10 Jobs for Master's in Criminal Justice Graduates


Updated May 1, 2024 · 4 Min Read

Suitable master's in criminal justice jobs include victim advocate, prison warden, private detective, and more. Discover popular career choices and salaries.

CriminalJusticeDegreeSchools.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Criminal justice refers to the laws, policies, and institutions that define criminal behavior and punish people for breaking the law. The U.S. criminal justice system comprises multiple branches, including law enforcement, the courts systems, and correctional agencies.

Criminal justice professionals must possess knowledge of criminal justice theories, research methods, and statistical analysis. Individuals can develop these skills by enrolling in criminal justice master's programs.

This page presents 10 popular master's in criminal justice jobs that leverage the skills and knowledge acquired during your graduate studies.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Police or Sheriff's Patrol Officer

  • Median Annual Wage (2023): $69,160
  • Job Growth (2022-32): +3%

Police officers enforce laws and regulations through active patrols and responding to public disturbances. These professionals protect the public by arresting criminals, conducting interviews, and collecting evidence. Police officers most commonly work for city police departments or county sheriff's offices as deputy sheriffs. Other job titles and specializations within policing include state trooper, highway patrol officer, and park ranger.

Officers should have communication skills as they may work with a partner, supervisors, or criminal justice professionals from other agencies. These professionals write reports and keep records to maintain the chain of custody and document their numerous interactions.

Read More:
California Highway Patrol Officer Requirements
Florida Highway Patrol Officer Requirements
Missouri Highway Patrol Officer Requirements
North Carolina Highway Patrol Officer Requirements
Ohio Highway Patrol Officer Requirements

Detective or Criminal Investigator

  • Median Annual Wage (2023): $91,100
  • Job Growth (2022-32): +1%

Criminal investigators collect evidence and conduct interviews to analyze crimes. An investigator's work can provide the required proof to arrest a criminal. Investigators can work as specialized detectives in homicide, cybercrime, and drug enforcement. An agent's field may depend on the agency they work for. Local and state police, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Drug Enforcement Agency all use criminal investigators.

These professionals' daily tasks depend upon their case type and progress. Investigator duties may include collecting DNA, identifying crime scene patterns, and monitoring suspects. Some agencies may require investigators to complete police or weapons training.

Supervisor of Police and Detectives

Median Annual Wage (2023): $101,750

These professionals may hold titles such as police captain, sergeant, and chief. Police supervisors provide managerial, leadership, and administrative support to police officers. These supervisors coordinate training experiences, assign cases, and coordinate with other criminal justice departments.

Supervisors oversee investigations and ensure compliance with laws and regulations. They also investigate any internal complaints or issues against police staff. Prospective supervisors should understand criminal justice laws and the importance of communication. Individuals should hold at least five years of relevant experience to pursue this role.

Crime Analyst

Average Annual Wage (April 2024): $53,420

Crime analysts work with law enforcement to solve crimes, research crime trends, and provide explanations of criminal patterns. These analysts should be comfortable working with large data sets to conduct research. Crime analysts may help develop crime prevention programs through their findings.

Law enforcement may ask crime analysts to help conduct tactical, strategic, or administrative analysis. They use different analysis methods to catch criminals, identify ideal deployment locations, and create internal budgets. Prosecutors often ask crime analysts to create maps or other visual aids for trials. Analysts usually work in office settings and do not visit crime scenes.

Victim Advocate

Average Annual Wage (April 2024): $43,180

Victim advocates provide help, emotional support, and information to victims of a crime. Advocates may assist and accompany victims throughout their criminal justice proceedings. Victim advocates usually must undergo training to understand how to provide appropriate support. These professionals may be employees or volunteers.

Advocates can provide explanations of judicial system processes, help submit certain court documents, and advise victims on a case's progress. However, advocates cannot deliver legal advice, coach a victim's testimony, or provide restitution ideas. Specialist advocates can focus on certain crimes, including robbery, domestic violence, and identity fraud.


  • Median Annual Wage (2022): $53,040
  • Job Growth (2022-32): -2%

Bailiffs maintain the safety within courtrooms. These officers assist the court by accompanying judges, swearing in witnesses, and handling evidence. Bailiffs ensure the integrity of the court by attempting to reduce outside influence and isolating jurors taking part in high-profile cases.

Bailiffs establish order in courtrooms by removing disturbances, understanding courtroom policies, and following the judge's directions. These court officers may need to subdue or remove violent individuals within the courtroom. Courts may require potential bailiffs to obtain first aid, CPR, or weapons training.

Probation Officer

  • Median Annual Wage (2022): $61,800
  • Job Growth (2022-32): +3%

Probation officers supervise non-incarcerated criminals who the courts release under probation. The courts set conditions for the probationer to follow, which the probation officer checks and enforces. Officers create custom plans for their probationers, which may include house visits or drug tests. These professionals may recommend specific support services to probationers, including counseling or substance use treatment.

Probation officers keep records of each probationer's progress and submit reports to the court. Progress reports may include interviews with the probationer, their friends, and neighbors. Employers have various training requirements for probation officers, including first aid, surveillance, or firearm training.

Read More:
How to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer
How to Become a Parole Officer
How to Become a Youth Correctional Counselor

Correctional Officer

  • Median Annual Wage (2022): $53,300
  • Job Growth (2022-32): -8%

Correctional officers oversee arrested individuals that await trial or have been convicted. These officers can work with prisons, courthouses, and immigration services. Correctional institutions rely on these workers to maintain order, reduce riots, and prevent escapes. Officers may need to search for contraband, end fights, and observe prisoner activity. Prisoners and officers may have frequent direct contact.

Correctional facilities often have special laws and rules set by local governments, the American Correctional Association, and the American Jail Association. Officers may undergo training to learn these rules and self-defense skills.

Prison Warden

Average Annual Wage (April 2024): $94,200

A prison warden, the most senior position at a correctional institution, ensures the safety of the facility, manages correctional officers, and sets internal policies. Wardens oversee most aspects of the institution, including budget, maintenance, and staff management. Note that the salary data for this position reflects fewer than 50 respondents.

These senior-ranking officials also have the responsibility to secure the prison, guaranteeing that nobody can escape and families can safely visit their loved ones. Wardens work in public, private, and juvenile correctional facilities. Warden job openings can be uncommon. An applicant may need to pass a background check, drug screening, and polygraph.

Private Investigator

  • Median Annual Wage (2023): $49,540
  • Job Growth (2022-32): +6%

Private investigators (PIs) conduct interviews, surveillance, and background checks to find information for their clients. PIs can work for themselves, government agencies, or corporations. A PI's client determines the type of investigative task required, which can include finding missing people, identifying financial crimes, or gathering data for criminal cases.

Prospective PIs should have communication, photography, and computer skills. These investigators also need patience as they may stay in the same location for hours. Most states require PIs to obtain licensure. PI license applicants may need to demonstrate multiple years of experience through detailed records.

Read More:
How to Become a Bounty Hunter
How to Become a Loss Prevention Specialist
How to Become a Security Guard

Latest Posts

CriminalJusticeDegreeSchools.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Take the next step toward your future.

Discover programs you’re interested in and take charge of your education.