When deciding on juvenile justice as a possible career field, it is useful to narrow things down to a few types of positions within this rather vague area. Before finally electing to pursue a particular job within juvenile justice, training should be a fundamental consideration. For one, with most categories of juvenile justice, school (meaning a college degree of some sort) will be a foregone conclusion. In fact, for certain professions, multiple degrees might be needed among other qualifications. Plus, this does not even count any subsequent juvenile justice training that is localized to working in a given district.
Becoming certified in a specific subset of juvenile justice is definitely a process, and thus, is nothing to take lightly. Some notes about juvenile justice training based on possible career paths:
In terms of getting an education in some facet of juvenile justice, school may be an afterthought for some people. After all, if they wish to learn about juvenile justice, they might assume that they may just be able to attend a juvenile justice school. However, at the undergraduate level and beyond, this is an impractical assumption.
As far as credible institutions go, there really is no such thing as a juvenile justice school. Instead, the best one will probably be able to do regarding a general interest in juvenile justice is to enroll at a college or university that is heralded for its criminal justice course(s) of study and take classes germane to juvenile justice. School programs with juvenile justice in the name are likely just research initiatives and/or informational resources.
Then again, juvenile justice training in the form of a college degree is not always a necessity. For example, juvenile corrections officers working at the county and State level may only need a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent certification and completion of some college courses. Even then, those credits may be negligible if an applicant has experience with law enforcement or military service.
Once a position is secured, however, the real juvenile justice training begins. Among the needed skills tests to be passed are firearms proficiency and self-defense knowledge. Still, some sort of college degree will generally be required to practice and these things will vary from role to role in the juvenile justice system.
Social workers, for example, will need at least a bachelor’s degree in social work, and in some settings, a master’s degree. Lawyers will need to get an undergraduate education, go through law school, and pass the Bar Exam. Judges, meanwhile, must usually complete the steps to become a lawyer and receive a formal appointment or be elected by their constituents.