If you have served (or are currently serving) in the Army, chances are your military experience has given you many skills that can be applied to careers in the field of criminal justice. Criminal justice professionals are highly sought after and career opportunities in this field continue to be relatively strong in many markets. For those with military experience, the field of criminal justice can be an exciting and rewarding path to a fulfilling civilian career. And, those seeking degrees in criminal justice can often get course credit for previous military experience. Let's take a look at some of the criminal justice careers that take advantage of military skills:
Crime Scene Investigator
Crime Scene Investigation is a critical practice within the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and one of the FBI's most sought-after careers. Investigators undergo extensive training if accepted by the FBI, both as part of the screening process and part of the ramp up to working as an investigator. Once placed in a job, crime scene investigators follow strict protocols to search, investigate, and examine crime scenes, sometimes in very dangerous environments. To be considered for a job as a crime scene investigator with the FBI, applicants must be at least 27 years of age, be a U.S. citizen with a valid driver's license, and submit to extensive physical and psychological testing and background checks.
Law Enforcement Officer
Police officers, detectives, and other law enforcement officers work within local specialized law enforcement units to protect people, businesses, and property from crime and misconduct. Law enforcement officers collect evidence of crimes, provide security for public events, monitor and patrol highways and roads, and provide other critical services.
Crime analysts use statistical data to analyze crime trends according to a wide range of factors, such as geography, class, race, sex or gender, sexual orientation, major events, politics, and other factors. Crime analysts help law enforcement predict crime trends so that they can allocate law enforcement resources accordingly.
Crime Scene Technician
Crime scene technicians analyze data and evidence gathered from crime scene investigations, such as fingerprints, footprints, firearms, DNA from hair and skin samples, blood, and other physical evidence. Technicians use a variety of specialized equipment, often in a lab or crime investigation facility.
Criminologists pull from sociology, psychology and other disciplines to study the nature, prevalence, reaction to, and causes of crime in various populations and in individuals. Their research aids criminal investigators and law enforcement agencies with predictive models for crime.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) employs agents specifically with the task of controlling drug activities in the U.S. and drug smuggling across its borders, along with other activities such as money laundering. Working alongside other agencies like the FBI and CIA, the DEA and its agents provide a critical and specialized form of law enforcement. To be considered for employment as a DEA agent, applicants must be a U.S. citizen between 21 and 36 years old, with regular vision, at least 20/200 vision without glasses or contacts, sharp hearing, and ability to lift at least 45 pounds. Applicants must submit to rigorous physical, psychological, and written evaluations and background checks.
Information Security Officer
Information security officers and others working in the infosec field provide necessary services to help businesses and government agencies maintain tightly secure data and information files. Careers in this area often entail assessing the level of security through ethical hacking practices and data recovery for security audits and other necessary regular checks on critical and confidential data.
Private Investigators use various methods to find information about and for businesses, individuals, and organizations. Sometimes investigations are linked with criminal investigations, but often they are for personal or private business matters. PIs also may be hired to provide employment checks, background checks, and personal protective services for celebrities and public figures.
Homeland Security Officer
Homeland security jobs with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security differ, but all require a full background check and drug screening. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.