Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Alabama
Associate degree programs generally focus on giving students practical skills and information that they can immediately use in the workplace. With so many areas of specialization in criminal justice, earning an Associate’s degree is an ideal way to prepare for an entry-level career and further explore your education options.
The cohesiveness of the Alabama criminal justice system has yielded remarkable results in recent years. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency reports that overall crime dropped 5% in 2014, while the FBI indicates that Southern states saw a significant decrease in property crime and burglary (2016).
Whether you want to work in corrections, policing, or the legal system, an associate degree provides a strong educational foundation for future career goals.
Get more information on earning a criminal justice Associate’s degree by contacting Alabama schools below.
Criminal Justice Associate Programs in Alabama
At Alabama community colleges and technical schools, students can choose from a variety of criminal justice programs. While general criminal justice programs are widespread, many schools have specialized programs that focus on a specific career path or work setting.
Associate degree options in Alabama include legal administrative assistant, criminal justice administration, fire science, paralegal, public safety communication, and homeland security.
Homeland security is a field that has grown rapidly since international terrorism came to the forefront of American security threats. In this type of program, you may take courses like:
- Fundamentals of Emergency Management
- Domestic and International Terrorism
- Introduction to Security
- Introduction to the Intelligence Function
- Risk Management and Analysis
- Organizational Integration and Management
Specific requirements are determined by each school, but as a general rule, you should plan on completing an internship while earning an AA criminal justice degree. Spending a semester at a local criminal justice agency can be invaluable, both for the work experience you get and the possible professional connections you can make.
See the list below for an overview of Alabama associate in criminal justice programs:
- Timeframe: Between four and five semesters
- Average cost: $4,740 per year, based on full-time enrollment (College Board, 2016)
- Credit range: 60 to 64 credits
One benefit of earning an associate degree is the relatively low cost of two-year programs. However, you may be able to further reduce the cost of your education with financial aid. Central Alabama students can apply for the Officer David Lee Colley Memorial Scholarship, which is worth $1,500. Find more scholarships for associate degree students on our scholarships page.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Alabama?
An associate in criminal justice may help you qualify for a variety of entry-level criminal justice positions, as well as further undergraduate study. With experience and seniority, you may move into supervisory and leadership positions.
Those who study fire science may look for fire investigator and fire inspector job openings. Across Alabama, demand for fire inspectors may jump 7% between 2012 and 2022 (CareerOneStop, 2016). The average salary in this field is $54,840 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
With police academy training, you may apply for police patrol officer jobs. A 7% increase in job openings is predicted through 2022 (CareerOneStop, 2016). The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of $43,250 per year for patrol officers (2016).
Police detectives may see a 4% swell in job openings through 2022 (CareerOneStop, 2016). Currently, the average salary for a patrol officer is $59,910 per year (BLS, 2016).
While applying for jobs, fully explore all professional connections you have. If you do well during an internship, you may use a strong reference to make your experience stand out. Some schools have organizations for criminal justice students; as an alumni member, you may use this as a resource to find job openings.
Starting a career in criminal justice can strengthen your community and your personal fulfillment. The first step is earning a criminal justice associate degree; Alabama schools are listed below. Contact programs that interest you to get started.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia