Criminal Justice Degrees - Programs and Certifications

Criminal justice degrees are becoming very popular among those who would like to either start or advance their careers in the law enforcement and protective services field. Depending on the profession that you would like to exercise different criminal justice degree requirements apply.

Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice are all available either online or on-campus. Depending on your location and employment situation, you can decide between on-campus programs in criminal justice, through which you can meet other students in criminal justice, or online programs, which offer you a possibility to combine your studies with your work schedule.

Associate's Degrees in Criminal Justice
If you are considering working in a law enforcement agency in the U.S., you should complete a certain level of college education. The fastest way to complete this requirement and start a job in law enforcement is an associate's degree in criminal justice. With an associate's degree in hand you can become a police officer or sheriff patrol officer and you can may earn a median wage of approximately $47,000.

Bachelor's Degrees in Criminal Justice
However, if you would like to advance your career to a higher level you should continue your studies in criminal justice with a bachelor's degree. Keep in mind, that you can transfer associate's degree credits towards your bachelor's degree. Typically, a bachelor's is a four year program but if you have an associate's you can fulfill your bachelor's in merely two years. With a bachelor's degree, an array of higher-level jobs would be accessible to you; for instance, warden, secret service agent, deputy sheriff, and other supervisory positions. For first-line police supervisors, the median wages may nearly be $70,000.

Master's Degrees in Criminal Justice
A master's degree in criminal justice will help expand your employment opportunities. You will be able to exercise the highest level of law enforcement careers, including leadership positions, such as police chief, and FBI agent. A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite to a master's program. You can expect to complete your master's degree in criminal justice in two years. Holders of a master's in criminal justice earn between $60,000 and $100,000 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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