how to start a career in criminal justice

how to start a career in criminal justice

Starting a Career in Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is an expansive and exciting field, one that encompasses a wide range of career opportunities. Those who want to pursue a career in criminal justice can begin their journey in several ways. Here are four steps to help you get started on the road to a rewarding criminal justice career:

1. Gain a Solid Education

A strong foundation in the field of criminal justice will help set you up for success. You can begin by earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in an area related to criminal justice such as law, criminal justice, or sociology. Pursuing internships and other related experiences during your college years will also add valuable insight and experience to your education.

2. Acquire Experience

Becoming a part of the criminal justice system requires that you possess knowledge, understanding and experience. Once you’ve successfully completed your education, start building a resume by interning with a local law enforcement agency or government organization. You can also seek out volunteer positions in related fields, such as legal aid or community-based organizations.

3. Prepare Your Resume and Application Materials

When applying for a criminal justice position, there are several materials that you need to have prepared. Your resume should outline your educational background, technical skills, experience, and any other relevant qualifications. Be sure to also include a well-crafted cover letter that communicates your enthusiasm and interest in the position.

4. Apply For Relevant Openings

Once you have your resume and other application materials in order, start searching for openings in the criminal justice field. You can search through job boards and websites, apply directly to agencies and departments, or attend a criminal justice career fair. Additionally, consider reaching out to local and law enforcement agencies, as well as government organizations, to inquire about opportunities.


Pursuing a career in criminal justice is an exciting journey. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to beginning an interesting and rewarding career in the criminal justice system. Good luck!

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