Criminal Justice Schools in Arizona | AZ

Arizona State Criminal Justice Degrees

Careers within the law enforcement, legal and security domains abound in Arizona. Fittingly criminal justice schools in Arizona offer programs to prepare you for occupations ranging from ICE and DEA Agents to correctional treatment specialist and police officer.

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Within Arizona, there are two U.S. Secret Service field offices, a Homeland Security Special Agent in Charge field office, a division of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, several Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives field offices and opportunities to work for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Completing a criminal justice degree in Arizona with a specialization in homeland security, law enforcement, counterterrorism, cyber security and other concentrations will give you the educational background prized by these top agencies. You can consult the list of online or campus criminal justice schools in Arizona to find a program that fits your ambitions and career goals.

The legend of Lawman Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and their shootout with outlaws at Arizona’s O.K. Corral continues to be reveled by fans of Wild West tales. Although law enforcement techniques are drastically different today, Arizona’s career outlook for police or sheriff’s patrol officers, detectives, criminal investigators complimentary vocations, such as probation officers, lawyers and paralegals, is favorable. Criminal justice schools in Arizona offer programs such as paralegal, legal studies and corrections degree to prepare students for these growing occupations.

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Arizona Criminal Justice Career Outlook

Prospective students and professionals will find many opportunities for criminal justice careers in Arizona. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona is one of the country’s five states with the highest level of employment for detectives and criminal investigators. Additionally, Arizona is one of the top five states with the highest concentration of correctional officers and jailers, probation officers and correctional treatment specialists and first-line supervisors of police and detectives.

Particularly for the roles of detective and police department supervisor, one normally starts as a police or sheriff’s officer. Many departments prefer to hire entry-level officers with a minimum of an associate’s degree in law enforcement, which is offered by several of the criminal justice schools in Arizona. Such a degree would also be advantageous if you wish to pursue probation or correctional officer career, but you may choose to specialize with a criminal justice or corrections degree.

Paralegals and Legal Assistant positions are expected to grow by 16% through to 2018 with an average of 150 openings per year. Projections Central also estimates 280 job openings per year for lawyers. Completing a criminal justice degree in Arizona with a major in legal studies will lay the foundation for either of these careers.

Top Criminal Justice Employers & Agencies

According to Career Info Net, Arizona’s Department of Corrections (10,000 employees), the Phoenix Police Department (3,000 employees) and the Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division (1,800 employees) are among Arizona’s top 50 largest employers. These agencies should continue to demand more personnel; Projections Central estimates that in all of Arizona there will be an average of 360 job openings for police and sheriff’s patrol officers, 270 for correctional officers and jailers and 200 for detectives and criminal investigators per year.

US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is also a major agency in Arizona. Most border patrol and ICE Agents with this Homeland Security department are initially stationed in Arizona, New Mexico, California or Texas. In order to have a competitive edge over other candidates applying to ICE, previous military or law enforcement experience along with a degree in homeland security, criminal justice or law enforcement will help you stand out from the crowd. Several of the online and campus criminal justice schools in Arizona offer these degree programs.

Arizona Criminal Justice & Legal Job Outlook & Arizona Criminal Justice Salary

CareerEmployment Growth through 2018Current Average Salary
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers1%$54,000 – 60,000+
Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialists9%$43,000 – 50,000
Private Detectives and Investigators11%$57,000 – 67,000
Court Reporters10%$52,000 – 58,000
Detectives and Criminal Investigators15%$68,000 – 74,000
Emergency Management Specialists11%$57,000 – 67,000
Security Guards12%$24,000 – 25,350
Paralegals and Legal Assistants16%$45,000 – 50,000

Sources: Growth Projections ~ Salary Range

Arizona Crime Rate

The CQ Press’ 2010 State Crime Rankings stated that Arizona had the ninth highest crime rate. It ranked particularly high (2nd place) for motor vehicle theft compared to the rest of the country. The FBI reported more than 21,000 motor vehicle thefts (approximately 336 per 100,000 people) in 2010.

Arizona’s property crime rate is 24% higher and its violent crime rate is 12% higher than the rest of the country, states the National Institute of Corrections (2010).

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Arizona’s Correctional System Stats

FacilityNumber of Facilities & OfficesNumber of Inmates
Prisons15 state and private facilities45,907
Probation & Parole14 parole offices; several probation offices in each county86,452


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