Why Should I Go Into Criminal Justice?
The criminal justice system in any state has a number of responsibilities to juggle at any given time. This is particularly true in the state of Florida, where officials must protect the growing aging population, support the booming tourism industry, and actively work to reduce crime in major metropolitan areas.
There are many ways that different agencies may go about this. In Florida, legislators have unveiled a comprehensive criminal justice reform package (Florida Politics, 2016).
This reform package is based around three ideas. The first is that everyone de-serves a fair shot in life. The second is that empowering students can reduce crime rates. The final is that strengthening communities can have a positive impact on the criminal justice industry.
An Associate's degree can empower you to contribute to this crucial field in Florida. Get more information on how you can become a justice professional by contacting criminal justice Associate's degree Florida schools.
Criminal Justice Associate's Programs in Florida
Professionals at the Associate's degree level can contribute to this field in numerous ways, so it's important to compare your FL criminal justice Associate degree options and choose the option that offers the best preparation for your chosen career path. For some students, this may mean enrolling in a general criminal justice program. For others, it may mean choosing a more specialized option.
Below, CriminalJusticePrograms.com speaks with Dr. Jamie Myers, Professor at Florida State College at Jacksonville in the School of Public Safety and Security. Dr. Myers describes how to achieve an associates degree in criminal justice technology and how to choose an online vs. on-site program.
Some other degree options available at Florida schools include forensic science, legal assisting, private investigation services, para-legal studies, crime scene technology, and homeland security.
As you can imagine, these wildly different fields have extremely varied curricular requirements. Before choosing a school, spend some time comparing required courses and looking into learning outcomes.
The courses included in your curriculum should directly relate to the work you plan on doing after you graduate.
In a private investigation services program, you may enroll in classes like:
- Interview and Statements
- Principles of Investigation
- Legal Investigation
- Investigative Report Writing
- Asset Protection and Undercover
- Fraud Investigation
- Insurance and Criminal Investigation
At minimum, an Associate's degree program must have at least 60 credits. However, to account for required courses and other expectations, some programs may be longer.
Florida AA or AS in Criminal Justice degree averages can be found below:
- Timeframe: 4 to 5 semesters
- Credits: 60 to 69 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $3,232 (College Board, 2016)
On top of the courses you must complete in the classroom, practical experience may be required in your Associate's in criminal justice program. Certain programs re-quire lab work, particularly those that rely on forensic evidence and crime scene investigation.
Internships are sometimes required and almost always recommended. If you live in a metropolitan area, you may have a greater selection of criminal justice agencies and organizations that take interns. Choose your internship well and put in your full effort, since the work you do in your internship may lead to future job opportunities.
Getting involved with local criminal justice organizations and associations may help you find financial aid opportunities. The Florida Sheriffs Association is just one local group with scholarships for criminal justice students.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Florida?
An Associate's degree in criminal justice should equip you for entry-level careers with essential skills, an overall understanding of the criminal justice industry, and specific knowledge related to any specialized degree options you choose. Additional training is often required, due to the specialized nature of criminal justice job openings.
For example, you may need to be trained on the specific statutes and laws of your county or community. If you go into policing, you may need to successfully complete your county's police academy program before you begin working. Do research on the specific requirements of your county and career options prior to graduation to avoid de-lays.
If you work in fire science, you may inspect and analyze fires as a fire inspector. The average salary for a Florida fire inspector is $60,420 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Demand for fire inspectors may swell 10% by 2022 (O*Net, 2016).
Those who go into policing may work as police patrol officers, a field that may see a 9% increase in growth by 2022 (O*Net, 2016). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida patrol officers earn an average of $57,420 per year (2016). Those who investigate crimes as police detectives claim an average income of $75,350 per year (BLS, 2016).
Job openings for police detectives may jump 3% by 2022 (O*Net, 2016).
Whether you want to work in a resort town, a major metropolitan area, or a suburban community, the state of Florida relies on criminal justice professionals for the maintenance of a safe society.
Discover how you can use a criminal justice Associate degree by getting in touch with Florida schools below.
Online programs may not be available in all areas
Featured Schools Accepting Students from Across the US:
Online programs may not be available in all areas
Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science
Associate of Applied Science in Legal Support and Services
Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety and Security
Traditional On Campus Programs:
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice - Clearwater
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice - Daytona Beach
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice - Melbourne
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice - New Port Richey
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice - Tallahassee
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice - West Palm Beach
Associate of Arts in Homeland Security - Clearwater
Associate of Arts in Homeland Security - Daytona Beach, FL
Associate of Arts in Homeland Security - Melbourne
Associate of Arts in Homeland Security - New Port Richey
Associate of Arts in Homeland Security - Tallahassee
Associate of Arts in Homeland Security - West Palm Beach
Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies - Clearwater
Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies - Daytona Beach
Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies - Melbourne
Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies - New Port Richey
Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies - Tallahassee
Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies - West Palm Beach
Associate of Science in Crime Scene Technology - Daytona Beach
Associate of Science in Crime Scene Technology - West Palm Beach