Careers in Criminal Justice
If you would like to be an educator in the field of criminal justice, there are a number of avenues to do so. Students may have the opportunity to begin studying criminal justice as early as high school. For example, there is the School of Government, Law, and Law Enforcement in the Dallas Independent School District.
There are also many criminal justice instructor positions at community and junior colleges. Usually to obtain these positions you need at least a Master's degree and some field experience.
To become a criminal justice professor at a 4-year university, you will most likely need a J.D. or a Ph.D. in criminal justice or a related field. Please see the "Law School" or "Graduate Programs" links on the Career Search webpage for more information about furthering your education in the criminal justice field.
The majority of federal job placements related to criminal justice (including ATF, DEA, FBI, Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Marshals Service, Office of Inspector General, and Office of Justice Programs) can be searched and applied for at the following website:
If you are looking for a federal student job or internship, see the following websites
Here are some additional websites you may find useful for federal criminal justice careers:
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms
- Bureau of Diplomatic Security
- Bureau of Justice Assistance
- Bureau of Justice Statistics
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Department of Veteran's Affairs Police
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Justice
- Complete List of DOJ Agencies
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Environmental Protection Administration
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Federal Bureau of Prisons
- Financial Crimes Enforcment Network
- Immigration & Customs Enforcement
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service
- National Institute of Justice
- National Security Agency
- Office of Attorney General
- Office of Inspector General
- Office of Justice Programs
- Complete List of OJP Bureaus and Offices
- Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention
- Office for Victims of Crime
- Office of Tribal Justice
- Postal Inspection Service
- Securities & Exchange Commission Enforcement Division
- U.S. Federal Judiciary
- U.S. Marshals Service
- U.S. Parole Commission
- U.S. Secret Service
- U.S. Sentencing Commission
- U.S. Supreme Court
- USIS (provides background investigations for the federal government)
There are a number of criminal justice related opportunities, both law enforcement and corrections, at the State level. Please see the links below for State of Texas agencies within our field.
- List of Texas State Agencies
- Texas Department of Public Safety (click on "Employment")
- Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Rangers (description only)
- Texas Parks & Wildlife
- Texas Department of Criminal Justice
- Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Parole Division
- Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
- Texas Juvenile Justice Department
There are a number of criminal justice related opportunities at the County level. Sheriff's Departments and community supervision and corrections departments (adult and juvenile) are found at the County level (probation, parole, diversion programs, etc.). Please see the links below for criminal justice related career opportunities at the County level (Only major Texas Counties and those in the DFW area listed).
- Collin County Human Resources
- Bexar County Human Resources
- Dallas County (click on "Careers")
- Denton County Human Resources
- El Paso County Human Resources
- Harris County Human Resources
- Tarrant County (click on "Job Opportunities")
- Travis County Human Resources
- +Local Law Enforcement
Law enforcement is one of the most popular aspects of the criminal justice field. Within the state of Texas there are over 1,000 law enforcement agencies. Please see the links below for information about local law enforcement agencies.
- Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE)
- TCLEOSE List of Law Enforcement Agencies (Under the heading "Publications & Research," click on the .pdf titled Texas Law Enforcement Agencies by County)
- The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
Law Enforcement Analyst Positions:
- +Criminalistics/Forensic Science
Criminalistics involves the collection and examination of items of physical evidence found at crime scenes such as firearms, ammunition components, footwear impressions, fingerprints, hairs, and fibers.The goal of criminalistics is to positively place a suspect at a crime scene using physical evidence.
UNT has an 18 credit hour criminalistics certificate program in which students learn how to recognize, document and collect items of physical evidence. Additionally, students are taught what the capabilities as well as the limitations are of criminalistics laboratories that ultimately analyze the physical evidence brought to them by scene investigators.
The criminalistics certificate program is specifically designed for future field investigators, detectives, and police administrators.Others who can potentially benefit from the program include future prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, journalists, emergency room nurses and physicians.
Click here to learn more about the UNT criminalistics certificate program.
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the UNT Health Science Center also offers a Master's of Science degree in Forensic Genetics.
Useful links for students interested in learning more about the profession of criminalistics and the related career opportunities include:
- +Graduate School
If you are interested in continuing education related to criminal justice, see the list below of criminal justice graduate programs in Texas. There are also two links which will lead you to listings of criminal justice related graduate programs nationwide.
Nationwide Listings of Graduate Programs:
CJ-Related Graduate Programs in Texas:
- Prairie View A&M University
- St. Mary's University
- Sam Houston State University
- Sul Ross State University
- Tarleton State University
- Texas A&M International University
- Texas State University - San Marcos
- University of Houston - Clear Lake
- University of Houston - Downtown
- University of Houston - Victoria
- University of North Texas
- University of Texas - Arlington
- University of Texas - Dallas
- University of Texas of the Permian Basin
- University of Texas - San Antonio
- University of Texas - Tyler
- +Law School
As a number of our students go on to law school after graduating from UNT, here is a listing of law schools located in Texas. There is also a link to a nationwide list of law schools provided by the American Bar Association. If you are interested in attending law school you will also need to see the webpage of the Law School Admission Council.
Law Schools in Texas:
- Baylor University Law School
- St. Mary's University School of Law
- South Texas College of Law
- Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
- Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law
- Texas Tech University School of Law
- Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
- University of Houston Law Center
- University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law
- University of Texas School of Law
- +Loss Prevention & Corporate Security
When searching for criminal justice related careers, don't forget about the private sector. There are a number of retail chains that offer careers in loss prevention and corporate security. A few of these include JC Penney, Target, Lowe's, Home Depot, Macy's, and Neimen Marcus. Contact a store near you for more information or see the link below for job listings in your area.
- +Research / Intelligence Gathering
While many students do not relate research and statistics to criminal justice, they actually go hand and hand. Many of the programs and policies instituted by criminal justice professionals are evidence-based and all programs and policies should be evaluated while operational.
There are research/intelligence gathering positions at all levels of the criminal justice field. The National Institute of Justice is the research arm of the Department of Justice. As another example at the federal level, the FBI has analyst positions in which individuals research and analyze information to produce intelligence reports for open cases. The FBI also collects and analyzes nationwide data to produce the Uniform Crime Reports and the related UCR Index.
State, County, and local agencies also have a number of research positions that can be searched for on their individual agency websites. For example, analysts in the Dallas Police Department Fusion Center work much like analysts in the FBI. If you are interested in analyst positions, you may want to check out the following websites:
- International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts
- International Association for Crime Analysts
There are also a number of funding agencies which provide support for both governmental and non-governmental criminal justice related agencies and organizations. Many non-profit victim service organizations run solely on grants and donations. Universities also look for individuals trained and successful in obtaining grants to work in their research services offices. There are usually grantwriting classes you can take while completing your degree and also public grantwriting seminars/workshops you can attend. Grants can also help individuals with their research including graduate students working on research projects for their theses and dissertations.
All in all, research and obtaining funding to conduct research or provide services related to criminal justice is an important area of our field and one that should not be overlooked.
- +Victim Services
The victim is often a forgotten member of the criminal justice system. However, there are many law enforcement agencies, district attorney's offices, and non-profit organizations which offer assistance and provide services to crime victims.
Please see the links below if you are interested in careers involving victim services. There are also now graduate programs specifically related to victimology and victim services if you are interested in furthering your education in this area.
- American Society of Victimology
- World Society of Victimology
- TDCJ Victim Services Division
- Victim Resource Directory(Listing by TX Counties)
Example Victim Service Providers in DFW:
- Alliance for Children
- Battered Women's Foundation
- Brighter Tomorrows, Inc.
- CASA of Tarrant County
- Denton County Friends of the Family
- Denton County Children's Advocacy Center
- Disabled Crime Victims Assistance, Inc.
- Hope's Door
- MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
- New Beginning Center, Inc.
- SafeHaven of Tarrant County
- The Turning Point Rape Crisis Center
The UNT Department of Criminal Justice created this webpage to give students, particularly graduating seniors, some assistance in searching for employment within the criminal justice field as well as opportunities for further education related to criminal justice. Please use the links below to find information related to your area of interest.