Criminal Justice Certification in Texas
As one of the largest states in the country, Texas has a constantly growing need for criminal justice professionals. Many in-demand criminal justice careers are entry-level, so they do not require two to four years of schooling. Rather, you may be able to get started by earning a criminal justice diploma or certificate.
There are many ways to make a difference in Texas, but corrections is one of the largest parts of this industry. Texas has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, which means that state jails and prisons need more staff to maintain ratios and ensure prisoner safety (Courthouse News, 2017).
What Kind of Criminal Justice Certificates are Available in Texas?
In general, certificate programs are intended for those who have never earned a postsecondary degree or diploma. For that reason, admissions requirements tend to be fairly relaxed and you may find programs at two-year schools all over Texas. However, some schools do offer post-bachelor’s and post-graduate certificates for students who have already completed their undergraduate or graduate education.
Court Reporting Technical Certificate Requirements (45 credits)
- Testimony Dictation
Learn how to properly transcribe and verify testimony in the courtroom.
- Realtime Court Reporting
Build an understanding of the basic standards and procedures of court and legal reporting.
- Law and Legal Terminology
Students in this class start out by learning basic, common legal terminology. From there, they move on to highly specialized legal terms and vocabulary.
- Court Reporting Technology
Explore different types of machines and programs used to streamline the process of court reporting.
Law Enforcement Technical Certificate Requirements (40 credits)
- Mechanics of Arrest
Learn how to legally and safely conduct an arrest in the state of Texas.
- Arrest, Search, and Seizure
This course builds on information gathered in Mechanics of Arrest by outlining the process of searching a suspect and his or her property. It also goes into how to seize evidence and illegal items.
- Code of Criminal Procedure
Students in this class learn the procedures they must follow while operating as a law enforcement officer.
- Criminal Justice Professionalism and Ethics
Develop techniques for remaining professional at all times, even when faced with serious crimes. By the time you finish this class, you should have a thorough understanding of the code of ethics in criminal justice.
Paralegal Technical Certificate Requirements (40 credits)
- Legal Research and Writing
Practice your research and writing skills while learning more about the different types of documents used in law offices.
- Paralegal Studies
Learn about the scope of practice of the paralegal and which duties may be assigned to you in a law office.
- Civil Litigation
Find out which cases fall under the umbrella of civil litigation, as opposed to criminal litigation.
- Law Office Management
Discover how to efficiently run a law office and become indispensable to your supervisors.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Certificate in Texas?
As noted earlier, the need for criminal justice professionals is growing extremely quickly in Texas. For example, CareerOneStop expects job openings for court reporters to increase 12% by 2024 (2017). During this time frame, they anticipate a 16% boost in police officer job openings and a 22% increase in paralegal job openings (CareerOneStop, 2017).
Salaries vary quite a bit between cities, suburban areas, and rural parts of Texas. Statewide, the average salary for a court reporter is $72,630 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Police officers report an average salary of $62,430 per year, while paralegals bring in an average of $54,940 annually (BLS, 2017).
No matter which career most interests you, you can start preparing now. Browse a list of criminal justice certificate programs and request information from schools near you.
Online programs may not be available in all areas
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia