Criminology Careers that Don’t Require a Degree

In this day and age, it feels like you can’t even shine shoes without a degree. Even though the world is changing and a college degree is the ‘in’ thing for practically everything, there are still a number of career options available for those without that piece of paper. Let’s take a look at criminology today. Some of these career choices might surprise you.

Corrections Officer

Corrections officers operate during the punishment phase of a sentence. In most cases, all you need is a high school diploma. Take note, corrections officers don’t earn a huge amount of money at first. It’s only through years of service can you unlock the bigger salaries.

You’ll spend most of your time in high-security areas. The hours tend to be odd and shift work is common in this industry.


Police Officer

A significant number of states still don’t require police officers to hold a college degree. You usually have to be of a minimum age and have prior work experience, such as service in the military. Anyone without a college degree will have to go through some form of academy training, which is often extremely difficult to pass and lasts for a long time.

Police officers have big opportunities for advancement within their careers. Entry-level police officers can also earn up to $45,000 per year.

Criminal Investigators

Criminal investigators are a type of police officer. They’re called in when a significant crime has happened, such as a crime where someone has been found dead or seriously injured. The cases they handle are usually complex and can’t be handled by conventional patrol officers, due to lack of time and resources. Salary is usually based on length of service.

Take note, this is not an entry-level position. Criminal investigators are often brought up from the ranks of the conventional police officer.

Loss Prevention Specialist

Loss prevention workers operate alongside retailers to prevent retail theft. They will make sure merchandise is protected and that customers are safe. Although you’ll typically receive the minimum wage to start with, you do need just a high school diploma to get stated.

Loss prevention work is ideal for those who want to move up to higher paying jobs in the criminal justice system. Managers alone can easily earn up to $50,000 per year.

Police Dispatchers

Police dispatchers are the communicators within the police force. Whenever they receive an urgent call for assistance, they will direct the relevant units to their destination. These are usually the first point of contact between the general public and the police force. Whilst you only need a high school diploma, previous public contact work is a massive help.

Take note, this can be a stressful job. You will be dealing with people who’re distressed, angry, and upset on a regular basis.

Border Patrol Agents

Border patrol agents operate in a similar vein to police officers. The difference is they’re tasked exclusively with protecting the border from illegal immigrants. As well as preventing illegal aliens from entering the country, they will also work to stop the spread of drugs and weapons.

Instead of a college degree, applicants will be required to attend a training academy. You’ll also need to pass extensive background checks and a polygraph exam. Border patrol agents also need to speak functional Spanish.

These are just some of the careers you can pick up. Don’t think that because they don’t require a college degree they’re easy to get into. Most of these jobs have equally gruelling alternatives to the college degree. Carefully research each career’s requirements before deciding what you want to do.

Image source: iStock

20 percent discount
20 percent discount