Five Qualities You Need for a Career in the Criminal Justice Field

Posted by Grantham University
November 30, 2016

criminal justice fieldDo you have what it takes to succeed in your career in the criminal justice field? While understanding the ins and outs of the criminal justice system is essential, there are some important qualities crucial to success as a criminal justice professional. For these professionals, who may have to work with people who put them in uncomfortable positions, having certain qualities can go a long way.

If you want to be able to help people to your maximum ability, focus on gaining and mastering these five qualities1:

1. Leadership Skills

As a professional in the criminal justice field, you may become a role model for recovering offenders. In addition to having excellent personal character, it is also important that you display the kind of leadership skills that will make people want to follow your example. Being a good leader also requires problem-solving skills, such as identifying complex problems, and reviewing information to develop and evaluate solutions.

If you are working with people who have not had many healthy role models while growing up, they may not have a clear sense of what behavior is appropriate. Your confidence and leadership can model how to thrive with structure and exhibit the behavior expected of others.

2. Excellent Personal Ethics

Working in the criminal justice field requires the ability to determine right from wrong. Being in a position of power means you should exercise good judgment, which will become increasingly important as you move forward in your career and become more involved in the decision-making process. A well-developed sense of ethics is necessary to succeed in criminal justice.

Dealing with a criminal population every day can expose you to situations that may encourage you to evaluate your sense of right and wrong. Your actions will come under scrutiny, so it is important to be a constant example of what it means to maintain excellent personal ethics.

3. Physical Fitness

Criminal justice careers can be physically demanding. Dealing with offenders can require a lot of physical strength. If you are working in law enforcement, maintaining the ability to run, climb and jump to apprehend offenders may be necessary.

“Most law enforcement positions will have some physical fitness requirements. This includes everything from working with the FBI or border control to joining a local police force,” stated an article on criminaljusticedegreehub.com. “Requirements for police forces and sheriff’s departments will vary, but they will generally be along the same lines with expectations for basic levels of cardiovascular fitness and strength.”

4. Technology Skills

The criminal justice field may not be quite as computer-oriented as some careers, but to perform their jobs well in a technologically advanced society, good candidates still need computer and technical skills to keep up with technological trends. A large part of your criminal justice career will involve documenting and recording information, which includes entering, transcribing, recording, storing or maintaining information.1

5. Calm Demeanor

According to an article on criminologycareerstoday.com, “criminal justice work can be extremely stressful. The ability to stay calm and collected under pressure and provocation really helps.”

In the criminal justice field, stressful situations may be a common occurrence throughout your career. In these roles, you will potentially have to interact with violent offenders without being overwhelmed by the intense situation. Many criminal justice environments, such as prisons and police departments, face stressful situations without notice and it is important to maintain a calm demeanor despite the circumstances.

Put Your Qualities to Use in the Criminal Justice Field

With almost 3.5 million people working in the criminal justice field2, this expanding job field is ideal for those with good leadership skills, excellent personal ethics, physical fitness, technology skills and a calm demeanor. If you believe you can hone these qualities and would succeed as a criminal justice professional, contact us today to enroll at Grantham and get your future career started!

Apply at Grantham

For more information about the graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit http://www.grantham.edu/disclosures/BA-CJ/

1http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3021.03
2http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes330000.htm#(3)