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Criminal Justice Schools in Illinois

Illinois State Criminal Justice DegreesCriminal Justice Schools in Illinois When you visit the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, it’s not uncommon to see someone literally rubbing President Abraham Lincoln’s nose—well the nose on his statue that is. It’s supposed to bring good luck.

The famous “Lincoln-Douglas debates” took place in 1858 in seven Illinois towns when Lincoln and Stephan A. Douglas were running for the Senate. Slavery was a major topic of discussion. While Douglas won the Senate Race, the debates showcased Lincoln’s anti-slavery views and advanced his profile. In 1960, Lincoln was elected President. Illinois became the first state to endorse the proposed 13th Amendment that would abolish slavery.

“Immediately after the U.S. House passed the Thirteenth Amendment on January 31, 1865, Senator Lyman Trumbull telegraphed Governor Richard J. Oglesby of Illinois urging him to ensure that President Lincoln’s home state was the first to ratify the historic proposal,” states HarpWeek. “The next day at noon, Governor Oglesby forwarded the news to the state legislature, along with his directive that the Thirteenth Amendment ‘is just, it is humane’ and should be approved ‘now.’” This snapshot of Illinois’ history brings to light the idea of justice. How do you want to play a role in the criminal justice system? In law enforcement? Corrections? The Court System?

Criminal justice schools in Illinois offer numerous educational options for those pursuing a criminal justice or legal career. Choose between certificate, Associate, Bachelor or higher degrees. Illinois campus and online colleges and universities offer a range of relevant programs, like criminal justice degrees, criminology degrees, homeland security degrees, legal studies degrees and law enforcement degrees; and also some opportunities to specialize in areas from administration or cybercrimes to victimology and corrections. You can request more information from the following list of Campus and Online Criminal Justice Schools in Illinois.

Illinois Criminal Justice Career Outlook

Numerous criminal justice careers in Illinois show a positive outlook in terms of growth. In the following table you can look at employment growth percentages (2010-2020) for some of the law enforcement, legal, correctional and other criminal justice careers in Illinois. This data was obtained from Projections Central, which sources its data from state employment agencies in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


Employment Growth

Average Median Salary
(May 2013)

Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers



First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives



Private Detectives and Investigators


$ 37090

Emergency Management Directors



Information Security Analysts, Web Developers and Computer Network Architects


(information security analysts)

Paralegals and Legal Assistants






Judicial Law Clerks



Security Guards



Note: It’s important to note that growth percentages are not the only number to consider when looking at job openings for each occupation. Openings also come from the need for replacements, like when someone retires. Projections Central also provides Average Annual Openings data for each state; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides “Job Openings due to growth and replacement needs” on a national level.

The following table also highlights average median salary data, provided by the BLS (May 2013) for various Illinois criminal justice and legal careers.

Employment Growth Data for 2010-2020, was obtained from Projections Central: Illinois and each individual occupation were selected among the “Search” drop down menus to yield % Change data. (Projections Central also offers average annual openings for many occupations).

Annual Median Salary (May 2013) was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by visiting We selected “Multiple occupations for one geographical area”, followed by “State” followed by “Illinois”. Then for each of the Occupation titles, we selected “All data types” to collect Annual Median Wage data.

Top Criminal Justice Employers & Agencies

Illinois has numerous agencies and employers, large and small, that offer career opportunities for budding and existing criminal justice and legal professionals. For example, the Chicago Police Department in Illinois has been consistently cited as the second largest police force in the country based on the number of sworn officers and other personnel it employs. If you are interested in such a career, check out the criminal justice schools in Illinois for information on law enforcement or criminal justice degrees. Many departments prefer to hire candidates with a minimum of an Associate’s Degree.

The Illinois National Guard in Springfield is also one of the state’s major employers. Its website states, “The Army National Guard has a unique dual mission to serve both country and community”. As a member of the National Guard you have the option to receive training in numerous areas such as law enforcement, aviation and computer technologies. You could also qualify for educational benefits that could go towards tuition at one of the criminal justice schools in Illinois. In some cases, full tuition is covered. Illinois also boasts two FBI field offices, two U.S. Secret Service field offices, one Homeland Security Special Agent in Charge field office and one of the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensics Laboratories. If you would like to pursue a career with one of these prestigious agencies, look into taking a criminal justice degree in Illinois specializing in homeland security, cyber security, computer forensics, counterterrorism or another related degree.

Studying in Illinois – Did You Know?

Article By Michelle Brunet