Degree Programs for Criminal Justice Jobs in Utah

The Utah Department of Workforce Services reports that job growth for law enforcement workers in the state is expected to be 1.7% annually. This means that between 2012 and 2022, almost 400 new law enforcement jobs will be created in Utah each year.

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In the competitive and ideal-driven field of criminal justice, attaining a degree in criminal justice, or a related field is always beneficial and often necessary to secure jobs in law enforcement, criminal investigations, corrections and probation, legal support, crime scene investigations and more.

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Law Enforcement and Criminal Investigation Jobs in Utah

The Utah Department of Workforce Services expects the number of police officer jobs to grow by 1.95% annually, which means almost 300 annual job openings are expected in Utah. Police officers are the backbone of law enforcement services, maintaining a safe and peaceful environment for Utah’s residents.

With the importance of law enforcement and criminal investigations highlighted by recent events, now is a great time to get involved and start a law enforcement career in Utah. Police officers, highway patrol officers, and detectives offer the most visible and direct law enforcement services to the people of Utah.

Police Officer Job Requirements in Utah

Local police stations that may be hiring in Utah include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Murray City Police Department – Murray
  • Woods Cross Police Department – Woods Cross
  • Washington Terrace Police Department – Ogden
  • Weber County Sheriff’s Office – Ogden
  • Salt Lake City Police Department – Salt Lake City

The minimum qualifications for police officer jobs in Utah include:

  • Holding a diploma from high school (or a GED certificate)
  • Being a citizen of the U.S.
  • Being at least twenty-one years old
  • Successfully completing the Civil Service Examination process (including written, physical, background, psychological, and drug tests)
  • Successfully completing the Utah N.P.O.S.T. exam

Degrees in criminal justice, law enforcement or police science may help a candidate stand out among a competitive applicant pool.

Guidelines on How to Become a State Highway Patrol Officer in Utah

Utah State Troopers are among the best of the best when it comes to law enforcement. They work for the Utah Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol.

The highway patrol has fourteen offices sections, with some located in the following Utah counties:

  • Salt Lake County
  • Box Elder County
  • Weber County
  • Davis County
  • Duchesne County
  • Utah County
  • Rich, Summit, and Wastach Counties
  • Tooele County

To be eligible to apply to become a state trooper, an applicant must be at least twenty-one years old, have a high school diploma, be a U.S. citizen, pass a background check, and complete the Peace Office Academy (POST) Entrance Exam.

Obtaining a four-year college degree in law enforcement or public safety, though not necessary, would be beneficial to obtaining the state patrol position.

Prerequisites for Becoming a Detective in Utah

The number of criminal investigator jobs in Utah is expected to grow by 1.3% annually through the year 2022, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

Detectives are found working at local, state, and federal organizations, such as the following:

  • Murray County Police Department Criminal Investigation Division – Murray County
  • Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification – Taylorsville
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations – Salt Lake City

At local levels, detectives will be chosen from among the police officers at local police departments. Oftentimes, the department will require that the applicant have at least two years of experience as an officer before they may be promoted to detective.

At the federal level, an applicant will need to be between twenty-one and thirty-seven years of age, have attained at least a four-year bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, or another related field, and must have experience directly related to detective work.

Paralegals and Legal Support Professionals in Utah

Utah Department of Workforce Services expects the number of paralegal jobs to increase by 3.1% annually through the year 2022. That means almost one hundred new jobs will open up annually for paralegals in Utah.

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Paralegals in Utah have access to a great resource, the Utah Paralegal Association. To become a full member of the association, the association requires that an applicant have completed an accredited program in paralegal studies, passed the National Association of Legal Assistant’s (NALA) Certification examination, or have combined education and work experience.

The best paralegal programs will be approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Utah is home to two ABA approved paralegal programs, located in the following cities:

  • Salt Lake City
  • Orem

Paralegals may also benefit from taking the Paralegal CORE Competency Exam given by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.

Achieving a degree in paralegal studies, becoming a member of an association, and becoming certified are all great ways to help an aspiring paralegal stand out among the crowd.

Major Law Firms in Utah

The U.S. News and World Report published a report on some of the top-rated law firms that support numerous paralegal jobs. In Utah, the best-rated law firms include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Anderson & Karrenberg PC – Salt Lake City
  • Babcock Scott & Babcock – Salt Lake City
  • Ballard Spahr LLP – Salt Lake City
  • Bohling Meditation, LLC – Salt Lake City
  • Brown, Bradshaw, & Moffat, L.L.P. – Salt Lake City

How to Qualify for Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation Jobs in Utah

The number of jobs in forensic science and crime scene investigations in Utah is growing, with an increasing number of local police stations providing forensic services in-house. Jobs like these involve finding, organizing, and analyzing crime scene evidence.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services expects the number of forensic science technician jobs to grow by 1.7% annually through the year 2022.

Requirements for Utah Jobs in Forensic Science

Forensic scientists are responsible for testing evidence based on knowledge of the physical sciences. They perform analysis on all kinds of crime scene evidence, including DNA, fire debris, latent prints, footwear, fingerprints, and ammunition.

At the local level, a police officer may obtain a forensics position at the local police station. The Utah State Bureau of Forensic Services will help to provide comprehensive forensic science training for Utah law enforcement at minimal to no charge. This means that police officers or state highway patrol officers may obtain training in forensics, and they may potentially be promoted to crime scene investigations within their local police station.

To be hired as a crime scene technician or forensic laboratory scientist directly with the Utah State Bureau of Forensic Services, an applicant must have at least a bachelor’s degree in a hard science. Some applicants will have master’s degrees, so further education will help to distinguish applicants among their peers. Internships are preferable, but the Bureau also offers unpaid internships to those who have yet to complete one.

The Utah Bureau of Forensic Services Laboratory System is made up of three laboratories, located in the following cities:

  • Salt Lake City
  • Ogden
  • Cedar City

After completing their education, applicant smay stand out even further by obtaining any of the following forensic certifications:

Qualifications for Crime Scene Investigation Jobs in Utah

The Utah Bureau of Forensic Services also maintains the only accredited crime scene unit in the state. This team may be used to work with other local or state law enforcement agencies. The Bureau also offers training to local and state police officers that want to be promoted to the job of crime scene investigator at their local police station.

To work directly with the Bureau, an applicant needs to obtain a degree in crime scene investigations or criminal justice. After obtaining this degree, the Bureau will be able to provide additional, specialized training. Further, the applicant can stand out even more by obtaining certifications that speak to the skill, education, and strength of the candidate.

Such crime scene certifications include the following:

Organizations for Forensic Scientists and Crime Scene Investigators in Utah

There are many federal, state, and local agencies at which crime scene investigators and forensic scientists may look for jobs in Utah, including the following:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigations – Salt Lake City, Monticello, Ogden, Provo, St. George
  • Utah DPS Bureau of Forensic Services
  • Utah State Bureau of Investigation
  • Murray City Police – Criminal Investigation Division
  • Weber County Sherriff’s Office – Crime Scene Investigations Unit

Correctional Service Jobs in Utah’s Local Jails, State Prisons, and with the Federal Bureau of Prisons

The number of correctional officer jobs in Utah is expected to grow by 1.3% annually through the year 2022, allowing one hundred jobs to open each year, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

How to Attain a Correctional Officer Job with the Utah Department of Corrections

The job of corrections officer includes protecting the public, inmate, and other officers from any potential destructive events. Correctional officers are responsible for maintaining a deescalated living situation for inmates.

The Utah Department of Corrections oversees correctional officers on the local and state levels. There are two state correctional facilities in Utah in addition to the many diverse local correctional facilities.

To attain a job in corrections at the local or state level, an applicant must be a high school graduate, and be at least twenty-one years old.

Most counties require that applicants have either a current Peace Officer certification by Utah Peace Office Standards, or a Corrections/ Law Enforcement Certification. Although some counties offer the peace officer training to applicants after hire, most counties will give preference to applicants who have one or both of the certifications upon application.

A correctional officer may find job opportunities at the following agencies at the local and state level:

  • Weber County Correctional Facility
  • Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility
  • Washington County Jail
  • Utah State Prison
  • Central Utah Correctional Facility

Prerequisites for Correctional Officer Jobs with the Federal Bureau of Prisons In Utah

To become a correctional officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen, be between twenty-one and thirty-six years old, have obtained at least three years of experience, and hold a bachelor’s degree.

Applicants may be hired at a higher pay rate and scale if they have obtained at least nine graduate credit hours in criminology or another related field.

The Federal Bureau has one correctional facility in Utah:

Emergency Management Jobs in Utah

Careers in emergency management are great for those who want to contribute to the preparation and prevention of any major emergency occurring within the state. With the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, emergency managements jobs began to be prevalent.

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At the local level, an applicant would get involved with an organization similar to the Weber County Hazmat Response Task Force. This local task force hires sheriff’s deputies, forensic scientists, and law enforcement officers. Qualified applicants will already have training, bachelor’s degrees, and usually jobs in the appropriate fields.

Once hired, the local task forces will provide even further on-the-job training. At the state level, emergency managers will need to meet all of the above requirements, and go through continual emergency management training provided by the Utah Department of Public Safety.

For a job with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Utah, an applicant will want to have already attained training through an internship program or a four-year bachelor’s degree. There are even programs for candidates with advanced degrees. Considering how competitive jobs in federal agencies are, it is beneficial to achieve the highest level of education possible.

Emergency management jobs may be found at the local, state, and federal levels in Utah, including with the following organizations:

  • Weber County Sheriff’s ARES Communications Team
  • Weber Hazmat Response Task Force
  • Northern Utah Regional Hazmat Response Team
  • USAR Team and Incident Management Team
  • Northern Utah Regional Homeland Security Coalition
  • Utah Division of Emergency Management
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency – Utah

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