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Criminal Justice Major Careers

Private Investigator Job Description

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Criminal Justice Career Information




 Social Services

  • Corrections
  • Counseling
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Casework
  • Administration
  • Probations & Parole
  • Victim Advocacy
  • State and federal correction facilities

  • County jails

  • Precinct station houses

  • Prison camps

  • Youth correction facilities

  • Medium-security correction facilities

  • Voluntary correction facilities

  • Halfway houses and pre-release programs

  • Reintegration programs

  • Alternative schools

  • Juvenile detention centers

  • Juvenile group homes

  • Women’s and family shelters

  • Domestic violence agencies

  • Immigration and naturalization services

  • Other nonprofit organizations

  • Seek courses or training in topics such as victimology, social problems, diversity issues, or grieving.

  • Supplement curriculum with courses in psychology, sociology, or social work.

  • Gain experience working with a juvenile population in any capacity (i.e., sports teams, summer camp counselor, parks and recreation programs, and community/religious youth groups).

  • Gain related experience in employment interviewing, social casework, substance abuse, and rehabilitation.

  • Learn to work well with people of diverse backgrounds.

  • Consider learning a second language.

  • Maintain a blemish-free driving and criminal record.

  • Gain firearms and self-defense training.

  • Earn a master’s degree in social work or counseling for therapy positions.

  • Obtain a masters degree in criminal justice or business for upper-level positions in facilities management or administration.

Judiciary and Law

  • Court Reporting
  • Legal Assistance
  • Legal Research
  • Administration
  • Local, state, and federal courts

  • Law firms

  • Corporate legal departments

  • Public interest law organizations

  • Consider a double major or minor in the social sciences such as psychology, anthropology, sociology, or political science.

  • Attend a post-secondary vocational or technical college that offers court reporting or paralegal certification programs.

  • Obtain a law degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

  • Learn to use software packages such as CD-ROM research databases.

  • Develop strong research, computer, and writing skills.

  • Maintain a high grade point average to gain admittance to law school.

  • Participate in mock trial groups.

Law Enforcement

  • Patrolling
  • Investigating
  • Forensics
  • Probation
  • Security
  • City/County Government Organizations including:

    • Police departments
    • Correction facilities
    • County sheriff departments
    • Liquor Control Commission
  • State Government Organizations including:

    • State troopers
    • Crime labs
    • Penitentiaries
  • Federal Government Organizations including:Crime laboratories

    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
    • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
    • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Postal Service
    • Federal Marshals
    • Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
    • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
    • National Parks Service


  • Obtain related training or certifications such as CPR, first aid, or EMT.

  • Complete a formal police academy program upon graduation.

  • Maintain a healthy and physically fit lifestyle.

  • Volunteer to work in a police department or campus safety department.

  • Complete an internship in a crime laboratory to gain experience in the forensic application of science.

  • Obtain a double major in criminal justice and a hard science (biology, chemistry, or biochemistry) if interested in a career in forensics.

  • Consider earning a master’s degree in Forensic Science or related discipline.

  • Become familiar with the government application process.

  • Learn a second language.


  • Private Security
  • Consulting
  • Investigating
  • Systems Integration
  • Global Intelligence
  • Private Investigation
  • internet Security
  • Loss and Prevention
  • Insurance companies

  • Banks

  • Private security companies

  • Software companies

  • Hotels and resorts

  • Health care facilities

  • Transportation services

  • Nuclear power plants

  • Manufacturers

  • Online companies

  • Other large corporations

  • Minor in business or computer science.

  • Seek practicum/internship experiences that include training in the hardware and software of security systems.

  • Maintain good physical fitness.

  • Develop exceptional written and oral communication skills.

  • Seek leadership opportunities and develop strong interpersonal skills.

  • Attend firearm safety courses. Obtain first aid and CPR certification.

  • Gain military experience and training.

  • Earn a graduate degree in business or law for upper-level positions.


  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Colleges and universities

  • Adult education providers

  • Public and private high schools

  • Earn a graduate degree for post-secondary teaching opportunities.

  • Get a teaching certificate for elementary or secondary education. Gain a dual certification for increased opportunities.

  • Serve as a tutor to other students.

  • Develop strong written and oral communication skills.

  • Assist a professor with research.

  • Take additional coursework related to research and statistics.

General Information and Strategies


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