Take legal action against accused criminals.
picture of Prosecutor

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$75,000 – $165,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Prosecutors do?

A Prosecutor, often called a Prosecuting Attorney, is a Lawyer who’s paid — usually by a city, county, state, or federal government — to prove the guilt of an accused criminal and, in so doing, make sure lawbreakers are punished for their crimes. If you’re a fan of courtroom dramas, you’ve seen a Prosecutor.

In those dramas, the best scenes always take place in courtrooms, where dueling Lawyers play an artful game of verbal chess in front of a Judge and jury, examining witnesses, presenting evidence, and making impassioned pleas for the defendant’s guilt or innocence. No matter the show, it’s always a nail-biting, popcorn-eating moment in which you wonder, “Which Lawyer will prevail?”

Although they’re filled with fact instead of fiction, real-life courtrooms are no less dramatic. And as a Prosecutor, you’re one of the main characters.

Like your TV counterparts, you go to court, examine and cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, and make opening and closing arguments on behalf of the prosecution. There’s a lot more to it than that, however, as your duties also include collaborating with the police in order to build a case when a new crime is committed, then performing legal research that will help you convince the Judge and jury of the accused person’s guilt. You also interview witnesses and suspects prior to prosecuting a criminal, and choose the charges for which accused criminals will stand trial. In addition, you recommend punishments and sentences for convicted criminals, and negotiate plea deals with defendants who don’t want to stand trial.

On TV, justice always prevails. Although that doesn’t always happen in real life, it’s your job as a Prosecutor to try and make sure it does.

Should I be a Prosecutor?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Prosecuting Attorney

    How to become a Prosecutor

    Most Prosecutors have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaf9&chl=||||master%27s+%288%25%29|doctorate+%2892%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,92
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