Read 5 Top Hiring Trends in the Criminal Justice Industry
Certain sectors of the criminal justice industry are emerging as hot spots for trained workers.
By Randy Woods
The criminal justice industry covers plenty of ground and involves a multitude of job roles. Certain sectors of this intriguing field are emerging as hot spots, where demand for trained workers is predicted to increase greatly over the next few years due to economic and sociological trends—some for surprising reasons.
Here are the top 5 careers in the legal profession in terms of career outlook according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook through 2020:
5. Court Reporters
14 percent predicted growth
Today's court reporter is no longer the stereotypical older lady using a tiny keypad to frantically record everything said during a trial. As America's courthouses continue to modernize their transcription services with real-time captioning for websites and live television feeds, as well as translation services for the deaf more reporters will be need. The report indicates the need is predicted to be especially acute in rural areas where fewer people are applying for these jobs.
4. Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
18 percent predicted growth
Criminal justice does not simply end with the capture and conviction of criminals. After being incarcerated, these individuals must be managed by an army of correctional treatment personnel and later monitored by probation, parole and community supervision officers once they're released. As mandatory sentencing guidelines and reduced paroles continue to increase the nation's prison population there is an increased need for this type of work. It's sometimes difficult and stressful work, but the opportunities for advancement are "excellent," OOH says.
18 percent predicted growth
his field should be one of the most active and competitive in the criminal justice arena over the next few years. Paralegals, also known as legal assistants, are the worker bees of the legal profession, helping lawyers prepare for hearings and trials by investigating the facts of each assigned case and identifying any relevant case laws and judicial decisions.
Even though a bad economy can result in a decline in business for the legal profession overall, OOH reports that paralegals often are in greater demand during tough times as law firms scramble to handle a higher number of bankruptcies and foreclosures. Also, paralegals can provide many of the same services as lawyers but are much less expensive, making them attractive for clients looking to trim expenses.
2. Forensic Science Technicians
19 percent predicted growth
With the popularity of shows like "CSI: Miami," this field is hot right now both in the mass media spotlight and in the real world. Forensic science involves the analysis of crime scene evidence, such as weapons, furniture or clothing for substances like fibers, glass, hair, tissues and bodily fluids that may help identify culprits. As more state and local governments improve their capacity to use DNA evidence to solve crimes, there should be much activity in this small but rapidly growing sector.
1. Private Detectives and Investigators
21 percent predicted growth
Most of us at some point fantasize about being the tough-as-nails gumshoe who tracks down the bad guys, like the hero of a Raymond Chandler novel. It's no surprise, then, to see that OOH estimates a great need for new detectives and investigators through 2020, mostly to replace retiring workers, but also to meet the needs of a growing population. Keep in mind that investigative work is always inherently dangerous, but OOH says the job opportunity outlook for detectives over the next several years will be favorable.
Read About Criminal Justice Careers
- Paralegal – Read what the paralegal profession is like.
- Law Enforcement – Looking to start a career in law enforcement? Find out what it takes to succeed.
- Forensics – Learn what to expect in the ever-changing field of forensic science.
- Corrections – Learn why a career in corrections may be a good fit for you.
- Online Criminal Justice Degrees – Online education is opening up career options for millions. Find out more.