Home Ohio Criminal Justice Programs Columbus

Criminal Justice Programs in Columbus, OH

When you think of the most trusted people in your community, who do you think of? Police officers, security guards, and other criminal justice graduates. Columbus relies on these professionals to keep citizens and property safe. If you’re ready to bring your best to the table, consider a career in this field.

While there are criminal justice graduates in many different settings, one of the biggest employers in the city is the Columbus Division of Police. They serve 20 Columbus precincts with a focus on community based policing.


If you want to become a police officer, security guard, or correctional officer, you can start by attending a criminal justice school in Ohio. There is a selection of public and private schools that can help you meet your career goals. Look at our list of local schools and contact any schools that you may want to attend.

Getting to and from school is much easier when you have reliable transportation. In Columbus, you can rely on the Central Ohio Transit Authority. You can use a daily pass to ride a Columbus bus or get a 31-day pass to travel as much as you want all month long.

Criminal Justice Education in Columbus

Deciding to earn a criminal justice degree in Ohio can be a great way to create a solid future for yourself. In the Columbus area, there are several different schools you can look into attending. One of the biggest factors that may affect your college decision is the cost of tuition. For example, the cost of tuition at Columbus State Community College is $1,591 per semester for residents and $3,524 for non-residents.

Your learning may be split into two main camps: classroom learning and hands-on learning. Classroom learning helps you learn the history and technical procedures of criminal justice, while hands-on learning gives you experience with the technology used in criminal justice procedures. Some of the courses you may tackle include:

  • Crimes Against Children
  • Forensic Science
  • Courtroom Procedures
  • Law Enforcement

One of the best ways to maximize your education is to become involved in the local criminal justice community. You may be able to do this by joining local criminal justice groups. There are many that are specific to different careers, so you may have to decide which career path you want to pursue first. Local groups in Columbus include the Paralegal Association of Central Ohio, the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, and the Ohio Investigators Association.

Columbus, OH Job Outlook for Criminal Justice Graduates

What do you want to do with your criminal justice degree? From the street to the courtroom to the prison, there are a variety of career options. Career choices depend on your experience, education level, and connections within the community.

An associate degree is an excellent way to prepare for many entry-level careers in the field of criminal justice. We’ve included a few options as well as their respective annual salary as stated on the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2022:

  • Security guard: $37,080 per year
  • Animal control worker: $40,360 per year
  • Correctional officer: $50,920 per year

If you have a bachelor’s degree, you may be pleasantly surprised by the variety of careers you can pursue. The extra two years of school can give you the knowledge necessary for higher-ranking careers like the following:

  • Police and detective supervisor: $102,080 per year
  • Detective: $84,610 per year
  • FBI agent: $81,000-$129,000 per year (FBI, 2024)

Of course, the Columbus Police Department is a popular choice for many graduates. It all starts with attending the police academy. The starting salary is $67,325.99 per year; it goes up to $103,134.91 after four years of employment.

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for Columbus, OH positions contained here reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed November 2023.