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Criminal Justice Career and Salary

Article Sources

Sources:

Forensic Science Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/forensic-science-technicians.htm

Judges and Hearing Officers, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/judges-and-hearing-officers.htm

Police and Detectives, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm

NAACP, "Criminal Justice Fact Sheet," http://www.naacp.org/pages/criminal-justice-fact-sheet

National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#19-0000

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For those who are fascinated by crimes and the psychology of criminals or are motivated by an interest in public safety and America's justice system, training in criminology or criminal justice may be worth exploring.

Criminal justice career information

A degree in criminal justice may qualify some people to work in a number of careers. A sampling of these includes:

  • Law enforcement officers may work at the local, county, state or federal level, upholding and enforcing the laws of society. Jobs in law enforcement include police officer, FBI agent, security guard, forensics technician or a position with transportation or homeland security, to name a few.
  • Investigators work to solve specific crimes in a focused, extensive manner, working either for the government or for private companies or individuals to solve crimes or simply obtain information about people or events.
  • Correction officers deal with those accused of and prosecuted for crimes, while investigations and law enforcement officers uphold laws and solve crimes. This includes working in jails, prisons or courthouses, overseeing confinement or transport and supervising those on probation or parole.

Other criminal justice careers include legal positions such as attorney or judge, support employees in the court system such as bailiff or court clerk, counselor, medical examiner/coroner or teacher of criminal justice or criminology.

Criminal justice career outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) reports criminal justice jobs, including police officer, forensic science technician, probation officer, correctional treatment specialist and judges or hearing officers are likely to experience little to no real job growth over the 2012-2022 period.

However, there will always be demand for those willing to protect citizens. These positions and many others are categorized by the BLS as protective service occupations, which employed more than 3.25 million people in the U.S. in May 2013. Jobs are expected to come available as economic recovery continues and those holding positions retire or leave their professions.

Criminal justice salary information

The BLS's Occupational Employment Statistics provides up-to-date salary information about a multitude of criminal justice careers. Salaries obviously vary widely depending on position, education/training, employer, seniority and other factors. Following is a small sampling of national median hourly wages for some of the positions employing the most people in May 2013:

  • Law enforcement workers: $24.34
  • Bailiffs, correctional officers and jailers: $19.01
  • Forensic science technicians: $$26.1
  • Police officers: $26.99
  • Private detectives and investigators: $22.24
  • Security guards: $11.57
CareerProjected Number of New JobsProjected Job Growth Rate
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary3,70021.4
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Criminal justice career statistics

According to the NAACP, the number of people incarcerated in the U.S. quadrupled between 1980 and 2008. Today, approximately 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control. There is no doubt that crime and threats to public safety will always be an unfortunate reality in our society, and there will always be a need for those willing and able to protect people and enforce the laws. Whether you pursue a certificate, associate degree, bachelor degree, postgraduate degree or professional training program, you may be able to find a career path to suit your training and interests. Explore vocational schools to find the right program and career path for you.

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B.S. in Justice Studies
  • Interested in enhancing your skills and knowledge in the criminal justice field? Learn more at GCU!
  • GCU promotes interdisciplinary studies and research while developing valued skills in the justice workplace.
  • Develop collaborative and analytical skills through a rigorous educational environment and Christian worldview.
  • GCU's master's and bachelor's degrees prepare students to change lives, enhance communities and ensure the fair treatment of community members.
  • Gain the analytical skills and legal expertise needed to evaluate individuals and take charge in a professional legal setting.
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Criminal Justice (11-Month Diploma Program)
UEI College , Fresno
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
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Criminal Justice (MS)
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
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MS/Criminal Justice - Forensic Science
  • Provides an exclusive Ashford Mobile app to keep students connected to the online classroom on the go.
  • Offers a business program in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
  • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
  • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
  • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
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Criminal Justice (BS)
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
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Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
  • Its main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, with campuses located throughout the State of Florida and internationally. 
  • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
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Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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Criminal Justice - Associate of Applied Science
  • Part of the Delta Career Education Corporation.
  • Each campus features a public spa and/or salon where students can gain real-world experience.
  • 17 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent colleges and Schools (ACICS), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  • Originally founded in 1916 in Wilmington, North Carolina by Judge Leon Motte.
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M.A. Forensic Psychology
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
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Degree - Criminal Justice: Corrections
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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