Locate Criminal Justice Programs in Bellingham
In large cities like Bellingham, WA, criminal justice professionals play a very important role in keeping the city running smoothly. From police officers who keep the streets safe to bailiffs who maintain order in courtrooms, criminal justice is a crucial field in Washington. If you want to serve your community, consider earning a criminal justice degree in Bellingham.
In Bellingham, one of the largest justice employers is the Bellingham Police Department. With four different operations units and four services divisions, the Police Department serves the various neighborhoods of Bellingham.
Bellingham understands the importance of a strong justice community, which is why you can consider several Bellingham schools if you want to earn a degree in this field. No matter what kind of degree you want to earn, look into the private and public schools in the surrounding area to find one that can get you the education you need.
One of the benefits of living in a bustling metropolitan area like Bellingham is the easy access to public transit. You can rely on the Whatcom Transportation Authority. They have fixed route and flex service routes that allow you to get to and from class without the added expenses of vehicle payments and fuel.
Criminal Justice Schools in Other Major Washington Cities
Criminal Justice Education in Bellingham, WA
There a variety of degrees you can pursue when you pursue a criminal justice degree in Bellingham. The shorter choice is a two-year Associate’s degree, which can prepare you for entry-level careers in the field. You may also opt to pursue a four-year Bachelor’s degree, which may give you access to more career paths.
You can expect to take courses in many different specialties because criminal justice is a very broad field. You may take courses in subjects like law enforcement, corrections, legal studies, and police procedures. Different schools offer different specialties including but not limited to internet crime, forensic science, and juvenile delinquency.
It’s important to keep tuition and financial aid in mind as you evaluate different schools. Rates vary between public and private schools; for example, tuition at Whatcom Community College is $1,128 per semester.
It is also important to join an association either at your college or a community group. These groups can offer you significant benefits such as networking, job resources and reduced rates on educational or professional events. Local groups include the Washington State Paralegal Association and the Washington Association of Legal Investigators.
Job Outlook for Criminal Justice Graduates in Bellingham, WA
Once you have successfully earned your degree, you can begin your career! It’s likely that your class and internship choices have led you to one particular career path, in which case you may have the connections in place to find a job quickly. Otherwise, you may have some decisions to make.
If you have an associate degree in criminal justice, you may be qualified for a variety of entry-level positions. Consider some of the following careers listed below with their average salaries in Bellingham according to 2012 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics . Washington salaries are given when Bellingham salaries are not available:
- Security guard: $25,320 per year
- Bailiff: $42,130 per year
- Correctional officer: $47,270 per year
Bachelor’s degrees can prepare you for work in a greater variety of fields. If you have a bachelor’s degree, look into these careers:
- Police and detective supervisor: $96,210 per year
- Detective: $90,630 per year
- FBI agent: $43,441 per year (FBI, 2014)
You may also want to look into joining the Bellingham Police Department. You must have completed at least 60 semester hours of college education to be eligible for a position. When you start, you may be eligible for a salary of $5,005 per month. Beginning salaries range from $5,005 to $6,438 per month.
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- Associate of Science - Administration of Justice
- Associate of Science - Paralegal Studies
- Certificate - Administration of Justice
- Certificate - Paralegal Studies