7 Types of Criminal Justice Certifications (With Examples)

If you want to forge a career in the justice system, earning our Criminal Justice certificate online could be the first step you need. From juvenile justice to private security and criminal investigation, you’ll graduate with an in-depth understanding of the court system—and a clear vision of the direction in which you want to take your career.

Our online Undergraduate Certificate in Criminal Justice gives you the freedom to make your own schedule and complete your one-semester program at a pace that fits into your life. With the option to take your education a step further and put your credits toward an Associate Degree upon graduation, you’ll be even closer to achieving your goals.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE MAJOR (REAL) JOBS! & TIPS ON RESEARCHING CAREERS

Why are criminal justice certifications important?

Criminal justice certifications are important because they help people who are interested in pursuing a career in the field learn more about their chosen role and potentially improve their chances of finding a job. Certification programs give students knowledge and skills specific to their area of study, which can make them more qualified for a job and help them distinguish themselves from competing candidates. Certification programs can also introduce students to important career resources and networking opportunities, such as professional organizations.

What is a criminal justice certification?

A criminal justice certification is a professional credential that shows you completed an educational or training program in a specific area within the field. Certification programs usually take less time to complete than a college degree. Many candidates can complete them in a few months, although some certifications take longer, particularly if you attend a part-time program. Colleges, universities and government agencies may offer criminal justice certification programs.

7 types of criminal justice certifications

There are several categories of criminal justice certifications, and each provides the option for many job roles. Some certifications require only a high school diploma or GED, while others require the candidate to earn a college degree before applying to the program. Here are seven types of criminal justice certifications:

1. General criminal justice certifications

General criminal justice certifications include a broad range of skills that allow recipients to find jobs in many areas of the field. Many people who pursue these certifications use them to move up in their existing criminal justice careers. Basic and graduate certifications can qualify professionals to perform more advanced duties. Here are common examples of general criminal justice certifications:

2. Forensic science certifications

Forensic science certifications help entry-level and advanced professionals pursue positions in forensic departments at law enforcement facilities. Graduate certificates typically focus on specializations in forensics, while professional certificates give candidates the knowledge and skills to work on crime scenes and in laboratories. Here are some examples of forensic science certifications:

3. Legal certifications

Many criminal justice professionals work within the legal area of the field. Lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants and other law office employees assist their clients with their court cases in different ways, depending on the employees role. Having specialized certifications can help people who work in the legal field succeed as administrative professionals, legal support specialists and attorneys. Here are some common legal certifications:

4. Security certifications

Criminal justice professionals may earn one of two types of security certifications. Some security professionals work with courts and forensic teams to protect internal systems from hackers and help law enforcement uncover digital data that may help solve cases. Others, such as bailiffs, provide physical security services to keep people in jails and courtrooms safe. Here are some security certifications:

5. Law enforcement certifications

Law enforcement certifications allow those who work in police departments to develop important skills and advance their careers. Some certifications focus on administrative roles, such as training and record-keeping, while others help law enforcement officers pursue specific roles. Examples of law enforcement certifications include:

6. Corrections certifications

Corrections certifications enable people to work in jails, prisons and other correctional institutions. Facilities may require certain certifications before a newly hired employee can work, while corrections professionals pursue other types of certifications to advance in their careers. Here are some examples of corrections certifications:

7. Court certifications

Court certifications allow professionals to assist judges in the courtroom. Administrative and clerical employees take part in court proceedings by arranging legal documentation, managing court schedules and recording conversations that occur in court. Certifications may be required or voluntary, but each provides criminal justice professionals in the judicial field with the knowledge and skills to help them succeed.

Tips for choosing the right criminal justice certification

Here are some tips to help you choose a criminal justice certification that suits your career goals:

Consider your ideal work environment

Because there are so many types of criminal justice careers, professionals work in different environments. You may want to pursue a career in a courtroom, at a jail or sheriffs office, in a law office or in the community. Choosing a work environment you would enjoy can help you eliminate certain jobs and consider others.

Talk to professionals in criminal justice

If you already work in criminal justice and youre considering moving to a different position, speak with your colleagues about what they like about their roles. Otherwise, you may know someone in the field who can answer your questions about their career. You might also have the opportunity to take part in a job shadowing experience, which allows you to follow and observe a professional for the day. For example, police departments often allow citizens to accompany a police officer on their shift.

Choose which aspect of criminal justice appeals to you

After youve determined the type of environment youd like to work in and researched the career fields within criminal justice, you can decide which areas appeal to you. If you have a specific role you want to pursue, you can look for certification programs for that job. If you have a basic idea of what youd like to do within the field or want to try more than one job before specializing, a general program may help you gain certification that qualifies you for many jobs in criminal justice.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

FAQ

What is the best major for criminal justice?

Top 10 Most Useful Criminal Justice Majors for 2021
  1. Information Security. Information security is a fast-growing field, as more and more companies take their operations online. …
  2. Criminology. …
  3. Psychology. …
  4. Paralegal. …
  5. Social Work. …
  6. Rehabilitation. …
  7. Private Detective. …
  8. Research Methods.

What degree is close to criminal justice?

Criminology and criminal justice sound similar, but these majors are distinct in some ways. While criminal justice encompasses all areas of the justice system, criminology is largely focused on research and sociology. Criminology majors study human behavior and psychology as they relate to crime.

Does UW Madison have criminal justice?

Program Overview

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Criminal Justice Certificate Program (CJCP) is a targeted selection of courses and field work for students wanting to learn about the dynamics of criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Does UMass Amherst have criminal justice?

The Criminology & Criminal Justice System Certificate Program. The Criminology and Criminal Justice System Certificate at UMass Amherst explores the sociological theories of crime, law, and the criminal justice system.

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