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Criminal Justice Schools in Pennsylvania | PA

Pennsylvania State Criminal Justice DegreesProjections Central predicts a 356% increase in gaming surveillance officer jobs through to 2018 for Pennsylvania. Last year, The Washington Times reported that the state earned the highest tax revenue from casinos and gaming operations. CBS 21 News projected that Pennsylvania will become the country’s second best gambling hot spot, surpassing Atlantic City. You could become a gaming surveillance officer, an ideal position to kick start your criminal justice career, whether you choose to move on to law enforcement, a courtroom, homeland security or the FBI. Check out the criminal justice schools in Pennsylvania for information on casino surveillance or gaming security programs. Notice how schools offer online or campus programs so you can select a course load that suits your schedule.

The Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole supervises over 267,000 parolees and probationers, states the National Institute of Corrections. In fact, in 2010, the state’s per capita number of parolees exceeded the national average by 262%. This probably explains why Pennsylvania is one of five states with the highest concentration of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists. If you would like to become one of these community corrections professionals, take a criminal justice degree in Pennsylvania specializing in corrections, psychology, social work, law enforcement or another related discipline.

Whether you want to become a police officer or lawyer, the criminal justice schools in Pennsylvania offer campus or online programs to help start your career.

Pennsylvania Criminal Justice Career Outlook

Many criminal justice careers in Pennsylvania show a positive outlook for growth. With their average number of annual job openings provided by Projections Central, here are some examples:

If any of these budding careers interest you, check out the list of online or campus criminal justice schools in Pennsylvania for information on relevant programs. For example, if you would like to become a police officer, it would be wise to take at least an Associate’s degree in law enforcement. Or you might want to take a criminal justice degree in Pennsylvania specializing in corrections to become a jailer or correctional officer.

Top Criminal Justice Employers & Agencies

In Pennsylvania, there are two FBI field offices (Pittsburg and Philadelphia), one Homeland Security Special-Agent-in-Charge office (Philadelphia) and four U.S. Secret Service field offices (Scranton, Harrisburg, Pittsburg and Philadelphia). To become qualified for any of these federal agencies it would be wise to specialize. For example, you could take a criminal justice degree in Pennsylvania majoring in counterterrorism, cyber security, homeland security, computer forensics, criminal psychology, law enforcement or another relevant discipline.

Additionally, a division of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is located in Philadelphia. To become a DEA Agent, start with completing a criminal justice or law enforcement degree at one of the criminal justice schools in Pennsylvania.

Finally, one of the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensic Laboratories (RCFL) is located in Philadelphia. To become a digital forensics professional, consider taking a computer forensics degree.

Pennsylvania Criminal Justice & Legal Job Outlook & Pennsylvania Criminal Justice Salary

Career Employment Growth through 2018 Current Average Salary
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 3% $52,000 – 57,000
Correctional Officers and Jailers 14% $43,000 – 48,000
Court Reporters 11% $40,000 – 44,000
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 15% $72,000 – 77,000
First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 2% $76,000 – 80,000
Private Detectives and Investigators 7% $42,000 – 46,000
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 13% $48,000 – 52,000
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists 5% $45,000 – 49,000
Lawyers 3% $130,000 – 136,000
Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigators 356% $28,000 – 31,000
Security Guards 6% $25,000 – 30,000

Sources: Growth Projections ~ Salary Range

Pennsylvania Crime Rate

According to the National Institute of Corrections, Pennsylvania’s crime rate is roughly 21% lower than the overall country’s crime rate. Its property crime rate is 24% lower and its violent crime rate is about on par with the national average. In 2010, the FBI reported approximately 2,173 property crimes and 366 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

Narrowing in on Philadelphia, its 13th Street neighborhood causes more concern. Dr. Andrew Schiller ( ranked the district as the sixth most dangerous neighborhood in the country for 2010. Schiller and his team calculated that an individual had a 1 in 9 chance of falling victim to violence (which equates to approximately 11,700 violent crimes per 100,000 people).

Pennsylvania's Correctional System Stats

Facility Number of Facilities/Offices Number of Inmates
Jails 77 35,948
Prisons 80 51,290
Probation/Parole 56 267,343


Article By Michelle Brunet