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What Can You Do with a Degree in Administration of Justice?

Nov 29, 2019

An administration of justice degree can prepare one for law enforcement and criminal justice careers. Read on to discover more about administration of justice jobs, education requirements, and salary and outlook information.

What Is Administration of Justice?

Administration of justice is a specialization within criminal justice that studies the law and how it applies to the criminal justice system. An administration of justice degree typically focuses on corrections and law enforcement, but the program can also prepare students for further study in areas such as forensics.

Administration of Justice Degree Options

A degree in administration of justice is commonly offered at the associate's and bachelor's level. Some community colleges offer it as a certificate of completion as well. Students typically take courses in ethics, criminal law, corrections, criminology, and criminal justice. Many associate's programs are designed for transfer to a bachelor's degree at a university.

Bachelor's programs expand on this curriculum, with courses in terrorism, constitutional law, white-collar crime, and juvenile justice being some of the options. Some bachelor's programs offer concentrations, such as corrections, law enforcement, forensics, or cybercrime.

Criminal Justice Degree Jobs

Those with a degree in administration of justice have several career options available to them, depending on their level of education. Below is an overview of administration of justice salary and job information.

Job Type Education Training Median Salary (2018) Job Outlook (2018-2028)*
Police Officers High school diploma or equivalent, bachelor's degree sometimes required or preferred Police academy training $63,380* (for police and detectives) 5% (for police and detectives)
Probation Officers Bachelor's degree in criminal justice or related field On-the-job training $53,020* (for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists) 3% (for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists)
Intelligence Analysts Bachelor's degree in criminal justice or related field On-the-job training $68,959** (average salary as of Nov. 2019) 2-3% (for detectives and criminal investigators)
FBI Special Agents Bachelor's degree FBI training required $75,497** (average salary as of Oct. 2019) 2-3% (for detectives and criminal investigators)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **PayScale.com

Police Officers

Police officers enforce the law in emergency and non-emergency situations. They typically have regularly scheduled patrol hours, unless they are needed for an emergency. They are trained to look for signs of criminal activity and are allowed to make arrests when warranted. Larger police departments may have units where police officers are assigned to work in a specialized area, such as canine corps.

Police officers typically need a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent, but college courses and criminal justice degrees are often required or preferred. All police officers must pass a police academy where they undergo classroom instruction and practical training in areas such as ethics, self-defense, and emergency response. After gaining experience, police officers can advance to supervisory positions or even jobs with the federal government.

Probation Officers

Probation officers work with people who have been put on probation rather than incarcerated. They supervise their activity to make sure they are complying with the terms of their probation and determine if they are a danger to the public. Through frequent visits, they assist in the person's rehabilitation and give detailed reports on their treatment plan and progress. Some individuals choose to become juvenile probation officers to exclusively work with youth.

A bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a related field is the minimum requirement for probation officers. Most probation officers go through a state or federal government-sponsored training program and pass a certification exam. Some may additionally stay on as trainees for up to 1 year until they are considered permanent employees.

Intelligence Analysts

Intelligence analysts perform research to make educated guesses about criminal activity. They usually work with other law enforcement officials to help determine any threats or provide information that can be useful to a case. They will usually need to operate surveillance equipment, use databases, and keep up-to-date with technology.

Intelligence analysts need a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a related field due to the fact that they need knowledge of criminal law and investigation procedures. Knowledge of human behavior and group dynamics is also a common requirement, since they may have to analyze criminal activity and make a logical guess about what steps criminals will take next. Intelligence analysts who work for the FBI will have to go through additional training.

FBI Special Agents

Special agents who work for the FBI can specialize in a number of different capacities, from human trafficking to counterterrorism. No day on the job is exactly the same, but some common tasks include searching crime scenes, making arrests, testifying in court, and filling out paperwork. FBI special agents need critical thinking, decision making, and social perceptiveness skills in order to analyze suspects or victims and make fast decisions in tough or dangerous situations.

The FBI states that special agents need a bachelor's degree, but it can be in any field. However, an administration of justice degree can provide an individual with the knowledge and skills useful in special agent positions. Candidates who are accepted will have to go through an FBI training program. Special agents must be physically fit to keep up with the job's demands.

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