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5 Surprising Career Opportunities in Criminal Justice

  • Park Ranger
  • Private Security
  • Criminal Profiler
  • Polygraph Examiner
  • Fraud Investigator


Many people associate a criminal justice degree with job placement as either a police officer or getting ready to begin law school. In today’s world, there are many surprising career opportunities in criminal justice for those who have a positive work ethic.

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Park Ranger

Someone who enjoys working outdoors while still working in the realm of law enforcement would enjoy a career as a park ranger. They are typically employed in parks or tourist locations. Part of their responsibility would be to ensure the smooth operation of the grounds and provide relevant information to guests who visit. Becoming a park ranger is reasonably competitive, and a criminal justice degree can help you stand out from the field. Also, the job requires the ability to work with others, as you’ll have daily contact with people of all ages.

Private Security

It is easy to underestimate the versatility of working in private security. A criminal justice degree can allow you to work for someone independently, a smaller business, or large-scaled corporations. As a person in private security, their primary role is to know when a situation can become unsafe. Someone who does this job well needs to be able to respond quickly when circumstances get out of control. Daily duties could include scheduled safety checks and monitoring surveillance cameras. It’s an excellent time to get into the field as well, as it’s expected to grow four percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Criminal Profiler

One of the surprising career opportunities that an individual can take with criminal justice is getting into advanced investigative work. Many of the duties can involve consultation with law enforcement and acquiring evidence. This evidence could then be helped in making a psychological profile of the suspect. Strong analytical skills and critical thinking are necessary, but the satisfaction of the career is well worth it. Many profilers play a fundamental role in solving crimes and getting a deep understanding of why it happened.

Polygraph Examiner

Although there are demanding standards to become a polygraph examiner, this is a unique career path for someone with a criminal justice background. The work in this career is highly analytical and stimulating. Preparing individuals for testing, conducting an exam, writing reports, and cooperating with other investigative staff can all be included as job requirements. Ultimately, the examiner is seeking if deceptive tendencies exist, and much skill and continuing education are required to do the job right.

Fraud Investigator

A fraud investigator determines if individuals or companies have partaken in illegal activity that has benefited them financially. This field is quite diverse, but most people who decide to embark on this career work with investigating insurance or accounting frauds. Again, just like other career opportunities in criminal justice, this job requires analytical skills and excellent investigative capabilities.

A career in this field doesn’t have to limit someone. There are a variety of surprising career opportunities in criminal justice because these jobs demand a combination of multiple skill sets and personality traits.

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