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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.

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 University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.

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Phoenix: Phoenix, AP

Guaynabo: B7 Calle Tabonuco Suite 700 Guaynabo, PR 00968

Ontario: 3110 E. Guasti Road Ontario, CA 91761

Houston: 4888 Loop Central Drive Houston, TX 77081

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

Spring: 24624 Interstate 45 Spring, TX 77386

Westminster: 8700 Turnpike Drive Westminster, CO 80030

Yuma: 899 East Plaza Circle Yuma, AZ 85365

San Marcos: 277 Rancheros Drive San Marcos, CA 92069

Visalia: 301 East Acequia Ave Visalia, CA 93291

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

Schaumburg: 1500 McConnor Parkway Suite 700 Schaumburg, IL 60173

Tucson: 300 South Craycroft Road Tucson, AZ 85711

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

Lathrop: 17000 S. Harlan Road Lathrop, CA 95330

Fairfield: 5253 Business Center Drive Fairfield, CA 94534

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

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

Warrenville: 4525 Weaver Parkway Warrenville, IL 60555

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

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

Mesa: 1620 South Stapley Drive Mesa, AZ 85204

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

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

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

Lancaster: 1220 W. Avenue J Lancaster, CA 93534

Dallas: 12400 Coit Road Suite 200 Dallas, TX 75251

Bakersfield: 4900 California Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93309

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

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

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

Nashville: 616 Marriott Drive Suite 150 Nashville, TN 37214

Arlington: 1800 South Bell Street Arlington, VA 22202

Columbus: 7200 North Lake Drive Columbus, GA 31909

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

Hollywood: 2400 SW 145th Avenue Hollywood, FL 33027

Honolulu: 745 Fort Street Suite 2000 Honolulu, HI 96813

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

Pasadena: 299 N. Euclid Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101

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

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

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

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

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

Henderson: 7777 Eastgate Road Henderson, NV 89011

Woodland Hills: 5955 DeSoto Ave Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Murrieta: 25240 Hancock Avenue Murrieta, CA 92562

Salida: 5330 Pirrone Road Salida, CA 95368

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

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

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

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

Cordova: 65 Germantown Court Suite 100 Cordova, TN 38018

Lone Tree: 10004 Park Meadows Drive Lone Tree, CO 80124

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

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

Gardena: 1515 W. 190th Gardena, CA 90248

Jacksonville: 9775 Crosshill Blvd. Suite 104 Jacksonville, FL 32222

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

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

Chicago: 203 N LaSalle St Chicago, IL 60601

Get a hands-on, job-specific education at Lincoln Technical Institute.

Programs : Criminal Justice, and more..

Campus Locations :

Somerville: 5 Middlesex Ave Somerville, MA 02145

Further your education and strengthen your skill set at Rasmussen College

Programs : Criminal Justice Associate’s, Criminal Justice Bachelor, Law Enforcement Academics Certificate, and more..

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Minneapolis: 4400 West 78th Street 6th Floor Minneapolis, MN 55435

Fargo: 4012 19th Avenue SW Fargo, ND 58103

: 3500 Federal Drive , MN 55122

Saint Cloud: 226 Park Avenue South Saint Cloud, MN 56301

Lake Elmo: 8565 Eagle Point Circle Lake Elmo, MN 55042

Circle Pines: 3629 95th Avenue Northeast Circle Pines, MN 55014

Moorhead: 1250 29th Avenue South Moorhead, MN 56560

Bismarck: 1701 E. Century Ave. Bismarck, ND 58503

Mankato: 501 Holly Lane Mankato, MN 56001

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

Programs : MS in Criminal Justice - Law, MS in Criminal Justice, BS in Criminal Justice, and more..

Campus Locations :

Fort Lauderdale: 6301 Kaplan University Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

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

Programs : BS in Criminal Justice, AA in Criminal Justice, Masters in Criminal Justice: Command College, and more..

Campus Locations :

Lynchburg: 1971 University Boulevard Lynchburg, VA 24502

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

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

Cuyahoga Falls: 2545 Bailey Road Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

We're with you, from start to finish.

Programs : Bachelor's - Justice Administration, Bachelor's - Justice Administration, Bachelor's - Business Administration - Security Management, and more..

Campus Locations :

Chicago: Chicago, IL

Kansas City: 11224 Holmes Rd. Kansas City, MO 64131

Auburn: 3600 S 344th Way 0 Auburn, WA 98001

Cherry Hill: 921 Haddonfield Road Ste. D Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Henderson: 2490 Paseo Verde Parkway Suite 150 Henderson, NV 89074

San Antonio: 1919 NW Loop 410 Suite 150 San Antonio, TX 78213

Phoenix: 2149 W. Dunlap Phoenix, AZ 85021

Elgin: Randall Point 2250 Point Blvd. Suite 250 Elgin, IL 60123

Anaheim: 1900 S. State College Blvd. Suite 150 Anaheim, CA 92806

Pittsburgh: 210 Sixth Ave. Ste. 200 Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Paramus: 35 Plaza Professional Center 81 Rte. 4 W. Ste. 102 Paramus, NJ 07652

King of Prussia: 150 Allendale Road Suite 3250 King of Prussia, PA 19406

Columbus: 1350 Alum Creek Drive Columbus, OH 43209

Independence: 6000 Lombardo Center Suite 200 Independence, OH 44131

Cincinnati: 8800 Governor's Hill Drive Cincinnati, OH 45249

Englewood: 6312 S. Fiddlers Green Cr. Suite 150E Englewood, CO 80111

Philadelphia: 1800 JFK Blvd Suite 104 Philadelphia, PA 19103

San Diego: 2655 Camino Del Rio North Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92108

Rego Park: 99-21 Queens Blvd. Rego Park, NY 11374

Long Beach: 3880 Kilroy Airport Way Long Beach, CA 90806

Arlington: 2405 Crystal City Dr. Arlington, VA 22202

New York: 180 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016

Sherman Oaks: 15301 Ventura Blvd B-100 Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Colton: 1090 E Washington St Colton, CA 92324

Southfield: 26999 Central Park Blvd. Suite 125 Southfield, MI 48076

Alhambra: 1000 S. Fremont Ave. Alhambra, CA 91803

Fresno: 7575 North Fresno St. Suite 575 Fresno, CA 93720

Merrillville: 1000 East 80th Place Ste. 222 Mall Merrillville, IN 46410

Indianapolis: 9100 Keystone Crossing Suite 300 Indianapolis, IN 46240

Jacksonville: 5200 Belfort Road Ste. 175 Jacksonville, FL 32256

Denver: 1870 W. 122nd Ave. Denver, CO 80234

Mesa: 1201 South Alma School Road Suite 5450 Mesa, AZ 85210

Atlanta: 100 Galleria Parkway SE Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30339

Portland: 9755 SW Barnes Road Peterkort Center II Portland, OR 97225

Oxnard: 300 E. Esplanade Dr., Suite 100, Oxnard, CA 93036

Manassas: 10432 Balls Ford Road Suite 150 Manassas, VA 20109

Chesapeake: 1317 Executive Blvd. Suite 100 Chesapeake, VA 23320

Milwaukee: 411 E. Wisconsin Ave. Ste 300 Milwaukee, WI 53202

Fort Worth: City Center Tower II, 301 Commerce Street Suite 2000 Fort Worth, TX 76102

Tinley Park: 18624 West Creek Drive Tinley Park, IL 60477

Orlando: 4000 Millenia Blvd. Orlando, FL 32839

Morrisville: 1600 Perimeter Park Drive Suite 100 Morrisville, NC 27560

Oakland: 505 14th St. Oakland, CA 94612

Gurnee: 1075 Tri-State Pkwy. Ste. 800 Gurnee, IL 60031

Houston: 11125 Equity Drive Houston, TX 77041

Irving: 4800 Regent Blvd. Irving, TX 75063

Glendale: 6751 N. Sunset Blvd. Ste. 104 Glendale, AZ 85305

Palmdale: One 39115 Trade Center Dr. Ste. 100 Palmdale, CA 93551

Louisville: 10172 Linn Station Rd. Ste. 300 Louisville, KY 40223

San Jose: 2160 Lundy Ave. Suite 250 San Jose, CA 95131

Tampa: 3030 North Rocky Point Drive West Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33607

Pomona: 901 Corporate Center Dr. Pomona, CA 91768

Decatur: One West Court Square Ste 100 Decatur, GA 30030

Minneapolis: 7700 France Ave. S. Ste. 575 Minneapolis, MN 55435

Hollywood: 14700 Caribbean Way Hollywood, FL 33027

Naperville: 2056 Westings Ave. Suite 40 Naperville, IL 60563

Nashville: 3343 Perimeter Hill Drive Suite 200 Nashville, TN 37211

Austin: 11044 Research Blvd Suite B100 Austin, TX 78759

Addison: 1221 North Swift Road Addison, IL 60101

Downers Grove: Highland Landmark V 3005 Highland Pkwy. Ste. 100 Downers Grove, IL 60515

Fort Lauderdale: 600 Corporate Dr. Suite 200 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Lynnwood: Redstone Corporate Center, 19020 33rd Ave W, Ste Lynnwood, WA 98036

Colorado Springs: 1175 Kelly Johnson Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Stockbridge: 675 Southcrest Parkway Stockbridge, GA 30281

Dayton: 3610 Pentagon Blvd. Ste. 100 Dayton, OH 45431

Oklahoma City: 4013 Northwest Expressway Suite 100 Oklahoma City, OK 73116

Duluth: 3505 Koger Blvd. Suite 170 Duluth, GA 30096

Saint Louis: 11830 Westline Industrial Dr. Suite 550 Saint Louis, MO 63146

Charlotte: 2015 Ayrsley Town Blvd. Suite 109 Charlotte, NC 28273

North Brunswick: 630 US Highway One North Brunswick, NJ 08902

Alpharetta: 2555 Northwinds Pkwy. Alpharetta, GA 30009

Sandy: 9350 S. 150 E. Suite 420 Sandy, UT 84070

Memphis: 6401 Poplar Ave Suite 600 Memphis, TN 38119

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 1-855-816-4009 or fill out the form!

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

Campus Locations :

Upland: 20 West 7th Street Upland, CA 91786

Denver: 7350 North Broadway Denver, CO 80221

Atlanta: 1100 Spring Street Suite 102 Atlanta, GA 30309

Los Angeles: 3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 400 Los Angeles, CA 90010

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

Anaheim: 1551 S. Douglass Road Anaheim, CA 92806

Torrance: 19700 S. Vermont Ave. Suite 100 Torrance, CA 90502

Arlington: 1901 North Ft. Myer Arlington, VA 22209

Chicago: 8501 W. Higgins Road Chicago, IL 60631

Woodridge: 7155 Janes Ave Woodridge, IL 60517

Calumet City: 80 River Oaks Center Calumet City, IL 60409

Flexible career learning to fit your busy lifestyle - National American University.

Programs : Criminal Justice A.A.S., Criminal Justice B.S., and more..

Campus Locations :

Portland: 13333 SW 68TH PKWY # 010 Portland, OR 97223

Littleton: 8242 S. University Blvd. Ste. 100 Littleton, CO 80122

Denver: 1325 South Colorado Boulevard Suite 100 Denver, CO 80222

Houston: 1511 Katy Freeway Suite 600 Houston, TX 77079

Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.

Programs : M.S. in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies, B.S. in Justice Studies, B.A. in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies, and more..

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: 3300 W Camelback Road ,

Little Rock: 3300 W Camelback Road Little Rock, AR 72201

Phoenix: 3300 W Camelback Road Phoenix, AZ 85017

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