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Criminal Justice Schools

Criminal justice schools do more than prepare students to wear a badge and pound a beat. Those who enroll in a criminal justice program typically study many aspects of criminal law. Course work generally includes case studies, so students can learn from real-life situations. Some programs will include internships as well to give students hands-on,real-world experience. Students may also learn about sociology and psychology, specifically as it relates to criminal behavior and substance abuse.

Criminal Justice

There are a number of paths an education and career in criminal justice can take. While many who attend in criminal justice schools will go on to a career in law enforcement or corrections, others may pursue careers in counseling or use their criminal justice education as a springboard to a law degree.

Criminal justice specializations

There are a number of ways to specialize within the field of criminal justice.

Law enforcement

Police and detectives may make up the bulk of law enforcement jobs, however with education and experience, it is possible to specialize even within local and state police departments. For example, you may specialize in working with juveniles or narcotics. You can also pursue a career at the federal level such as:

  • FBI
  • Homeland Security
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Requirements for federal jobs are likely to include a bachelor's or master's degree, work experience, and additional training. Some may also require security clearance.

Probation and Corrections

Another common career path within criminal justice involves working with the corrections system. These include:

  • Probation officers
  • Parole officers
  • Case managers
  • Pretrial service officers

Counseling

Criminal justice schools can also be a pathway into the field of counseling. Mental health, substance abuse and behavioral counselors work both in private practice and within the justice system.

Law

Criminal justice schools can be an entry way into the legal field as well. And, some with a background in criminal justice go on to pursue training as a paralegal or enter law school.

Criminal justice certifications and degrees

Not everyone who works in criminal justice is required to have a bachelor's degree. State and local departments may accept police academy training, though many do require some college. Many departments will also support continuing education on the job. Jobs at the federal level will require a bachelor's degree and some will require a master's as well. Additional training and certifications may be necessary depending on your job, like cyber-security or forensics.

Generally, correctional treatment specialists and probation officers are required to have a bachelor's degree. Certain jobs and certain states will also require certification. Certifications may be state-specific or through national associations including the American Correctional Association.

Requirements for counseling positions vary by state. The lowest threshold is a high school diploma and passing a state exam. Many positions will require at least a bachelor's or a master's degree. A bachelor's degree is required for private practice. Visit the National Board for Certified Counselors and Affiliates for information about your state's certification requirements for private practice.

Criminal justice salary and career outlook

If you are considering a career in criminal justice, it's important to understand what your job prospects and salary expectations. Here is an overview of statistics and projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov).

Law enforcement

Police officers earned national median salaries of 56,130 as of May 2013. Overall, protective service jobs are predicted to rise 8 percent from 2012-2022, which is slower than average. Police and detective jobs are only suspected to increase by 5 percent, but that does translate into over 41,000 new positions. The BLS suggests having a bachelor's degree along with some law enforcement or military training may give applicants the best chance of getting hired.

There are some areas that are expecting greater than average growth, according to Projections Central, through 2022. Kentucky law enforcement jobs are projected to grow by 32 percent, Utah by 19.4 percent, and Texas by 17 percent. It should be noted that the greatest number of overall new law enforcement jobs -- over 9,600 -- will be found in Texas.

Correctional treatment specialists and probation officers

National median salaries for correctional treatment specialists and probation officers were $48,440 in May of 2013. The percentage of jobs is actually projected to decrease by 1 percent, however, the BLS says job openings will be available for qualified candidates due to natural turnover in the job. There are areas of the country that expect higher than average growth for correctional treatment specialists and probation officers. Kentucky again leads the pack with 16.5 percent growth, followed by Texas with 9.9 percent and Colorado with 8.2 percent.

Counselors

The BLS predicts 29 percent growth for mental health counselors through 2022, with job prospects best in rural areas. Projections Central's top three states with predicted growth are:

  • Georgia: 48 percent
  • Utah: 40.8 percent
  • Puerto Rico: 40.8 percent

Substance abuse and behavior disorder counseling positions are predicted to grow by 31 percent. Those with specialized training or education may have the best opportunities. The top three growth states for this profession are:

  • Kentucky: 42.1 percent
  • Georgia: 40.9 percent
  • Utah: 37.5 percent

Good job prospects and solid salaries definitely add to the attraction of an education in criminal justice. However, many who attend criminal justice schools are driven by a desire to serve the public and to help others. As a result, many find rewarding careers in criminal justice.

Sources:

Criminology: College, Degree and Major Information, Big Future by the College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/social-sciences-criminology

Criminal Justice: College, Degree and Major Information, Big Future by the College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/security-protective-services-criminal-justice-corrections-criminal-justice

Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm

Police and Detectives, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm

Projections Central, Long-Term Projections, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm

Criminal Justice Schools
 
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At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career. * Programs vary by location * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information Please call on  844-252-4552 to talk to a respresentative.

Programs : Criminal Justice, and more.

Campus Locations :

Ravenna: 653 Enterprise Parkway Ravenna, OH 44266

Dayton: 555 E. Alex-Bell Road Dayton, OH 45459

Erie: 5757 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506

Take a step forward in your career with Bryan University.

Programs : Criminal Justice, Security and Investigation Specialist, and more.

Campus Locations :

Topeka: 1527 S.W. Fairlawn Rd. Topeka, KS 66604

Springfield: 4255 Nature Center Way Springfield, MO 65806

Capella provides a flexible online learning environment designed for working adults who want to advance in their profession.

Programs : MS - Criminal Justice , PhD - Criminal Justice , BS - Criminal Justice , and more.

Campus Locations : Online

A degree from CTU can connect you to what matters most: powerful professional network, faculty who are real-world professionals and innovative technology. So once you earn your degree you hit the ground sprinting. Are you in?

Programs : Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Human Services, Master of Science in Criminal Justice, and more.

Campus Locations : Online

Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.   Call Now to talk to a representative : 844-289-5375

Programs : Homeland Security - Bachelor, and more.

Campus Locations :

Newport News: 1001 Omni Boulevard Newport News, VA 23606

Virginia Beach: 5555 Greenwich Road Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Start the next chapter of your life with an Associate or Bachelor degree from Miller-Motte College Online Division.

Programs : Criminal Justice - Associate of Applied Science, and more.

Campus Locations :

Wilmington: 5000 Market St Wilmington, NC 28405

Fayetteville: 3725 Ramsey Street Fayetteville, NC 28311

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Programs : Criminal Justice (9-Month Diploma Program), and more.

Campus Locations :

Gardena: 661 W. Redondo Beach Blvd. Gardena, CA 90247

Anaheim: 401 W. Carl Karcher Way Anaheim, CA 92801

Encino: 5445 Balboa Blvd. Encino, CA 91316

San Marcos: 2085 Montiel Rd. Suite 101 San Marcos, CA 92069

Ontario: 4730 Ontario Mills Parkway Ontario, CA 91764

Chula Vista: 310 3rd Ave Suite C6/C7 Chula Vista, CA 91910

Westwood College is dedicated to preparing students with the knowledge, skills and training needed for meaningful employment. Through education, we create opportunities, change lives and impact futures. Please call 855-816-4009 or fill out the form!

Programs : Criminal Justice (A), Criminal Justice: Major in Administration (B), and more.

Campus Locations :

Aurora: 350 Blackhawk St. Aurora, CO 80011

Anaheim: 1551 S. Douglass Road Anaheim, CA 92806

Atlanta: 2309 Parklake Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30345

Arlington: 4420 North Fairfax Drive Arlington, VA 22203

Denver: 7350 North Broadway, Suite 1200 Denver, CO 80221

Annandale: 7619 Little River Turnpike, Suite 500 Annandale, VA 22003

Chicago: 1 North State Street, Suite 1000 Chicago, IL 60602

At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education. University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (http://hlcommission.org).

Programs : A.A. in Criminal Justice, B.S in Criminal Justice Administration/Cybercrimes, BS in Criminal Justice Administration, and more.

Campus Locations :

Fresno: 45 East River Park Place West Suite 101 Fresno, CA 93720

San Diego: 3870 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite 310 San Diego, CA 92123

Costa Mesa: 3150 Bristol Street, Suite 100, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Chicago: 203 N LaSalle St Chicago, IL 60601

Hollywood: 2400 SW 145th Avenue Hollywood, FL 33027

Visalia: 301 East Acequia Ave Visalia, CA 93291

Westminster: 8700 Turnpike Drive Westminster, CO 80030

Phoenix: 4635 E. Elwood Street Phoenix, AZ 85040

Colorado Springs: 5725 Mark Dabling Boulevard Suite 150 Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Arlington: 3900 Arlington Highlands Boulevard Suite 237 Arlington, TX 76018

Ontario: 3110 E. Guasti Road Ontario, CA 91761

Houston: 4888 Loop Central Drive Houston, TX 77081

Rogers: 903 North 47th Street Suite 104 Rogers, AR 72756

Sandy Springs: 8200 Roberts Drive Suite 300 Sandy Springs, GA 30350

Springfield: 1343 East Kingsley Street Suite B,C Springfield, MO 65804

Flowood: 120 Stone Creek Blvd. Suite 200 Flowood, MS 39232

Jacksonville: 4500 Salisbury Road Suite 200 Jacksonville, FL 32216

Cordova: 65 Germantown Court Suite 100 Cordova, TN 38018

Yuma: 899 East Plaza Circle Yuma, AZ 85365

San Bernardino: 451 E. Vanderbilt Way Suite 100 San Bernardino, CA 92408

San Marcos: 277 Rancheros Drive San Marcos, CA 92069

Salida: 5330 Pirrone Road Salida, CA 95368

Kansas City: 901 East 104th Street Suite 200 Kansas City, MO 64131

Woodland Hills: 5955 DeSoto Ave Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Warrenville: 4525 Weaver Parkway Warrenville, IL 60555

Albuquerque: 7471 Pan American West Freeway NE Albuquerque, NM 87109

Washington: 25 Massachusetts Avenue NW Suite 150 Washington, DC 20001

Spring: 24624 Interstate 45 Spring, TX 77386

Dallas: 12400 Coit Road Suite 200 Dallas, TX 75251

Beale AFB: 17849 16 Street Beale AFB, CA 95903

Columbus: 7200 North Lake Drive Columbus, GA 31909

Los Angeles: 14320 Firestone Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038

Austin: 10801-2 N Mo Pac Expressway Suite 300 Austin, TX 78759

Killeen: 902 West Central Texas Expressway Suite 300 Killeen, TX 76541

Pasadena: 299 N. Euclid Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101

Schaumburg: 1500 McConnor Parkway Suite 700 Schaumburg, IL 60173

Henderson: 7777 Eastgate Road Henderson, NV 89011

Guaynabo: B7 Calle Tabonuco Suite 700 Guaynabo, PR 00968

Murrieta: 25240 Hancock Avenue Murrieta, CA 92562

Columbia: 1001 Pinnacle Point Drive Suite 200 Columbia, SC 29223

Fairfield: 5253 Business Center Drive Fairfield, CA 94534

Palm Desert: 75153 Merle Dr. Palm Desert, CA 92211

Nashville: 616 Marriott Drive Suite 150 Nashville, TN 37214

Santa Teresa: 1270 Country Club Road Santa Teresa, NM 88008

Meridian: 3080 East Gentry Way Suite 150 Meridian, ID 83642

Honolulu: 745 Fort Street Suite 2000 Honolulu, HI 96813

Fort Lauderdale: 550 W. Cypress Creek Road Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Lancaster: 1202 W. Avenue J Lancaster, CA 93534

Virginia Beach: 150 Central Park Avenue Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Tucson: 300 South Craycroft Road Tucson, AZ 85711

Diamond Bar: 1370 S. Valley Vista Dr. Diamond Bar, CA 91765

Gardena: 1515 W. 190th Gardena, CA 90248

Sacramento: 1760 Creekside Oaks Drive Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95833

Richmond: 6600 West Broad Street Suite 200 Richmond, VA 23230

Bossier City: 350 Plaza Loop Drive Bldg E Bossier City, LA 71111

Bakersfield: 4900 California Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93309

San Antonio: 8200 West Interstate 10 Suite 910 San Antonio, TX 78230

Wayne: 170 South Warner Road Suite 200 Wayne, PA 19087

El Centro: 3095 N. Imperial Avenue Suite 101 El Centro, CA 92243

With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.

Programs : BS in Criminal Justice, BS in Criminal Justice in Crime Scene Investigation, AA in Criminal Justice, and more.

Campus Locations : Online

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