What Can I Do with a Master's in Criminal Justice?

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Achieving a masters in criminal justice can offer a myriad of opportunities in terms of career advancement and new pathways in the field of criminal justice. Most people who pursue this advanced degree avenue have already been working in criminal justice and are interested in going deeper or moving up the ladder. If you are researching this option, you are probably looking into the types of criminal justice jobs that are out there. It is such an interdisciplinary field that there are many places to go within the related degrees, and the types of criminal justice careers are expansive as well. In the fields of criminal justice you can often move into a more advanced position by way of experience. For example, someone who achieves a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice might start out with entry level criminology jobs and work their way up to more advanced positions. This can be in competitive avenues like federal agencies, or in academic settings, among many other options. They might also decide to return to school in order to get an advanced degree in criminal justice with an emphasis on criminology in order to access a leadership position in the field. This can include a job that focuses on research, management, forensics, or even policy. You will see that there are many criminal justice jobs with a  master’s degree. These include criminal justice management jobs. Let’s take a deeper look at types of criminal justice careers that are accessible with advanced degrees in hand.

Criminal Justice Jobs With a Master’s Degree

Forensic Psychologist

This position looks different in different contexts. Forensic psychologists often get confused as criminal profilers, however, they are different. They usually work within the legal system, which can even entail working at the federal level. Their primary role is to work with convicted inmates and assess the status of their mental health. They are usually the ones to determine if someone can plead insanity in a case and what treatment options are available to them. They are also the ones that make mental health diagnoses of convicted criminals in a variety of circumstances. 


These are the professionals that study crime and all of its complexities. They look at the root causes of crime and then make recommendations that support public policy and strategies of law enforcement. This field generally lives within the social sciences and requires coursework in sociology, psychology, and on occasion environmental sciences. They often are responsible for compiling reports that utilize statistics, interviews and other complex data methods. In many cases, they work for organizations that tackle crime as well as law enforcement and in some cases higher education. 

Criminal Profilers

These are trained scientists in the area of forensic science, observing and processing evidence from a crime scene with the intention of using it to identify the personality traits of the person capable of committing a given crime. The profession of a criminal profiler exists on the standing theory that the examination of someone’s behavior holds valuable insight into someone’s true identity. The primary goal of a criminal profiler is to make best attempted descriptions of the criminal offender based on a logic based analysis of crime scene evidence. These professionals are at times often classified as crime scene investigators and can not only profile possible suspects but identify if a crime scene is tampered with or staged. 

Emergency Management Director

This is a position that expressly creates emergency plans for public safety. They generally work within law enforcement at the state, local, and federal levels. When an emergency does indeed take place, they are generally the ones at the front lines. They  coordinate all of the systems and ensure that everyone is following the plan. They also are also the ones that amend plans accordingly. 

Attorney General Investigator or Attorney General

This is someone who works at the federal, county, or state level in the offices of a district or federal attorney general’s office. This is a jane of many trades position, as they wear so many hats and their jobs often look quite different from day to day. Another common role for positions such as these is to give testimonies at federal and local courts. They may also work undercover at times. 

Criminal Investigator Supervisor

Supervisory Criminal Investigators work in managerial roles and oversee criminal investigators. This does not mean they do not get their hands dirty, however, they also work in the field when necessary and assist on many investigations from the ground to the office. 


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Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?