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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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Phoenix: Phoenix, AP

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San Diego: 3890 Murphy Canyon Road Suite 100 San Diego, CA 92123

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

Cordova: 65 Germantown Court Suite 100 Cordova, TN 38018

Tucson: 555 E. River Road Tucson, AZ 85704

Arlington: 1800 South Bell Street Arlington, VA 22202

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Henderson: 7777 Eastgate Road Henderson, NV 89011

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

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

Pasadena: 299 N. Euclid Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101

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

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Murrieta: 25240 Hancock Avenue Murrieta, CA 92562

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

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Woodland Hills: 5955 DeSoto Ave Woodland Hills, CA 91367

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

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

Fairfield: 5253 Business Center Drive Fairfield, CA 94534

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Chicago: 203 N LaSalle St Chicago, IL 60601

Houston: 4888 Loop Central Drive Houston, TX 77081

Lathrop: 17000 S. Harlan Road Lathrop, CA 95330

Salida: 5330 Pirrone Road Salida, CA 95368

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

Yuma: 899 East Plaza Circle Yuma, AZ 85365

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

Nashville: 616 Marriott Drive Suite 150 Nashville, TN 37214

Honolulu: 745 Fort Street Suite 2000 Honolulu, HI 96813

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

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

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Ontario: 3110 E. Guasti Road Ontario, CA 91761

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

Lancaster: 1220 W. Avenue J Lancaster, CA 93534

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

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

Guaynabo: B7 Calle Tabonuco Suite 700 Guaynabo, PR 00968

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

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

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

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

Spring: 24624 Interstate 45 Spring, TX 77386

Visalia: 301 East Acequia Ave Visalia, CA 93291

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

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

Beale AFB: 17849 16 Street Beale AFB, CA 95903

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

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Somerville: 5 Middlesex Ave Somerville, MA 02145

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

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Huntington Park: 6055 Pacific Boulevard Huntington Park, CA 90255

Bakersfield: 3737 Rosedale Hwy Bakersfield, CA 93308

Encino: 5445 Balboa Blvd. Encino, CA 91316

San Marcos: 2085 Montiel Road San Marcos, CA 92069

Riverside: 1860 University Ave. Riverside, CA 92507

El Monte: 3401 Rio Hondo Ave. El Monte, CA 91731

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

Fresno: 2002 N. Gateway Blvd. Fresno, CA 93727

We're with you, from start to finish.

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Chicago: Chicago, IL

Independence: 6000 Lombardo Center Suite 200 Independence, OH 44131

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orlando: 4000 Millenia Blvd. Orlando, FL 32839

Philadelphia: 1800 JFK Blvd Suite 104 Philadelphia, PA 19103

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

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

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

Columbus: 1350 Alum Creek Drive Columbus, OH 43209

Pomona: 901 Corporate Center Dr. Pomona, CA 91768

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

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

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

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

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

Tampa: 6700 Lakeview Center Drive Suite 150 Tampa, FL 33619

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

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

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

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

Addison: 1221 North Swift Road Addison, IL 60101

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

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

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

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

Memphis: 6401 Poplar Ave Suite 600 Memphis, TN 38119

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

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

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

Austin: 11044 Research Blvd Suite B100 Austin, TX 78759

Irving: 4800 Regent Blvd. Irving, TX 75063

Oakland: 505 14th St. Oakland, CA 94612

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

Houston: 11125 Equity Drive Houston, TX 77041

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

Stockbridge: 675 Southcrest Parkway Stockbridge, GA 30281

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

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

Arlington: 2405 Crystal City Dr. Arlington, VA 22202

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

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

Alpharetta: 2555 Northwinds Pkwy. Alpharetta, GA 30009

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

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

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

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

Colton: 1090 E Washington St Colton, CA 92324

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

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

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

  Vatterott College is dedicated to providing students opportunities to gain the hands-on skills necessary to achieve their educational goals.

Programs : Criminal Justice, and more..

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Saint Joseph: 3131 Frederick Ave. Saint Joseph, MO 64506

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

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Campus Locations :

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

Erie: 5757 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506

Ravenna: 653 Enterprise Parkway Ravenna, OH 44266

With Miller-Motte you can expect the focus to be on you, the student, and your career. We are committed to Changing Futures, Changing Lives, and it all starts with you. You can rely on challenging programs, interesting curriculum, and educators with industry experience preparing you for your new future.

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Chattanooga: 6020 Shallowford Road Suite 100 Chattanooga, TN 37421

North Charleston: 8085 Rivers Avenue Suite E North Charleston, SC 29418

Lynchburg: 1011 Creekside Lane Lynchburg, VA 24502

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Campus Locations :

: 3500 Federal Drive , MN 55122

Fargo: 4012 19th Avenue SW Fargo, ND 58103

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

Moorhead: 1250 29th Avenue South Moorhead, MN 56560

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

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

Mankato: 501 Holly Lane Mankato, MN 56001

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

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..

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Aurora: 350 Blackhawk St. Aurora, CO 80011

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

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

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

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