The world of criminology offers numerous employment opportunities in the private and public sectors. The government is always in need of employees in many different areas to keep communities safe and bring criminals to justice. For example, you can become a security protection officer, criminal justice instructor, or American government instructor to educate our nation’s communities about the law. On the other hand, you might want to branch out by becoming a crime analyst or defense advocate representative to help law enforcement and justice systems operate more efficiently. There are so many different kinds of in-demand and diverse careers to choose in the field of criminology.
This article will look at some of the diverse careers in the context of exposing jobs that you may not readily think of in the crime arena. One important caveat is that some of the job postings we reviewed require experience in law enforcement. Please check postings the specific government jobs for particulars.
It is legal for adults over the age of 21 to smoke marijuana without a doctor’s letter in nine states. Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states. These statistics have created a need for compliance investigators whose responsibilities are to ensure marijuana business licensees are complying with their respective state marijuana laws, rules, and regulations. An investigator of this type also implements legislation, develops rules, conducts background investigations, issues business licenses, and enforces compliance mandates in order to maintain a robust regulatory structure.
Qualifications typically include graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in criminology, criminal justice, criminalistics, political science, police science, law enforcement, and intelligence research. Other acceptable degrees are in risk management, security, law, psychology, sociology, organizational development, instructional design, education, training, or development.
These can be at different levels, such as Investigator I or II. An Investigator I differs with District Attorney’s Investigators II as to experience level within the field of law enforcement investigations. The former can be an entry or trainee position. The duties, regardless of experience, are to investigate suspected welfare fraud, child abduction, officer-involved shootings, internal matters, other fraud and criminal cases. You will also interview suspects, witnesses, and victims; obtain statements, documents, and related factual material, in addition to other tasks.
Most of these jobs do not require a degree. However, in lieu of a college diploma, they generally require law enforcement experience. You will need a degree at the level of Investigator V, which is a leadership position within the Investigative Division of the District Attorney’s Office. These postings may stipulate an education and experience equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or additional equivalent experience in a related field and six (6) years law enforcement experience investigating a wide assortment of complex criminal cases.
As a state Medicaid Fraud Investigator, you work within the Office of the Attorney General. These positions are responsible for independently performing investigations in a wide variety of criminal and civil fraud cases involving State Medicaid, medical, and healthcare programs. Investigations include suspected fraud and abuse by providers, complaints of abuse and neglect of patients, and other criminal cases such as homicide, assault, theft, and criminal neglect. This position also has various levels based on experience.
As an Investigator IV, for example, you perform and/or supervise investigations involving suspected or actual violations of civil, administrative and/or criminal laws, rules, regulations or other legal requirements within an agency’s jurisdiction; determine case approach and gather supporting evidence or information. Education requirement is a bachelor’s degree (criminal justice or related field) from an accredited four-year college or university.
Child Protection Services Investigator
Child Protective Services (CPS) Investigators investigate claims of child abuse and neglect. They have the difficult task of figuring out what happened and predicting what will happen in the future. CPS receives and investigates reports of abuse and neglect 24 hours per day, every day of the year. The investigations include interviewing and gathering information to see if abuse or neglect happened and if intervention is necessary. You will be interviewing people, such as the person who reports it, family members, doctors, nurses, and others familiar with the family situation.
Some government agencies require child protective officers to have an educational background directly relevant to the job. The New York City Administration for Children’s Services requires all applicants for the position of Child Protective Specialist to have a bachelor’s degree with at least 24 credits in related topics, of which 12 must be from a single topic. Acceptable topics include social work, sociology, human services, psychology, criminal justice, nursing, cultural anthropology, or education.
Major cities have within their Housing Authority Department a position that investigates areas of suspected violations of public assistance laws, rules, and regulations and a variety of other departmental matters. In this endeavor, you will investigate any violation of or noncompliance with the requirements of legislation and/or administrative rules and regulations pertaining to the programs administered by the Housing Authority.
Unfortunately, these are not usually entry-level jobs. The minimum education may require a four-year degree from a recognized college or university – AND – three (3) years of professional level investigative experience as a criminal investigator, or as a fraud auditor. Possible substitutions are two (2) years of criminal investigative experience, in a sworn status, in government law enforcement (Federal, State, or local agency).