Career Opportunities

Jobs in the field of criminal justice are plentiful, with over 700,000 positions estimated to exist nationally. The State of Washington alone has over 10,000 sworn police positions in local police departments and county sheriff's offices, not including civilian positions in these agencies. The Seattle Police Department, for example, has over 600 non-sworn positions such as records clerk, administrative specialists, and evidence technicians. A sampling of potential criminal justice career opportunities is contained in the following, but by no means exhaustive, list.


Law Enforcement

  • State police agencies and highway patrols (49 agencies; none in Hawaii)
  • Local police departments: municipal, township, village police (approximately 16,000 agencies nationally; approximately sworn law enforcement positions in the state of Washington)
    • Police officer
    • Detective
    • K-9 Officer
    • Motorcycle Officer
    • Mounted Patrol
    • Bicycle Officer
    • Bomb Squad
    • Swat Team
    • Hostage Negotiator



  • Prosecuting attorney,* District attorney*
  • City attorney,* City prosecutor*
  • United States Attorney*
  • Criminal defense attorney*
  • Judge*
  • Paralegal
  • Court reporter
  • Bailiff
  • Court clerk
  • Judicial administrator

* Requires a graduate degree from an accredited School of Law



  • Uniform jail and prison corrections officers
  • Prison superintendents


Private Security

  • Campus security officer
  • Corporate and industrial security manager
  • Uniform and undercover security officer
  • VIP security (Bodyguard)
  • Private investigator
  • Polygraph specialist


Other Criminal Justice Career Possibilities

  • Forensic Science Colleges
  • Criminal Justice Jobs
  • Emergency Dispatcher
  • Probation and parole officer
  • Criminologist
  • Social worker
  • Military police
  • Tribal police
  • Forensics
  • Laboratory technician / criminalist / evidence specialist
  • Forensic psychology
  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Forensic anthropology