Criminal Justice Instructor Jobs Opportunities and Growth in the Field

Criminal justice instructor jobs cover a spectrum of roles within the educational sphere, catering to the demand for experienced professionals to teach in the field of criminal justice. These positions can vary from full-time tenure-track roles at colleges and universities to adjunct or part-time positions, often bringing real-world experiences into the classroom. Candidates for these jobs typically need a strong foundation in criminal justice concepts and practical expertise, which allows them to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.

A courtroom with a judge's bench, witness stand, jury box, and gallery. Law books, gavel, and scales of justice on display

Institutions often seek instructors who not only have a solid theoretical knowledge but also hands-on experience in law enforcement, legal practice, corrections or other related fields. This professional background enriches the learning environment, as instructors draw from personal experience to exemplify theory with practical applications. Moreover, fostering relationships with community criminal justice partners is frequently part of the instructional responsibility, contributing to an interactive and dynamic educational atmosphere.

Opportunities for criminal justice instructors are steadily available, with positions posted on various job platforms and institutional websites. The rise in online education has also increased demand for skilled instructors capable of delivering distance learning courses. As criminal justice evolves as a field, so too does the need for dedicated educators who are adaptable to the changing landscape of law enforcement, policy-making, and criminological research.

Exploring Criminal Justice Instructor Careers

A classroom setting with a whiteboard, desks, and a podium. A group of students listening to a criminal justice instructor giving a lecture

Criminal justice instructor careers offer unique opportunities for individuals to shape the minds that will uphold the future of law and enforcement. They play a pivotal role in imparting knowledge and ethical practices within the criminal justice field.

Understanding the Role

A criminal justice instructor is entrusted with teaching courses in various areas of law enforcement, legal studies, correctional administration, and forensic science. They create curricula, develop course materials, and engage students through a variety of instructional strategies. These educators may work in traditional classroom settings or as online instructors, adapting to technological platforms to reach a diverse audience of learners.

Responsibilities include:

  • Curriculum Design: Crafting syllabi and assignments that reflect the competencies required in the criminal justice field.
  • Instruction: Conducting lectures, workshops, and seminars in person or via remote platforms.
  • Assessment: Evaluating student progress through exams, projects, and interactive exercises.
  • Mentoring: Guiding students in their academic and professional development within the criminal justice discipline.

Qualifications and Certifications

To become a criminal justice instructor, specific qualifications and certifications are often required to establish credibility and expertise in the teaching discipline.

Minimum qualifications may include:

  • A master’s degree in criminal justice, or a master’s degree with a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in the criminal justice field.
  • Teaching experience: Institutions often prefer candidates with experience teaching at the post-secondary level.

Preferred qualifications:

  • A Juris Doctor (JD) degree or a doctorate in criminal justice or a related field may be favored for certain positions.
  • Professional experience in a criminal justice setting can enhance an instructor’s ability to provide practical insights.


  • Qualifications such as a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) or a Certified Criminal Justice Addiction Professional (CCJAP) are particularly valuable for roles specializing in addiction studies within the criminal justice system.
  • Adjunct faculty positions may require fewer qualifications, offering part-time opportunities for professionals who are still active in their respective fields.

Instructors are vital in molding competent professionals who will serve in various capacities across the criminal justice system. Their role is both demanding and rewarding, as they contribute to the ongoing development of ethical and knowledgeable criminal justice practitioners.

Job Market and Opportunities

A classroom setting with criminal justice textbooks, a whiteboard with job listings, and a diverse group of students taking notes

The job market for criminal justice instructors offers a range of positions across various educational institutions. Different hiring modalities—part-time and full-time—accommodate professionals with diverse career goals and life situations.

Types of Institutions Hiring

Full-Time Faculty: Institutions such as Brookdale Community College are representative in seeking tenure-track criminal justice instructors for full-time roles. Full-time positions often require fostering relationships with community criminal justice partners at local, state, and federal levels.

  • Community Colleges: Baton Rouge Community College, specifically their Mid-City Campus, illustrates the demand within community colleges for qualified educators.
  • Colleges and Universities: Departments like social sciences and history frequently list openings for full-time faculty.
  • Online Education: The rise in remote learning has expanded opportunities for virtual instruction in criminal justice.

Part-Time Versus Full-Time Positions

Part-Time Faculty:

  • Flexibility: Adjunct positions, as seen in the State of South Carolina’s offering, allow for flexibility and part-time engagement.
  • Diversity of Opportunities: Part-time roles can range from teaching a single course to coordinating internship programs, as evidenced by listings for criminal justice part-time instructor pools.
  • Departmental Needs: Part-time instructors are crucial for meeting the needs of respective departments, often filling specialized roles such as department chair for social sciences and history.

Full-Time Positions:

  • Career Advancement: Tenure-track roles or positions similar to the department chair for social sciences and history typically offer pathways for professional development and leadership within academic divisions.
  • Stability: Full-time faculty enjoy greater job stability compared to part-time faculty, with the added benefits of tenure possibilities and higher salary prospects.

Application and Hiring Process

A panel of criminal justice professionals review resumes and conduct interviews for instructor positions

When pursuing a position as a criminal justice instructor, applicants must navigate a thorough hiring process that requires specific documentation and a background evaluation. This ensures compliance with institutional standards and regulations.

Required Documentation

Candidates need to prepare a comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae (CV) that details their academic and professional history. They should also include original transcripts to verify their education. Furthermore, work-related references are a fundamental part of the application; they demonstrate the candidate’s competencies and previous job performance. Many institutions, such as community colleges, require a well-crafted cover letter to accompany the application, addressed specifically to the Talent Acquisition Office or the Office of Human Resources, often located on Community College Drive in Baton Rouge or at similar addresses pertinent to the hiring institution.

Required DocumentDetail Required
Resume/CVComprehensive academic and professional history
Original TranscriptsProof of educational qualifications
Work-Related ReferencesDemonstration of competencies and performance
Cover LetterExpression of interest and purpose addressed to the hiring institution

Background Checks and Compliance

The hiring process routinely involves a criminal background check to ensure the safety and integrity of the educational environment. Additionally, a pre-employment background check scrutinizes past employment and educational claims. The E-Verify program may be utilized to confirm work eligibility status in the United States. The checks are typically facilitated by the institution’s manager or talent acquisition personnel, who ensure that the prospective educator meets all regulatory and institutional requirements.

Background CheckPurpose
Criminal Background CheckEnsures safety and integrity of the educational environment
Pre-Employment Background CheckValidates employment and educational claims
E-Verify ProgramConfirms work eligibility in the United States

This documentation and compliance measures form the bedrock of the application and hiring process for criminal justice instructors, creating a framework that supports professional and transparent recruitment practices.

Compensation and Benefits

A criminal justice instructor receives compensation and benefits package in their office

The compensation package for a criminal justice instructor encompasses both a competitive salary and a range of benefits focused on health, retirement, and wellness. Instructors should be aware of what to expect in terms of financial remuneration as well as the support programs available to them.

Salary Expectations

Salaries for criminal justice instructors can vary widely based on geographic location, educational qualifications, experience, and the type of institution they work for. As of late 2023, the average salary was reported to be approximately $59,489. However, salaries can range from $52,143 to $69,149, depending on various factors.

Experience LevelSalary Range
Entry-Level$46,000 – $48,000
Mid-Level$48,187 – $55,000
ExperiencedUp to $71,000

Health and Retirement Plans

Health insurance tends to be a standard benefit, with many institutions offering dental and vision coverage as well. Retirement plans are also common, with a 401(k) savings plan frequently being part of the package. Employers may offer additional perks such as:

  • Sick Leave – Paid time off to recover from illness.
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) – Services to help with personal or work-related problems.
  • Tuition assistance – Financial aid for further education.

Some institutions may even offer unique benefits such as:

  • Employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) – Opportunities to buy company stock at a discount.
  • Adoption assistance – Financial support to help with the adoption process.

It’s essential for prospective criminal justice instructors to carefully review the benefits package when considering employment opportunities.

Professional Development and Resources

Criminal justice instructors have various avenues for professional development and access to a range of online resources that support their teaching and professional growth. These resources can play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of education provided to students.

Criminal justice instructors accessing PD resources

Faculty Development Opportunities

Professional development for faculty often includes certifications in online teaching and asynchronous faculty development programs. Instructors are encouraged to participate in agency trainings and meetings, which are essential for staying current with best practices in the field of criminal justice. Technology is at the heart of modern education, hence understanding how to effectively use online learning management systems is paramount. Many institutions offer workshops and courses aimed at improving skills related to creating grading rubrics, managing course discussion boards, and designing course materials.

Online Resources and Support Systems

The use of online resources greatly benefits instructors in extending their teaching capabilities. These resources typically include learning management systems (LMS) that facilitate asynchronous communication and allow for the management of student assignments and feedback. Proper support systems also often provide access to a library of course material, enabling instructors to enhance their curriculum constantly. Additionally, through online platforms, criminal justice educators can join a professional network where they share insights and seek support from peers.

Diversity and Inclusivity in Hiring

A diverse group of instructors stand together, representing various backgrounds and cultures, with a banner reading "Diversity and Inclusivity in Hiring" displayed prominently

In criminal justice institutions, a commitment to diversity and inclusivity is imperative in hiring practices to create a workforce that reflects the breadth of society and fosters an equitable environment.

Creating an Equitable Workplace

To forge a truly equitable workplace within criminal justice education, hiring practices must conscientiously address and embrace diversity across multiple facets, such as age, color, race, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, creed, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, mental or physical disability, and veteran’s status.

  • Age: Criminal justice programs are vigilant in welcoming instructors from a wide age range, understanding the value of experiences that differently aged individuals bring.
  • Race and Color: As gatekeepers to future criminal justice professionals, schools ensure representation of various races and ethnicities in their faculty.
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression: The inclusion of LGBTQ+ individuals is critical, reflecting a commitment to sexual and gender diversity.
  • Religion, Creed, National Origin: By considering candidates from all religions and origins, institutions reinforce tolerance and multicultural understanding.
  • Marital Status: Faculty hiring policies are neutral regarding marital status, ensuring fairness and privacy.
  • Mental or Physical Disability: Accessibility and accommodations are a priority, promoting inclusivity for individuals with disabilities.
  • Veteran’s Status: Recognizing the unique insights veterans contribute, criminal justice programs actively seek out their expertise.

Institutions implement structured hiring protocols to minimize unconscious bias and actively promote a diverse candidate pool. This includes targeted outreach and engagement with minority-focused professional organizations. They conduct training for hiring committees on diversity and anti-discrimination laws, ensuring that the selection process upholds the highest standards of equity.