By Brian Fairbanks
Criminal justice is a field that encompasses more careers than you might think. With this degree, you could be prepared to pursue careers as a court officer, a corrections officer or positions within the criminal justice, security and public administration fields. And as competition increases for these roles, a degree can offer more than valuable understanding of the field.
What’s involved in earning a Criminal Justice degree? This degree can provide a strong foundation for a career in corrections or the court system. It may also provide the leadership skills and global industry perspectives for this exciting field.
What jobs can you do with a Criminal Justice degree?
As part of law enforcement, this role includes working alongside other police officers at crime scenes, investigating felonies and putting that Criminal Justice degree to work to catch perpetrators of both violent and nonviolent crimes. But this job also entails a high level of collaboration.
Detective Sergeants routinely work within the criminal justice system (including occasionally testifying in courtrooms) to help lawyers and law enforcement assess and enforce justice. Be aware that a Criminal Justice degree may only help you pursue this career if you’re already a police officer and may require outside training. University of Phoenix does not promise this outcome through its programs.
On average, police officers and detectives make $65,170 per year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which also notes that this role is growing by about five percent per year nationally.,
Much like a detective sergeant, criminal justice knowledge and solid management skills can be helpful in this role, but it may be required that applicants are already officers or possess certain training. Police sergeants often supervise and coordinate detectives, police officers and other law enforcement staff, which is a significant responsibility. Accordingly, police sergeants often work their way up to becoming majors or even police department commissioners.
According to PayScale, police sergeants earn $70,514 per year on average. (This will vary by location.) Sergeants can potentially earn even more if they possess a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and detective applicants require a high school diploma, but some agencies or departments may require a college degree.
Loss Prevention Manager
Criminal justice careers don’t always include a background in law enforcement. Loss prevention managers, for example, often work in retail, warehouses and for companies that sell thousands of products each day.
Loss prevention managers keep an eye on customers and employees to prevent "shrinkage," or theft of inventory, money and other company resources. They oversee programs and policymaking, and often manage monitoring equipment, all to ensure minimal or reduced losses due to theft. Additionally, loss prevention managers frequently handle internal investigations into routine losses of specific products, and they work with police officers responding to major thefts or armed robberies.
The median salary for loss prevention managers can be expected to be somewhere between $74,331 to $101,640, according to salary.com, with actual salaries depending on roles, experience and geographical location. However, salary specifics are not specific to University of Phoenix graduates and may also be dependent on competition, location, experience and other factors.
A Criminal Justice degree designed by University of Phoenix
Whether you’re hoping to become a judge down the road, move up the ranks of law enforcement, or pursue a role as a corrections officer, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice can help. At University of Phoenix, the core course requirements of the Criminal Justice degree are enhanced by the following key topics:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I get my Criminal Justice degree online?
A: Yes, the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program is offered 100-percent online.
Q: Why should I get my degree from University of Phoenix?
A: These are just a few of the advantages offered by UOPX:
Q: How much do criminal justice majors make in the real world?
A: University of Phoenix does not guarantee job or salary outcomes. Salaries are dependent on characteristics specific to the individual, including geographic location, experience, and competition, among other factors.
Salaries and job opportunities also vary by career field, such as law enforcement, corrections, court systems, public administration or security. Security managers, for example, make a salary range of $72,000-122,000, according to BLS.
The University’s Criminal Justice programs are educational degree programs. For those interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, corrections or as a peace officer with any particular local, state, tribal, federal or international agency, there are numerous additional qualifications (and often disqualifications) depending on the position. Before enrolling in a Criminal Justice program, potential students are highly encouraged to check with the relevant agency for a complete list of position requirements. The University makes no representations regarding whether any particular University program will qualify a graduate for any such position.
About University of Phoenix
As pioneers in online higher education since 1989, University of Phoenix is an accredited online university for working adults. We are proud to offer quality educational pathways through flexible, career-focused online degrees, certificates and professional development courses that fit into your life and options to save you time and money. Our students are supported every step of the way, including career services for life.
Let us help you take the most direct path to your future career goals. We’re ready when you are.
More than 100 online programs aligned to 300+ occupations.
Online courses and certificates
Explore professional development and earn credentials.
Ways to save
Learn ways you can save as you pursue your goals.