When thinking about getting an online criminal justice degree, it’s encouraging to know there are many career paths available.

Graduates are armed with the skills needed to pursue a career in law enforcement, as well as careers within fields that may be surprising, such as security and science.

With courses divided between communications, humanities, and natural and social sciences, students will gain knowledge necessary to succeed in a criminal justice career. Whether protecting a community, securing people and property, or analyzing data to inform the criminal discovery process, graduates will have the opportunity to play a critical role in a variety of settings.


Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement offers online criminal justice degree graduates a variety of career options. Students in this program are expertly prepared to protect and serve their communities, either through leadership positions or independent field work.

Coursework includes criminal law, public safety communication strategies, investigation techniques, and history of violence and drug control in the U.S.

Common positions and current salary medians include:

  • Probation or Corrections Officer – $38,000*
  • Private Investigator or Detective – $46,000*
  • Police Patrol or Sheriff – $57,000*



Outside of law enforcement, security professionals have a variety of job options including door supervisors at large public venues, security officers within corporate settings, as bodyguards, or providing protection within residential settings.

Related coursework teaches threat management and investigation, ethics, and conflict resolution.

Common positions and median salaries include:

  • Insurance Examiner or Adjuster – $62,000*
  • Security Management Specialist – $66,000*
  • Security Manager – $103,000*


Criminal justice positions, with an emphasis in science, work alongside law enforcement officers providing critical support within investigations and for behavioral rehabilitation.

Coursework spans areas of study such as chemistry, statistics, biology, and psychology.

Common positions and median salaries include:

  • Correctional Treatment Specialist – $48,000*
  • Forensic Technician – $52,800*
  • Criminology and Sociology – $75,000*


Learn more about an online criminal justice degree from Capella University.

*Median wages as of 2013 from the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Job Center.