Degree Programs for Criminal Justice Jobs in Maryland

According to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, between the years 2012 and 2022 job opportunities for those with criminal justice degrees are expected to increase within the state.

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The number of jobs for police and sheriff’s officers are projected to increase by 13 percent between 2010 and 2020. In fact, municipal and county law enforcement professions are classified among the state’s “hot jobs,” meaning that they offer high growth, great demand, and high wages.

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Obtaining a criminal justice degree in Maryland can open many doors in diverse areas of specialization – from law enforcement and crime scene investigations to corrections and legal support professions.

Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigations Jobs in Maryland

When most people think of law enforcement or criminal investigations in Maryland, job the titles like police officer, detective, deputy sheriff and state trooper come to mind. These professionals provide the foundation of law enforcement in Maryland at the state, county and local levels.

Requirements to Become a Police Officer or Deputy Sheriff in Maryland

As of May 2013, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that there were 14,480 police and sheriff’s officers employed across the state of Maryland. Every jurisdiction in Maryland sets its own requirements for becoming a police officer. Common requirements among all departments include being a U.S. citizen, having a high school diploma/GED, having a valid driver’s license, and no felony convictions on record. Age requirements vary. For example, the Baltimore Police Department requires all candidates for police officer trainees to be at least 20 years and 9 months old when applying. Others, such as the Rockville City Police Department, require graduates of the Police Academy to be 21 years or older.

Police departments and county sheriff’s offices are found within local jurisdictions across the state of Maryland and include:

  • Baltimore Police Department
  • Gaithersburg Police Department
  • Bowie Police Department
  • Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Prerequisites for Detective Jobs in Maryland

Detectives in Maryland investigate crimes that breach federal, state and local laws, depending upon the agency employing them. There were 1030 detectives and criminal investigators working in various agencies statewide as of May 2013.

Requirements vary depending upon the jurisdiction, but all must have at least a high school diploma/GED and be U.S. citizens without felony convictions. Detectives within city police and county departments usually start as police officers (meeting the above requirements) and work their way up.

Criminal investigators at the state level in Maryland must first become a Maryland State Trooper and then climb the career ladder to criminal investigator.

Finally, detectives at the federal level in Maryland work in various agencies, but must usually be between 21 and 37 years old and possess at least a bachelor’s degree and work experience related to criminal investigations.

Detectives work at the city, county, state and federal levels at agencies such as:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation – Baltimore, Rockville, Frederick, Annapolis, Salisbury
  • Maryland State Police Criminal Investigations Bureau – Glen Burnie, Baltimore, Cumberland, Frederick, Jessup, Westminster
  • Baltimore Police Department Investigations Bureau – Baltimore
  • Howard County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigations Bureau – Ellicott City

Requirements to Become a Maryland State Trooper

Some aspiring law enforcement trainees see the Maryland State Police as the pinnacle of law enforcement agencies in the state. The BLS says that as of 2008, there were 1440 state troopers employed in Maryland.

In order to become a member of the Maryland State Police, applicants must be between the ages of 19 and 51, have a high school diploma/GED, a driver’s license; and pass medical, fitness and background tests.

There are 22 Maryland State Police barracks found all across the state, at locations such as:

  • North East
  • Baltimore
  • Cumberland
  • Bel Air
  • La Plata
  • Easton

Paralegals and Other Legal Support Professions in Maryland

In Maryland, legal support professionals may be referred to as paralegals or legal assistants. As of May 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that 5810 legal assistants and paralegals worked in the state. Usually working under the supervision of a lawyer, paralegals or legal assistants may perform legal research, conduct interviews, prepare reports, and process and prepare legal documents.

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Education- Maryland’s paralegals are not mandated by law to get a degree, but having the right education is an unstated prerequisite that most employers require. Paralegal programs in Maryland are available at the certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree levels, and may be approved by the American Bar Association.

Certification- Although paralegals and legal assistants need not become certified in order to work in the state of Maryland, most employers and the Maryland Association of Paralegals recommend certification through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. (NFPA). Entry-level certification as a Core Registered Paralegal (CRP) is gained by passing the Paralegal Core Competency Exam (PCCE).

Once a paralegal possesses CRP certification, a degree and experience, advanced certification can be earned by passing the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE).

Major Law Firms in Maryland that May Employ Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Law firms, corporations and non-profit organizations all across the state of Maryland employ paralegals and legal assistants to provide legal support and do legal research as needed. Examples include:

  • Offit Kurman, Attorneys at Law – Maple Lawn, Baltimore, Owings Mills, Frederick, Bethesda
  • Rosenberg & Associates – Bethesda
  • Anne Arundel Medical Center- Annapolis
  • Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.- Potomac
  • Esperanza Center – Baltimore

Forensics and Crime Scene Investigations Jobs in Maryland

Jobs within the forensics and crime scene investigation realm in Maryland involve collecting and processing evidence from crime scenes. There were 660 forensic science technicians employed in Maryland as of May 2013, according to the US Department of Labor.

Requirements for Forensics Jobs in Maryland

EducationForensic scientists in Maryland process evidence recovered from crime scenes. Job titles may include toxicologist, criminalist, pathologist, forensic science technician and document examiner. An undergraduate degree in one of the sciences (such as biochemistry, chemistry, criminal justice or forensic science) is usually the minimum requirement for Maryland forensic science jobs, but a graduate degree is necessary for many of these positions.

CertificationAlthough certification is optional for forensic scientists in Maryland, it can be helpful when pursuing new challenges or career advancement. Organizations that offer professional certification to Maryland’s forensic scientists are:

Prerequisites for Crime Scene Investigation Jobs in Maryland

Education- Crime scene investigations is a broad category for the many jobs that involve gathering and examining evidence from crime scenes. Titles of CSI jobs in Maryland may include criminalist, CSI specialist, forensic photographer and evidence technician. Because these are highly specialized jobs, they require specialized training and education in the field. Certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees in CSI disciplines are necessary in order to obtain CSI jobs in Maryland. Examples include:

  • Certificate or associate’s degree – necessary for jobs such as latent fingerprint examiner for county sheriff’s offices or crime scene technician for city police departments
  • Bachelor’s degree – necessary for jobs including county sheriff’s office crime scene analyst, and CSI supervisor in city police departments
  • Graduate degree- may be necessary for CSI technology and supervisory jobs within local, county and state agencies

Certification- Once again, professional certification is not a requirement for Maryland CSI jobs. However, it is often recommended for those who wish to advance in the field. Agencies that offer such certifications include:

Maryland Agencies Employing Forensic Scientists and Crime Scene Investigators

Forensic scientists and crime scene investigators work within law enforcement agencies at the local, county, state and national levels within Maryland. Examples of organizations that employ these types of professionals include:

  • Baltimore Police Department Crime Laboratory- Baltimore
  • Western Maryland Regional Crime Laboratory – Hagerstown
  • Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division – Pikesville
  • Montgomery County Police Crime Lab – Rockville
  • Battelle National Biodefense Institute – Frederick

Federal Bureau of Prisons and Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Jobs

Law enforcement jobs in Maryland may also be found within federal or state correctional institutions. As of May 2013, 7450 correctional officers worked in the state of Maryland.

Maryland State Correctional Officer

Prerequisites- Candidates for Maryland state correctional officer jobs must have at least a high school diploma or GED. No experience is required at the state level. Candidates must also be U.S. citizens or lawful residents, 21 years of age or older, and have a Class B driver’s license.

New correctional officers complete 175 hours of training before assuming their new positions.

Jobs for Maryland state correctional officers may be available within the Maryland Department of Corrections’ 24 prisons or pre-release centers statewide. Examples include:

  • Roxbury Correctional Institution – Hagerstown
  • Western Correctional Institution – Cumberland
  • Central Home Detention Unit – Baltimore
  • Maryland Correctional Institution – Jessup
  • Central Maryland Correctional Facility – Sykesville

Federal Correctional Officers in Maryland

Federal correctional officer jobs in Maryland are available at the GS5 or GS6 level, each of which requires at least a bachelor’s degree or experience in areas such as responding to emergencies, counseling, supervising or teaching. Additionally, all of Maryland’s federal correctional officers must be under the age of 37 and a U.S. citizen.

There is just one federal correctional facility within Maryland that employs federal correctional officers:

  • Federal Correctional Institution- Cumberland

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Jobs in Maryland

Careers within the homeland security and emergency management discipline are perfect for Marylanders who want to help protect their state’s and country’s borders and to assist other Marylanders in times of emergency. With its proximity to Washington, D.C., there are many opportunities for these types of jobs within the state of Maryland.

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Jobs in homeland security and emergency management in Maryland require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in fields such as criminal justice, emergency management, homeland security or security studies. Many require a graduate degree and experience, and all require U.S. citizenship.

Emergency management and homeland security jobs may be available at the local, county, state and federal levels within the following government or law enforcement agencies located in Maryland:

  • Federal Emergency Management Institute – Emmitsburg
  • Maryland Emergency Management Agency – Reisterstown
  • Dorchester County Emergency Management Agency – Cambridge
  • Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management – City of Baltimore
  • Governor’s Office of Homeland Security – Annapolis
  • Baltimore County Police Homeland Security Division – Baltimore

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