Careers for Women in Criminal Justice


Women who receive a degree in criminal justice have a number of different career opportunities that will open up to them. This all depends on what type of career they want to have, as criminal justice is a field that covers work in laboratories, courtrooms and law enforcement work.

Crime Laboratory Analyst

  • A crime laboratory analyst spends most of her time in a laboratory analyzing data that have been gathered at crime scenes by detectives. They look at everything from bullet spray-patterns to skid marks on the road from cars to blood alcohol levels and toxicology. Sometimes crime laboratory analysts go to the crime scenes and collect the evidence so they know exactly what they are collecting and why. Women can work these jobs with a criminal justice degree but must have a biology or forensic science degree as well so they can work efficiently in a laboratory.

Immigration Enforcement Agent

  • Immigration enforcement agents' primary duties are to enforce immigration and customs laws and protect federal facilities and commercial airlines. This entails the apprehension, detainment and processing of illegal immigrants as well as deportation duties. With the threat of terrorism a constant concern in the United States, this is one of the most important criminal justice jobs currently in the field. Both men and women are employed in immigration enforcement. Working environments range from federal buildings to correctional facilities to hands-on field work. Criminal justice and/or a homeland security degree, which is now being offered through many different colleges or online courses, is desirable to be an agent.

Law Enforcement Officer

  • Law enforcement officer is a standard career path for those with a criminal justice degree and offer a number of different career options. Police patrol officers have more and more women joining their ranks, allowing them to work their way up in the police force and become sergeants, majors and even chiefs. Women correctional officers usually work women's prisons, as men's prisons can leave them a bit too vulnerable and possible to overpower by hardened criminals. A criminal justice degree can also lead to a career as a security guard, which is a much less dangerous job in law enforcement, or a fire inspector, which requires some study in forensics and how fire works and burns.

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