8 Careers You Can Aim For With A Criminology Degree

Criminology is an exciting field of study that enables individuals to gain insight into the inner workings of the criminal justice system. Criminologists study crime and criminal behavior, including psychology, economics, statistics, and sociology. With a criminology degree, you can open up a world of opportunities and pursue a variety of rewarding careers. 

Having a criminology degree makes you eligible to find relevant jobs and career options in various areas and departments. The sectors and areas where criminologists can find excellent career options include criminal justice agencies, education departments, social work and community, public and private sectors, etc. Here are some career paths you can pursue with a degree in criminology, each with its own unique set of challenges and rewards: 

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The criminal justice system is a fascinating and essential part of our world, and a criminology degree can open up a number of exciting career paths. From working as a police officer or detective to investigating crime scenes and testifying in court, a career in criminal justice can be challenging yet rewarding. If you plan on pursuing a career in criminal justice, you should start by researching the various available career paths. 

Be sure to research the requirements for each career path to find the best fit for you. After you have narrowed down your options, you can use your criminology degree to get started on the path toward a suiting career in the field. For instance, some criminal justice careers require a bachelor’s degree; others may have different eligibility criteria. Make sure you do thorough research about that. 

  • Law Enforcement 

If you have ever dreamed of being a police officer, a criminology degree can get you one step closer to your dream job. Law enforcement careers are among the most popular and in-demand careers you can pursue with a criminology degree. A degree in criminology gives you a deep knowledge of the law, allowing you to enforce it effectively and fairly. 

Most law enforcement agencies require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, and many even require a master’s degree. This can make pursuing a career in law enforcement challenging for many students. Statistics from 2021 show that the number of law enforcement officers in the USA exceeded 660,228. 

  • Forensic Psychologist 

If you have a criminology degree, but you want to work towards a more in-depth understanding of the human mind, a career as a forensic psychologist could be an excellent option for you. Forensic psychologists work with law enforcement, as well as with individuals in court, to provide expert psychological analyses. While a criminology degree can prepare you for a career in law enforcement, a forensic psychology degree requires a more profound and advanced knowledge of psychology. 

You can use your criminology degree to get started on this path toward a career as a forensic psychologist. With a bachelor’s degree in criminology, you can apply for graduate programs in forensic psychology. These programs are typically very competitive, so you will need to have a solid academic record to be admitted. Moreover, BLS reports that forensic psychology jobs are expected to increase by 14% through 2028. 

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  • Private Investigator 

Private investigators work on a variety of interesting and complex cases, from uncovering evidence to assisting with criminal investigations. They perform their services by verifying people’s backgrounds and statements, finding people that go missing, investigating crimes, and more. 

Therefore, you must have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice to be eligible to become a private investigator. Moreover, experience as a police officer and a license according to the state guidelines are also a few requirements to take up this career path. 

  • Crime Analyst 

Crime analysis might interest you if you have a degree in criminology. Crime analysts work by determining patterns using various technologies and strategies such as crime mapping software, geographic information system (GIS), police reports, a survey from the victims, etc. Crime analysts contribute to reducing and preventing criminal activities. 

A crime analyst’s job is to conduct research, collect and analyze data, formulate crime prevention plans, make reports, and more. They are constantly working alongside investigators, patrol officers, detectives, etc. 

  • Correctional Officer

Correctional officers, also called prison officers, are responsible for enforcing laws and regulations in prison. Some of their other responsibilities include the care, custody, and control of convicted criminals. They also supervise the day-to-day operations of the facility, such as safety. Correctional officers can find jobs in government and private companies related to the government through prison services. 

With a degree in criminology, you can take up this career path and become a law enforcement official. A four-year bachelor’s program in criminology or criminal justice is required to become a correctional officer. 

  • Probation Officer 

With criminology as your major, you can also go toward being a probation officer. A probation officer is an official who works to make communities safer. It is a part of their job to investigate, supervise and monitor the movements of criminal offenders on probation. It is one of the most lucrative career options for criminology graduates. 

Besides a bachelor’s in criminology or criminal justice, you must clear the competency exam to become a probation officer. Probation officers are paid an average of $49,203 per year.

  • Crime Scene Technicians 

Another excellent career option for criminology graduates is crime scene technician. Their foremost responsibility is to take care of evidence and samples taken at the crime scene. Their job is to visit the crime sites and collect evidence from there, such as fingerprints, photographs, etc. However, being a crime scene technician requires some exceptional attention and organizational skills. These attributes are necessary to be an efficient crime scene technician. 


A criminology degree comes with various career opportunities and options. You have many options to choose from in both the public and private sectors if you hold a degree in criminology. Depending on your own preference and interest, you can either be a criminologist or a forensic psychologist, a private investigator, or a correctional officer. Each of the careers mentioned above has its own challenges and rewards, but they are rewarding!