Criminal Justice Schools in New Mexico | NM

New Mexico State Criminal Justice Degrees

Artesia, New Mexico is home to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations Academy. The academy trains prospective border patrol agents who are charged with guarding the nations’ boundaries and preventing the entrance of illegal narcotics, potential terrorists and other threats. To prepare yourself for such a career, it is advantageous to complete a homeland security, law enforcement, criminal justice or other related degree. Check out the list of criminal justice schools in New Mexico for information on these online and on campus programs.

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Border patrol agents, as well as ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents are often initially posted to New Mexico (or California, Texas and Arizona). Completing a criminal justice degree in New Mexico with a specialization in law enforcement, homeland security or corrections is also recommended for prospective ICE agents.

Other criminal justice careers are also high in demand in New Mexico. From police officers and sheriff’s deputies to correctional officers and paralegals, a variety of professions for various interests show positive employment outlook in this state.

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New Mexico Criminal Justice Career Outlook

New Mexico is one of five states with the highest concentration of employment in the following professions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Their average number of job openings per year is provided by Projections Central):

  • Correctional Officers and Jailers – 150 openings/year
  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists – 40 openings/year
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators – 80 openings/year

Other criminal justice careers in New Mexico that show a promising employment outlook include:

  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol – 160 openings/year
  • First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives – 50 openings/year
  • Paralegals – 40 openings/year
  • Security Guards – 240 openings/year

You can find a degree program among the criminal justice schools in New Mexico to prepare you for these careers. For example, to become a police officer, it is advisable to take a minimum of an Associate’s Degree in law enforcement. Or, to become a paralegal, you could take an online or campus certificate or degree program.

Top Criminal Justice Employers & Agencies

According to Career One Stop, two of New Mexico’s top employers are the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas and the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe. With a career outlook of 16% growth through to 2018 for correctional officers and jailers, positions will continue to open up at these state prisons and other correctional facilities in New Mexico. If you would like to get in on this employment boom, complete a criminal justice degree in New Mexico with a specialization in corrections, criminology, human services or a similar discipline.

In 2011, the New Mexico branch of the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Albuquerque (on the campus of the University of New Mexico). Experts employed at this agency are charged with investigating digital evidence to assist regional law enforcement agencies. Investigations deal with crimes such as child pornography, terrorism and homicide. If you would like to work for this federal agency or one similar, complete an information security, computer forensics or cyber security degree at one of the criminal justice schools in New Mexico.

New Mexico Criminal Justice & Legal Job Outlook & New Mexico Criminal Justice Salary

CareerEmployment Growth through 2018Current Average Salary
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers27%$40,000 – 46,000
Correctional Officers and Jailers16%$30,000 – 34,000
Detectives and Criminal Investigators27%$64,000 – 73,000
First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives14%$70,000 – 74,000
Paralegals and Legal Assistants13%$37,000 – 42,000
Forensic Science Technicians24%$45,000 – 50,000
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists24%$38,000 – 40,000
Security Guards11%$25,000 – 29,000

Sources: Growth Projections ~ Salary Range

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New Mexico Crime Rate

In 2010, New Mexico ranked second place for crime, according to the CQ Press‘ Annual State Crime Rankings report. It ranked particularly high for cases of burglary and rape. For that same year, the FBI reported 958 cases of forcible rape (or 46.5 rapes/100,000 people) and over 21,000 cases of burglary (or 1,020 burglaries/100,000 people).

According to the National Institute of Corrections, New Mexico’s crime rate is 25% higher than the rest of the country’s rate; its violent crime rate is 61% higher than the national average. Completing a criminal justice degree in New Mexico can help you start a career to help reduce the state’s crime rate.

New Mexico’s Correctional System Stats

FacilityNumber of Facilities & OfficesNumber of Inmates
Probation & Parole5720,086 probationers 3,157 parolees


Degrees by State