Trends in Criminal Justice Jobs for 2014

By: U.S. News University Connection

Trends in Criminal Justice Jobs for 2014

Careers in criminal justice are continuing to increase, according to the Bureau Labor of Statistics (BLS). These jobs do not only include protective service such as police officers, investigators, or corrections officers, but they also encompass legal occupations such as lawyers, judges, or paralegals.

What’s Hot?

There are many criminal justice jobs growing faster than the average of all occupations. Among them are:

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling careers are rapidly growing with the BLS projecting a 31% increase in jobs by 2020. People in this field treat and support people with alcoholism, drug addiction or similar behavioral problems. Typically, professionals working in this arena earn a median salary of $38,520. In order to enter this career, professionals need to have a minimum of a high school diploma but may find that some jobs require a master’s degree. Professionals desiring to work in private practice must receive licensure and meet various state regulations.

Paralegals and legal assistants are professions to note, with the BLS projecting a 17% increase by 2020. Earning a median annual salary of $46,990, professionals in this vital career help lawyers draft documents, conduct research, and organize and maintain files. People in this field need an associate’s degree or certification in paralegal studies.

Security guard and gaming surveillance officer jobs are also noteworthy careers, with the BLS expecting jobs to grow 12% by 2020. Professionals in these careers patrol areas and serve to protect against threats of theft, vandalism, terrorism and illegal activity. The median salary is $24,020 per year. In order to obtain one of these jobs, professionals need a high school diploma or GED.

Who’s Hiring?

According to the BLS, certain states have the highest concentration for criminal justice jobs. The top five states hiring legal professionals are the District of Columbia, New York, Delaware, Florida, and Virginia. For protective services, the top five states include the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Nevada, New York and Arizona.

Top-Paying Criminal Justice Jobs

These are the highest paying criminal justice careers, according to the BLS:

Lawyers. Professionals in this field earn an annual median salary of $113,530. Lawyers’ duties include advising others in matters of legal issues and disputes and providing representation to individuals, businesses and government agencies.

Judges and Hearing officers. Those in this career earn a median wage of $102,980 per year. Job duties include researching legal issues, conducting pretrial hearings, presiding over court hearings, facilitating negotiations, resolving disputes and issuing legal decisions.

Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators. People in these jobs earn an annual salary of $61,280. These professionals facilitate negotiations and dialogues that take place outside the courtroom and prepare settlement agreements.

Police and Detectives. Those who take part in this exciting profession make a median salary of $56,980 per year. Police officers duties’ include patrolling areas, responding to emergency calls, protecting lives, protecting property and performing traffic stops. Detectives, sometimes called special agents, respond to crime scenes, collect evidences from possible crimes, write reports and testify in court hearings.