Criminology Careers Offer a Long List of Options for Job Seekers

From Police Officer to Pro Sports

Crime Scene

As many students enter the final months of their college careers, they may be wondering just what exactly they can do with their degrees in criminology or criminal justice. The short answer is quite a lot. The number of jobs available in criminology is large and growing fast. Here's a brief list of just a few of the many jobs you can find in the criminology and criminal justice field.

Police Officer

A police or law enforcement officer protects the community.

He may respond to the scene of an accident, a crime or a domestic disturbance. He's typically assigned to a certain area to patrol, and may work his way up the ranks from patrol to detective where he would be responsible for solving crimes, typically by taking a series of exams. 


Criminologists are sociologists charged with analyzing criminal behavior and data. A detective solves crimes whereas a criminologist comes at it from the other side, working to determine why crimes occur in the first place and who is likely to commit them. This information can prove invaluable in providing guidance in criminal investigations. 

Forensic Science Technician

This is the individual at a crime scene who's collecting physical evidence, but he also works behind the scenes in laboratory settings, analyzing that evidence to assist in apprehensions and convictions. 

Forensic Psychologist

This field requires a doctorate or a master's degree in psychology.

The responsibilities of a forensic psychologist can be varied and range from assisting with jury selection and handling hostage negotiations to profiling suspected criminals. 

Probation Officer

A probation officer is charged with monitoring criminals who have been convicted of crimes and are now out on probation, either after or in lieu of incarceration.

The job involves more than just keeping tabs on them. A probation officer might assist criminals in finding jobs or seeking counseling so they can stay on the right track. 

MLB Investigator

Yes, that MLB – Major League Baseball. This position entails policing the league and conducting internal investigations of players and personnel. This might include issues of performance enhancing drugs or illegal gambling and other types of misconduct. 

NFL Security Specialist

And then there's football. A similar position exists within the National Football League, but this job is more focused on ensuring the safety of players and sometimes other personnel. Think of a security specialist as an elite bodyguard with an added twist – he must protect players against overly avid or angry fans as well as from themselves, keeping them out of trouble and negative spotlights. 

Criminal Profiler

The portrayal of profilers on the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds is pretty much on target. These individuals assess the details of a crime to help investigators zero in on likely suspects, those who "fit the profile." This job requires a bachelor's degree at a minimum, and career advancement can depend on a graduate degree in forensic psychology.

There's Something for Everyone

Of course, this is just a sampling of the potential jobs in criminology. There are specialties within specialties, which means there's sure to be an opportunity for people from all walks of life and of all interests. 

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