A conscientious student at Glasgow's St Gerard's School, Craig's first senior side was the Glasgow University representative side, which he played for while studying dentistry at the institution. He joined Celtic in 1963, on amateur terms, so as to allow him to complete his studies and having done so, signed as a full professional in January 1965.
Craig's abilities and style of play matched manager Jock Stein's tactical philosophy and he soon displaced Willie O'Neill and Ian Young as Celtic's regular right back. Stein encouraged his fullbacks to
overlap the side's midfield to provide additional support to the forwards, in the style of the modern wing-back role,
and in Craig and left back Tommy Gemmell he found willing protagonists.
During his tenure at Parkhead, Craig collected 14 domestic honours as well as a European Cup medal in 1967. He made 231 appearances for Celtic scoring 6 goals. He won one cap for the Scotland national side.
Craig left Celtic to live in South Africa in May 1972, where he played for Hellenic FC, however after 6 months he returned to Britain. He joined Sheffield Wednesday, with the South Yorkshire side paying Celtic £10,000 compensation, as they had retained his registration. He retired from football in 1973, to concentrate his efforts upon his dentistry career.
In July 1974 he succeeded Shay Brennan as player-manager of Waterford United. However in December, after one substitute appearance, Craig informed the club that he was unable to commit to the role due to a "domestic problem". In 2001 he was made Honorary President of the Belfast Shamrock Celtic Supporters Club.
Jim Craig is now actively part of the Celtic community, he currently hosts Channel67 an online streaming service which provides video streams and audio streams of every Celtic match.
His son James Craig is a notable rugby player who was capped for the Scotland national rugby union team four times between 1997-2001.