What Jobs Can I Get With an Online Degree in Criminal Justice?

Prospective distance learning students who are in the process of choosing a major might not realize how many jobs you can get with an online degree in criminal justice. These programs often include studies in law, sociology and psychology, equipping students with the skills they need for careers that emphasize safety, according to U.S. News & World Report. The degree path can lead to a variety of roles in law enforcement and corrections, as well as more unexpected career paths like private detective or paralegal.

Law Enforcement

Probably the most well-known of the jobs you can get with an online degree in criminal justice is law enforcement. Whether you want to work at the municipal government level, protecting and serving a single town, or at the federal level, keeping the entire nation safe, an online criminal justice degree program can help you get there. In fact, some programs even offer specialized courses or academic concentrations in strategic intelligence and homeland security and emergency management to help students prepare for careers with federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Department of Homeland Security.


Another of the more obvious jobs you can get with an online degree in criminal justice is a role in corrections. Correctional officers earn a median salary of $39,000 per year, while those who advance into parole officer or correctional treatment specialist positions earn a median salary of $48,000 per year, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Private Detective

If you’ve always wanted to be a detective, this educational path might be right for you. Private detective or investigator is another one of the jobs you can get with an online degree in criminal justice. Around 25 percent of all private detectives work for themselves, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While the opportunity to be your own boss can certainly be appealing, aspiring private detectives should know that it often takes years of work experience in law enforcement or a related role to develop the skills, resources and connections needed to succeed as a private investigator.


An online criminal justice degree might not seem like the most direct path into the legal industry, but this education can provide the knowledge needed to work as a paralegal or legal assistant. These professionals help attorneys prepare for trials and handle various other tasks required for representing clients successfully, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Whether you envision a future as a police officer, federal agent, parole officer, private eye or paralegal, having the right education is important for attaining and advancing in your desired career. Fortunately, each of these career paths are among the possible jobs you can get with an online degree in criminal justice, which means you can cultivate the skills you need in a convenient online format.

Related resource:

Top 30 Best Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs (Bachelor’s)

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