My Personality and Criminal Justice
Help Looking For Work
I am unemployed right now and graduate in October 2013. I am looking for work in this field. If anyone has some advice or information on getting into one of these careers, I would appreciate the help. Thanks!
by Amber Maccione
Careers in Criminal Justice
As a child I was always interested in drafting (blueprints of housing plans), puzzles, and those critical thinking stories where you have to put the clues together to figure out who did what where and when. As I grew older and was able to watch adult T.V., CSI became a favorite. Now as an adult, one of my favorite T.V shows is Criminal Minds. You would have thought that I would have known to have majored in criminal justice instead of English my first time around. But now with being older and knowing how careers fit together with fields of study, I am starting over and hoping to find the perfect fit to my personality so that I can actually enjoy going to work.
When choosing to come to this university, my enrollment student advisor helped me to see that I might be interested in a job as an investigator with cold cases or maybe a job like Garcia who mainly sits behind a desk with all her technology to help guide the agents that are in the field. As I dove into our readings this week, especially the Prentice Hall link, I have found a few careers that interest me: crime analyst, criminal justice planner, and private investigator/cold cases unit.
Since I pay close attention to detail and am very organized, and am technologically savvy, it looked like through my readings, that a job as a crime analyst would fit my personality. A crime analyst studies different crimes that are brought into the department through police reports and crime reports. It is the crime analysts job to pull the important information from these reports, analyze and tract the information into communication crime patterns, and then to relay the findings to law enforcement (Employment Development Department 1999 p. 1). Their duties are to assist law enforcement in planning, prevention, suppression, updating information systems, supervise statistical and clerical employees. Most crime analyst work in an office but sometimes they go out into the field. Most of their days though require long hours on a computer. Some of the qualifications needed are U.S. citizenship, high school diploma/GED, and a background check, polygraph examination, and drug screening. Other qualifications that may be needed in some positions are a bachelor’s degree with a major in mathematics, statistics, computer science/information systems, or a related field, one or more years of experience in statistical analysis and interpretation, one or more years experience as a criminal investigator, detective/agent, experience with geographic information systems, and experience with law enforcement databases. The estimated range of salary ranges from $40,000 to $80,000 a year depending on where you live and work (Pearson Education 2005).
Another criminal justice career that I thought would fit my personality is a criminal justice planner. Since I am again organized and detail oriented, I would do well with this job that includes analysis of data, assisting with community crime boards, training, obtaining federal grants, and developing management systems. The job allows for some time in the office, but requires travel, which is another thing that I like to do. Some qualifications that are needed to be hired as a criminal justice planner are a high school diploma/GED, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree with a major in criminal justice planning, one or more years of experience, and ability to analysis statistics. The estimated range of salary ranges from $25,000 to $55,000 a year depending on where you live and work (Pearson Education 2005).
The last criminal justice career that I was interested in and the one I am leaning towards more is to work as a private investigator especially with a company that specializes in cold cases. Private Investigator article states that you collect data from a client and then work in the field doing surveillance, tracing people, serving documents to people, and sometimes collecting data for a court case. Some of the characteristics that a private investigator would need to have would be organized, patience, persistence, and independent. I have already stated that I am a very organized person. As a teacher and mother, patience has been a gift learned. I am also a persistent when there is something I need or want. I also have always preferred to work alone so that I can focus and get what I need done. Most of an investigator’s job is out in the field, with very little time in an actual office. Their hours are irregular and there is always the lingering aspect of danger from individuals not appreciating you watching them or serving them certain papers. As for qualifications, a valid driver’s license, some experience, and training are required. Degrees are needed for advancing. The salary range for this type of work ranges from $15,000 to $160,000 depending on where and who you work for (Private Investigator 2009).
Criminal justice has a huge range of different jobs for every person and every personality. The three top jobs that I feel would fit me that best because of being organized and detail oriented are crime analyst, criminal justice planner, and private investigator. My plan as of now is to pursue the private investigator route. After Ashford University, I hope to get into a master’s program of criminology. I eventually want to earn a job in an office that focuses on cold cases.
Anonymous. Private Investigator. Careers 2009. (5th edition). Richmond: 2009. pg. 511,
1 pgs(1 January). Retrieved May 27, 2012, from Career and Technical Education.
(Document ID: 2003479931).
Employment Development Department. (1999). Crime and Intelligence Analysts.
Retrieved May 28, 2012, from http://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/occguide/crimanlt.htm
Pearson Education (2005). Prentice Hall Presents: Careers in Criminal Justice.
Retrieved from http://media.pearsoncmg.com/ph/chet/chet_criminal_justice_1/careers/content/index.html
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