a forensic psychologist. These in-demand professionals have job duties such as assessing criminals or victims, providing crucial testimony in court cases, or administering therapy. As another “behind the scenes” professional, you’ll play a large part in putting bad guys away. One path to this career is with a background in Psychology, before earning a graduate degree in Criminal Justice.


You can impart your wisdom from the Criminal Justice field to others in a career as a teacher or professor. Your master’s degree will teach you more advanced topics such as criminology theory and forensic science. You can also get more in-depth and hands-on experience through seminars and internships to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. These experiences will help make your lessons more engaging and meaningful for your future students. For this profession, having an undergraduate degree in education would not hurt.


A mediator is an excellent career if you don’t want to invest time or money in law school. As a mediator, you’ll operate as a neutral and non-biased negotiator for all persons involved in a dispute. Child custody and divorce cases are examples of what you will encounter. A master’s degree will give you the advanced critical thinking and problem-solving skills that you will need to be a successful mediator.

Your Career in Criminal Justice

Can you picture yourself in one of these careers? The decision to pursue a graduate degree is not easy. From cost concerns to finding the right program, there are a lot of variables to consider. A Criminal Justice master’s degree can create a successful and rewarding career.


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