9 Alternative Careers for Criminal Justice Majors

July 22, 2022
July 22, 2022 Terkel

What is a good career for a criminal justice major, without being a cop?

To help criminal justice majors find the right career, we asked entrepreneurs and career coaches this question for their best suggestions. From probation officer to fingerprint technician, there are several careers that criminal justice majors may find fulfilling.

Here are nine alternative careers for criminal justice majors:

  • Probation Officer
  • Fraud Investigator
  • Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Private Investigator
  • Investigative Reporter
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Paralegal
  • Fingerprint Technician

9 Alternative Careers for Criminal Justice Majors

Probation Officer

Probation officers play a critical administrative role in the criminal justice system. They supervise convicted criminals released from prison with probationary conditions, as well as those convicts who were granted probation in lieu of prison. They are tasked with maintaining communication with those convicts and making sure they are following the conditions of their probation. As sentencing guidelines change and pressure mounts for lesser prison sentences—particularly for nonviolent offenders—probation officers are sure to be in higher demand in the future.

Chris Riley, USA Rx


Fraud Investigator

An investigator who specializes in fraud examines claims of wrongdoing by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses and examining supporting paperwork. It’s not uncommon for fraud investigators to speak in court about their findings. Fraudulent claims involving insurance, workers’ compensation, personal injury law and other sources of funds are all investigated.

Ayman Zaidi, Great People Search


Crime Prevention Specialist

Stopping crimes before they start can be even more effective than dealing with them when they occur. Crime prevention specialists take a more preventative role in safety. These professionals work with communities to determine what sort of strategies they can use to prevent crime before it starts. If you’re someone interested in using your degree to make ground-level improvements to the well-being of communities, a job as a crime prevention specialist can let you utilize your knowledge and flex your creative muscles.

Alex Chavarry, Cool Links


Crime Scene Investigator

If you want to help others and make a career in criminal justice, the crime scene investigator (CSI) is the right fit for you. The criminal justice field offers a lot of job opportunities such as a competitive salary, common duties and solid job growth.

CSI is the best job for criminal justice professionals who analyze crime scenes, collect important evidence and then track and catch criminals by using their experience and skills.

CSIs have a degree in forensic science or related fields including chemistry, biology and criminal justice. They can work on a team within agencies but also work independently. During their education, they can attend training programs and learning sessions while working on death scenes. They can get an average annual salary of $49,660, which is a very handsome salary package.

Charles Ngechu, EasyPaydayLoan


Private Investigator

Being a private investigator is a good alternative for a person with a criminal justice major. A private investigator is not that different compared to detective work. It requires the skills and knowledge acquired from criminal justice, which might set you apart and make your services more desirable.

Ivy Bosibori, USBadCreditLoans


Investigative Reporter

Criminal justice majors with an inclination to writing and the media will find a good place working as investigative reporters. Whether undercover or in the full glare of the public, criminal justice majors have the skills to follow up on a story, uncover its truth and write comprehensive reports which can be turned into TV programs and documentaries.

Mehtab Ahmed, LoansJury


Forensic Psychologist

A degree in criminal justice provides a number of exciting career opportunities, yet this rewarding, socially meaningful and well-paying job seems to be one of the most interesting options.

A forensic psychologist’s job involves applying psychological theory to criminal investigations with the purpose of understanding crimes and evaluating criminals.

You may be required to create criminal profiles, conduct psychological research and interview prisoners. The most desirable skills for the job include compassion, strong communication skills and the ability to maintain objectivity.

Pursuing a forensic psychologist career can be challenging at times, yet it is also greatly rewarding. Especially for empathetic, critical thinking and detailed-oriented individuals.

Agata Szczepanek, Resume Now



If you are interested in criminal justice but don’t want to be a cop, a position in the court system or as a paralegal would be two great possibilities. Requirements vary based on the state and the details of the position. Some may require additional education, such as a paralegal certification, whereas others may not.

Ron Helmer, Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.


Fingerprint Technician

To ensure that a person is who they say they are, a fingerprint technician collects and examines fingerprints. Manually collecting fingerprints from people of interest allows technicians to gather, process and upload those fingerprints to a national database, where they can be used in the future for legal purposes. When it comes to gathering and submitting fingerprints as evidence in criminal proceedings, fingerprint technicians can keep up-to-date on federal requirements.

Akber Zaidi, WeLoans



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