Associate of Applied Science • 60 Credit Hours
The Criminal Justice Degree is available to on-campus students and law enforcement officers who have attended an approved law enforcement academy.
The opportunity for public service through law enforcement or security work is attractive to many because the job is challenging and involves much personal responsibility.
Furthermore, law enforcement officers in many agencies may retire with a pension after 20 or 25 years of service, allowing them to pursue a second career while still in their 40s. Due to relatively attractive salaries and benefits, the number of qualified candidates exceeds the number of job openings in federal law enforcement agencies and in most state police departments. This has resulted in increased hiring standards and selectivity by employers.
Competition should remain keen for higher paying jobs with state and federal agencies and police departments in more affluent areas. Opportunities for employment in the public sector will be better with local or special police departments, especially in departments that offer lower starting salaries, or in urban communities where the crime rate is relatively high. Applicants with college training in criminal justice, military police experience, or both should have the best opportunities for selection.
Police and Detectives
2019 Median Pay
$65,170 per year
Number of Jobs
808,700 in 2018
Much faster than average employment.
For the most current salary information, please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Occupational Outlook Handbook” found online at bls.gov/ooh/.
The college adheres to an open admission policy which means applications with a high school diploma or GED are eligible for admission. Applicants with neither a high school diploma nor GED may be admitted on a conditional basis.
This program of study was developed to provide both groups of individuals the criminal justice background to successfully work in either the law enforcement field or private security. Law enforcement officers have the option of completing a field internship to earn college credit that may be applied towards earning this degree.
Employment opportunities for police officers, security personnel, and private detectives are expected to continue to grow. With the advent of a more security conscious society and citizen’s concern about drug-related and property crimes should contribute to increasing demand for more police and security services. Graduates with an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice will have the skills to obtain employment as police officers, federal marshals, private investigators, and private security agents.
Employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 5 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
While a continued desire for public safety is expected to result in a need for more officers, demand for employment is expected to vary depending on location, driven largely by local and state budgets. Even with crime rates falling in recent years, demand for police services to maintain and improve public safety is expected to continue.