Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas
Dozens of employers and agencies make up the criminal justice system of Texas, creating the need for thousands of professionals who can prevent crime, respond to calls about crime, and handle the aftermath of criminal activity. With the diverse range of communities and cities in Texas, the demand for criminal justice experts continues to grow in this state.
Earning a criminal justice associate degree may be the ideal way for you to get started in this industry. As an aspiring criminal justice professional, you may find that Texas is a great place to start building your skill set and getting experience. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is a huge employer in Texas, employing thousands of correctional officers at prisons and jails across the state (Palestine Herald, 2016).
Whether you want to work in corrections or a different part of this field, why not get started now? Learn more about Texas criminal justice associate degree programs below.
Criminal Justice Associate Programs in Texas
You may be curious about how much you must invest in an associate-level program. This is a short, intensive education option that gives you a strong introduction to the world of criminal justice.
While each school and program set its specific credit requirements, tuition fees, and other student expenses, Texas averages are listed here for your convenience:
- Timeframe: 4 to 5 semesters
- Credits: 60 to 66 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $2,547 (College Board, 2017-2018)
To figure out exactly what is expected of you as a student, you first need to choose an educational program that fits your needs and career goals. You may enroll in a general criminal justice associate degree program or you may compare some of these specialized study options in Texas.
Programs offered at Texas schools include corrections, court reporting, paralegal studies, forensic science, and law enforcement. While a criminal justice program may include a general overview of each of these fields, picking one of these areas of study may give you the opportunity to prepare more extensively for one career path.
The courses listed below are commonly required in Texas criminal justice programs:
- Court Systems and Practices
- Crime in America
- Fundamentals of Criminal Law
- Correctional Systems and Practices
- Criminal Investigation
- Police Systems and Practices
Like most students, you probably want to save as much money as possible on your education. Once you have accepted a place at an associate in criminal justice program, you may start applying for specialized scholarships in your area of study.
You can find a thorough list of criminal justice scholarships at CriminalJusticePrograms.com. In addition, consider applying for state-specific scholarships, such as those offered by the Texas Peace Officers Memorial Foundation.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Texas?
Since Texas has one of the most complicated and expansive criminal justice systems in the country, it should come as no surprise that it has a growing need for skilled professionals.
Growth expectations for Texas are climbing slowly when compared to national averages in most career paths. From 2016 to 2026 O*Net is projecting an 8% growth for Texas bailiffs (2017). However, the growth for correctional officers is much lower at -1% (O*Net, 2016); and patrol officers is projected at an increase of 16% (O*Net, 2016).
The salary you earn may be determined by several factors, including geographic location, experience, and seniority. Currently, Texas bailiffs earn an average income of $45,320 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). The mean income for a correctional officer is $41,420 per year (BLS, 2017). The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average income of $62,430 for patrol officers (2017). The more experience you get with specific associate degree in criminal justice jobs, the more you may be able to build your earning potential and job outlook.
The right training and education can help you protect your community and devote your time to a meaningful career path.
Find out how you can get started by requesting information from criminal justice schools in Texas.
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