Criminal Justice Degrees Overview in Alabama

Criminal justice colleges in Alabama prepare graduates for jobs in a range of fields. This guide explores careers for criminal justice graduates.
portrait of Staff Writers
Staff Writers
Read Full Bio


The staff writers for BestColleges collaborate to deliver unique, student-driven content on topics such as career development, college life, and college planning....
Published on July 27, 2023
Learn more about our editorial process is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.

Criminal justice degree programs prepare graduates for a range of jobs in law enforcement, homeland security, forensics, and law. Depending on the career you want, you may decide to pursue an associate, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree at a criminal justice college in Alabama.

This guide discusses potential career pathways for graduates of criminal justice colleges in the state.

Criminal Justice Careers in Alabama

Law Enforcement

Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers enforce the law. Police typically work in local, state, federal, tribal, or university settings. Officers may need college coursework to work in some police departments or federal agencies.

Correctional Officers and Jailers guard individuals convicted of crimes in prisons and jails, as well as transport them to courtrooms or to different correctional facilities.

Though some correctional officers do not have college degrees, the Federal Bureau of Prisons accepts bachelor's degrees for roles in federal prisons if applicants don't already have experience in the field.

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists rehabilitate and reintegrate formerly-incarcerated individuals into society. These workers may create education, work, and treatment plans for their parolees.

Professionals in these roles typically hold bachelor's degrees.

Homeland Security

Emergency Management Directors make and implement plans in response to natural or man-made disasters. Though some professionals in this field have only high school diplomas, most hold bachelor's degrees as well as additional certifications.


Forensic Science Technicians collect, analyze, and store evidence, including tissue, fingerprints, and hair, connected to criminal investigations. They may become experts in a specific field like ballistics or handwriting. Often, they are called on to testify in criminal trials.

Individuals in this field need at least bachelor's degrees, though some also secure master's degrees in forensic science.


Paralegals and Legal Assistants support attorneys by researching cases, discovering legal precedents, and preparing documents. They typically need associate degrees or certificates.

Compliance Officers ensure that the organizations they work for are following necessary laws and regulations. Many sectors, including healthcare, finance, and transportation, offer jobs for compliance officers.

Professionals in this role typically hold bachelor's degrees.

Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How Alabama Criminal Justice Salaries Compare to National Salaries

Criminal Justice Careers & Salaries
Profession National Average Salary (2022) Alabama Average Salary (2022)
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers $71,380 $48,820
Correctional Officers and Jailers $54,760 mean annual pay $41,240
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists $64,920 $50,470
Emergency Management Directors $88,890 $68,910
Forensic Science Technicians $69,260 $54,360
Paralegals and Legal Assistants $62,840 $51,130
Compliance Officers $76,980 $72,380

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Professional Resources for Criminal Justice in Alabama

APOA includes 4,000 members of all levels of law enforcement. The organization promotes education and research and works to improve working conditions and promotion opportunities for members. APBA aims to improve conditions for police officers and members. Officers who join the organization receive support if they are injured, involved in criminal or civil suits, or receive disciplinary action. Members' families also receive accidental death benefits. (ACOA) is the legislative arm of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). The organization considers problems that corrections officers might face and creates solutions to be adopted by the state legislature. AAMCA is an association for municipal clerks and officers across the state. The organization connects professionals in Alabama for networking, training, and research. APIA offers licenses and regular conferences for private investigators working in the state. Members can join one of the association's committees, as well as have their contact information listed on a professional database. AALS provides training and resources primarily for paralegals, legal secretaries, court professionals, law librarians, and law office administrators. Attorneys and judges may also participate. A highlight of the organization is an annual conference. AAPI keeps paralegals working in the state informed about new technologies and resources in the profession. The association hosts seminars, upholds a code of ethics, and works with bar associations to develop strong relationships between attorneys and paralegals. Uses policy research, education, litigation, and community organizing to overcome problems with the criminal justice system in the state. Among other issues, the organization works to decrease the number of individuals sent to correctional institutions. Works to decrease prison overcrowding in the state. An eight-month paid fellowship program called the Organizing School asks Alabamians with ideas for community organizing and legislative advocacy programs to submit applications. AlaSHRM educates compliance officers working in healthcare. Members can learn about risk management and the HIPAA Privacy rule in trainings, as well as networking with other members to explore career opportunities. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare Your School Options

View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home.