Career Development

What Does a Criminal Justice Professor Do?

Find out what a criminal justice professor does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a criminal justice professor.

Criminal justice professors teach courses in the field of criminal justice. They may cover topics such as law enforcement, corrections, courts and sentencing, forensics, criminology, etc.

Criminal justice professors must be well-versed in their subject area and have a deep understanding of current events and trends in the industry. They also need to be able to effectively communicate this knowledge to students in a clear and concise manner.

Criminal Justice Professor Job Duties

Criminal justice professors typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Teaching students about the history of criminal law, including the evolution of laws and societal views on crime
  • Conducting research and publishing findings in peer-reviewed journals
  • Communicating with other faculty members about student progress and advising them on academic issues
  • Preparing and administering exams, grading papers, and providing feedback to students regarding their progress in the course
  • Creating lesson plans for their courses, including topics covered in each class session and the order in which topics are presented
  • Participating in interdisciplinary research projects with professors from other departments within the university or community partners in government or nonprofit agencies
  • Preparing lectures, seminars, and labs in their area of expertise
  • Preparing and administering exams, grading papers, and providing feedback to students regarding their progress in the course
  • Administering student disciplinary proceedings when violations of school rules have occurred

Criminal Justice Professor Salary & Outlook

Criminal justice professors’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of institution they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $163,000 ($78.37/hour)

The employment of criminal justice professors is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for these workers depends largely on demand for higher education in general. As more students seek degrees, colleges and universities will need to hire more criminal justice professors to teach classes.

Related: In-Depth Criminal Justice Professor Salary Guide

Criminal Justice Professor Job Requirements

A criminal justice professor typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A criminal justice professor must have a minimum of a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field. Some criminal justice professors choose to pursue a doctorate to increase their earning potential and qualify for more senior positions.

Training & Experience: Most criminal justice professors have a Ph.D. in criminal justice or a related field. They may also have experience as a professor or in a related field. Some criminal justice professors may have experience in law enforcement or the military.

Certifications & Licenses: Depending on the professor’s specialty, they may be required to have a professional license or certification. These licenses and certifications show advanced knowledge in a specific topic.

Criminal Justice Professor Skills

Criminal justice professors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: As a criminal justice professor, you must be able to communicate complex information in an understandable way. You may be teaching students with varying levels of knowledge about the subject, so you must be able to explain the material in a way that everyone can understand. You may also need to communicate with students one-on-one or in groups, so you must be able to speak clearly and concisely.

Active listening: Active listening is the ability to hear and understand what someone else is saying. As a criminal justice professor, you may be in a position of authority and need to listen to your students. Active listening can help you understand their questions and concerns and help you provide them with the information they need.

Public speaking: Public speaking is a necessary skill for criminal justice professors, as they often present lectures to large groups of students. Criminal justice professors must be able to speak clearly and concisely to their students, as well as be able to answer questions and encourage discussion.

Teaching: Criminal justice professors often teach students about the history of law enforcement, the different types of law enforcement agencies and how to conduct investigations. Professors may also teach students about the different types of crimes and how to solve them.

Research: As a criminal justice professor, you may be responsible for researching topics for your lectures, developing lesson plans and grading assignments. Your research skills can help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the criminal justice field and ensure your students are learning about the most relevant topics.

Criminal Justice Professor Work Environment

Criminal justice professors typically work a standard 40-hour workweek, although they may spend additional time outside of class preparing lectures and course materials, conducting research, and meeting with students. They may teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and some may also teach in continuing education or professional development programs. Many criminal justice professors are also actively involved in criminal justice research and often publish their findings in scholarly journals. In addition, they may serve on committees or boards related to criminal justice policy or practice. Some criminal justice professors also work as consultants to government agencies or private businesses on issues related to crime and justice.

Criminal Justice Professor Trends

Here are three trends influencing how criminal justice professors work. Criminal justice professors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Technology in the Criminal Justice System

The criminal justice system is increasingly using technology to help solve crimes and track offenders. This trend is being seen in everything from DNA testing to electronic monitoring devices.

As a criminal justice professor, you can use this trend to your advantage by teaching your students about the latest technologies and how they are being used in the criminal justice system. This will give them an edge when it comes to finding jobs after graduation.

The Need for More Diversity in the Criminal Justice System

The criminal justice system is currently lacking in diversity, which has led to many problems with its operation. For example, judges and prosecutors may be biased against certain groups of people, leading to unfair trials and sentencing.

Criminal justice professors can help address this problem by promoting diversity in their classrooms and encouraging students to pursue careers in law enforcement that reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. They can also work to create partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that students have access to internships and job opportunities.

More Focus on Victim Rights

Victim rights have become a more important focus in the criminal justice system over the past few decades. This is due to the fact that victims often feel neglected or ignored by the legal system, and they want to make sure that their voices are heard.

As a criminal justice professor, you can help to educate students about victim rights by providing them with information about how the system works and what they can do if they feel that their rights have been violated. In addition, you can also provide support to victims and help them to feel comfortable coming forward with their stories.

How to Become a Criminal Justice Professor

A career as a criminal justice professor can be rewarding in many ways. You’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students, help shape the future of the criminal justice field, and stay current on important issues related to crime and justice.

To be successful in this career path, you’ll need to have a strong academic background in your area of expertise and be able to communicate complex ideas effectively to students. You should also be comfortable working with diverse groups of people and be able to work independently with little supervision.

Related: How to Write a Criminal Justice Professor Resume

Advancement Prospects

Criminal justice professors typically advance in their careers by conducting research and publishing their findings in academic journals. As they gain more experience and recognition, they may be promoted to higher positions within their department, such as department chair or dean. In some cases, criminal justice professors may also move into administration positions within their university or college.

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