If you’re interested in working in the field of criminal justice, the first thing you’ll probably discover is that there are many career options, including careers as probation officer, sheriff, correction officer, criminal justice and law enforcement secondary teacher, judge, police office and forensic analyst.
Being one of the more populous states, California has quite a bit to offer for employment, especially within the justice field. Boasting nice salaries and a combination of different universities offering criminal justice degrees at every degree level, California is one of the top states for any degree within criminal justice.
Criminal Justice Programs in California
There are more than 225 colleges and universities in California that offer criminal justice programs as well as 220 undergraduate programs and more than 20 graduate programs ranging from one-year certificate programs to master degrees.
Tuition Assistance & Scholarship Options for CA Residents
Once students have chosen a school and program, the first concern is usually the cost of earning the degree. Scholarships may be available to eligible students through the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, who gives out four scholarships every year.
Specific scholarships given out by the association include: the Medal of Valor Scholarship; Creedon and Garibaldi Memorial Scholarship; Harry Xanders Memorial Scholarship; and the Herman L. Lenz Memorial Scholarship. California students may also be eligible for a scholarship through the John F. Duffy Scholarship/Grant Program and the Children’s Scholarship Program.
Career Opportunities for those in the California Criminal Justice Field
Graduates of criminal justice programs who choose to work in California may find some very good career opportunities and wages. There are a number of different careers to work in with a criminal justice degree, especially within California. Below we have highlighted some of the more popular career options. All data is taken from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Outlook: Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement
O*NET reports that criminal justice and law enforcement secondary teachers working in California earned a median yearly salary of $71,700 in 2014. This figure is substantially higher than the national average for this profession, which was $57,200.
Outlook: Police & Patrol Officers
California police and patrol officers earned about $88,700 annually, and correctional officers and jailers earned $75,200 in 2014. Both of these figures are also quite a bit higher than the national averages for those professions.
Outlook: Detectives & Private Investigators
Detectives and private investigators working in California earned a median wage of $99,800 while the national average in 2014 was $79,900. O*NET also reports 2012-2022 should bring a job growth of seventeen percent for criminal justice and law enforcement secondary teachers and a growth of seven percent for police and sheriff’s patrol officers. Although detectives and private investigators are only expected to see a job growth of two percent, they are expected to see about 300 new job openings per year.