New Jersey Criminal Justice Careers

New Jersey Criminal Justice Careers

Crime in New Jersey has been the subject of mobster films, TV shows, and novels. But according to the New Jersey State Police*, crime in New Jersey has declined 18% over the last ten years, and reports of violent crime, rape, burglary, car theft and aggravated assault in particular have decreased significantly.

New Jersey has a unique, integrated system of law enforcement to combat crime in the state, rooted in the state's Division of Criminal Justice. The Division is responsible for coordinating law enforcement efforts and sharing resources across city, county, and state levels.

Roughly 81,000 New Jerseyans work in criminal justice as correctional officers, police officers, bailiffs, investigators, or related jobs. The overwhelming majority of these positions require a college degree or equivalent training.

Degrees in Criminal Justice

The great thing about criminal justice degrees is that you can build on your credentials depending on how your career unfolds.

An associate's degree in criminal justice can be completed in two years. Providing students with basic essential criminal justice skills, an associate degree in criminal justice often highlights specialized skills and lays the groundwork for the student to move on to a 4-year program. Local and state law enforcement agencies often want recruits to have at least some college under their belt.

A bachelor's degree is required for those wishing to find positions with federal law enforcement agencies, and is helpful for career advancement for state and local officers. Bachelor's degrees include courses on criminology, sociology, reasoning, and law.

Higher level degrees, such as master's degrees and PhDs, often feature a concentration in the sciences and are geared towards public safety and philosophy. They often (but not always) focus on the administration of law enforcement and security, and so can lead to more advanced positions in corrections, probation, the court system, or research.

Areas of study may include:

  • History of the Law
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Court Systems and Procedures
  • Crime Theory
  • Criminal Justice Ethics
  • Security
  • Law Enforcement and Police Operations
  • Prisoner and Victim Rights
  • Investigation

If you're thinking about studying criminal justice online, then you're in luck. Criminal justice is one of the most popular online degrees offered today, and is available at a variety of accredited schools.

(For more information about criminal justice degrees, read Degrees in Criminal Justice at

Careers in Criminal Justice

Criminal justice covers a number of specialties including forensics, information security, law enforcement, and social work, to name just a few.

As a graduate, you can pursue employment at federal, state, and local New Jersey government agencies; security companies; private investigation services; businesses and retail stores; law firms; and in private probation.

Careers in criminal justice include:

  • Criminal Investigator
  • DEA Agent
  • FBI Agent
  • Police Officer
  • Sheriff
  • US Marshall
  • ATF Agent
  • Corrections Officer
  • Legal Assistant
  • Customs Agent
  • Court Administrator

Have more questions about careers in criminal justice or looking for more criminal justice degree programs and colleges? Visit for more information.

Find careers in criminal justice and law enforcement in New Jersey on

*New Jersey State Police 2008 Uniform Crime Report

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