Government Jobs in Criminology: Federal, State and More

We’ve said many times here that criminology jobs can be extremely varied. One sector that has a lot of possibilities for employment is the government: but where exactly would you find these jobs?

At the very top, there are numerous opportunities for criminologists in the federal government. The U.S. Secret Service, FBI, CIA and DEA are all possibilities, as well as a number of other agencies that aren’t quite as front-line, such as the Policy Office of the Department of Homeland Security. In most of these cases, the criminology positions are research intensive and an advanced degree will be required. (Check out our guide to criminology education programs for more details.) In addition, you will have to pass a number of strict requirements to work for the government and obtain a security clearance to work at many of these organizations. The best place to look for US federal government jobs is the official jobs site Also, there are a number of private organizations that do research for the federal government and hire criminologists, (for example the National Center for Juvenile Justice in Pittsburgh) so that is another possibility to be involved in government policy without officially being employed by a government organization.

In contrast, at the state and local level you can find opportunities that only require a bachelor’s degree. These include working with organizations such as State Highway Patrols, and State Departments of Rehabilitation and Correction. In addition to state government, there are a variety of jobs available in local governments, meaning the county, city, township or village level. Some of these include the local police, and the Department of Public Safety. At the local level there are also more research-intensive positions as well for those with an advanced criminology degree, such as with a county Prosecutor’s Office.

In addition to browsing official government websites for job openings, you should network as much as you can and also look into criminology organizations in your desired subfield that often have career resources. And last but not least, you can set up keyword searches in a job site like or to have jobs delivered to you or set up as an RSS feed you can monitor.

These are the basics of finding government employment for criminology. This article has been aimed primarily at the situation in the United States. If you are seeking employment in another country, you will want to investigate the different state and federal organizations that correspond to these. (And if you’re a reader from another country, please let us know in the comments below!)

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