Careers in Criminal Justice Management: Options and Requirements

Oct 09, 2019

Criminal justice management is a field that has many different career options. Some people may optio to work with those charged or convicted of crimes as a probation officer or corrections administrator, while others may opt to work as court administrators. A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement, but some jobs call for a graduate degree.

Essential Information

Degree programs that specialize in criminal justice management combine the study of business administration and criminal justice. An education in criminal justice management prepares students for careers as probation and parole officers, court administrators and corrections administrators.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in criminal justice common
Other Requirements Master's degree for court administration positions
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 3% for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists
Median Salary (2018)* $53,020 annually for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Corrections Administrators

Corrections administrators are responsible for the security and safety of a correctional facility. Administrative staff and supervisors in a prison direct the activities of corrections officers and ensure the facility has an appropriate amount of staff. Prison wardens manage the facility and must prepare reports and budgets while providing leadership for supervisors and administrative personnel.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that first-line supervisors of correctional officers earned a median annual income of $63,340, as of May 2018. Jobs for correctional officers and jailers are expected to decrease by 7% from 2018 to 2028 (


An advanced position in a correctional facility, such as warden, requires a combination of experience and education. Candidates for a warden position must have supervisory experience in corrections with increasing responsibilities. According to the BLS, for a position as a corrections officer, federal prisons require a minimum of a bachelor's degree and three years experience in a supervisory or counseling position. For an officer's position, federal prisons may also allow a combination of education and experience.

Probation and Parole Officers

Parole and probation officers work with criminal offenders outside of correctional facilities. Parole officers work with offenders who have been released from prison, and probation officers work with offenders who have been placed on probation rather than sentenced to prison. To monitor behavior outside of prison, officers may meet with offenders in an office or in the offenders' homes. Officers may help individuals arrange for counseling, rehabilitative services or training. A degree in criminal justice management may qualify an individual for an administrative position.

Correctional treatment specialists work in the prison system to monitor the behavior of inmates in the facility. Specialists prepare reports for the parole board that provide information on prisoners' behavior inside the facility, including their progress in rehabilitation.

The BLS projects that jobs for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists will increase by 3% from 2018 to 2028. These professionals earned a median annual income of $53,020, as of May 2018.


For those without experience in the field, employers usually require a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, psychology or social work, according to the BLS. A graduate degree in criminal justice could provide advancement opportunities. Additionally, applicants for these positions may be required to pass written examinations and undergo physical exams.

Court Administrators

Court administrators maintain and organize the flow of cases through the courts by maintaining judges' schedules and assigning courtrooms and conference rooms to mediators and attorneys. Administrators may also hire, train and discipline non-judicial personnel in the courthouse. Some administrators develop and administer the budget for the court, including approving expenses and capital purchases.

The BLS indicates that court, municipal and license clerks earned a median salary of $38,450 as of May 2018. Additionally, clerks of court are combined with all managers not listed separately, a field where the overall median income is $107,480 per year.


Court administrators must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Some court systems may require a graduate degree in public administration, business administration or law. Individual states may also require that candidates hold or pursue certification, such as the Fellow of the Institute for Court Management, offered by the National Center for State Court's Institute for Court Management.

A bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a related field is typically required for probation officers. A master's degree is required for a career in court administration. Duties for these jobs vary from processing paperwork in the court system to working with individuals returning to society after being in prison.

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