Criminal Justice Schools in Texas | TX

Texas State Criminal Justice Degrees

Texas is one of five states with the highest level of employment for nearly every criminal justice career imaginable. For police officers, court reporters, judges, mediators, lawyers, correctional officers, probation and parole officers, fish and game wardens, detectives and more, the amount of positions that are filled in Texas are high compared to the rest of the country. Criminal justice schools in Texas offer educational programs to help you get started in one of these careers. Choose between an online or campus program to have a schedule and location that meets your needs.

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The number of parolees in Texas is approximately 113% higher than the national average, according to the National Institute of Corrections. Parole officers are part of the professional heading “Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists”, an occupation that is expected to grow by 28% through to 2018, predicts Projections Central. If you would like to become a probation officer, parole officer or another community corrections specialist, consider completing a criminal justice degree in Texas with a specialization in corrections, social work, human services, law enforcement or another related major.

From forensic scientists and emergency management specialists to criminal investigators and supervisors of police and detectives, opportunities about for criminal justice careers in Texas. Search Texas criminal justice schools below.

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Texas Criminal Justice Career Outlook

According to Projections Central, these are examples of criminal justice careers in Texas that show a positive outlook for growth with their average number of annual job openings. (The professions where Texas is one of five states with the highest level of employment for them are marked with *):

  • *Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers – 2,300 openings/year
  • *Correctional Officers and Jailers – 1,800 openings/year
  • *Court Reporters – 60 openings/year
  • *Detectives and Criminal Investigators – 730 openings/year
  • *First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives – 360 openings/year
  • Private Detectives and Investigators – 120 openings/year
  • *Paralegals and Legal Assistants – 670 openings/year
  • *Lawyers – 1,500 openings/year
  • Emergency Management Specialists – 40 openings/year
  • Forensic Science Technicians – 90 openings/year
  • *Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists – 280 openings/year

Criminal justice schools in Texas offer programs to help start one of these growing careers. For example, if you would like to become a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, complete an Associate or Bachelor degree in law enforcement. Paralegal programs are often offered both online and on campus. To become a forensic science technician, complete a criminal justice degree in Texas majoring in criminalistics or forensic science.

Top Criminal Justice Employers & Agencies

Texas is the state with the second largest amount of local law enforcement agencies – 788 police departments – according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2008, its total of 1,913 local and state law enforcement agencies employed over 96,000 personnel (over 59,000 of them being sworn officers). The Houston and Dallas Police Departments are among the country’s top ten with over 5,000 and over 3,300 sworn officers (2008), respectively. The San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth and El Paso Police Departments also employ large numbers of personnel with approximately 2,000, 1,500, 1,500 and 1,100 officers (2008), respectively.

With over 2,000 job openings per year and a projected growth of 19% at least until 2018, the opportunities for police and sheriff’s patrol officers abound. Most agencies prefer prospective officers to have a minimum of an Associate’s Law Enforcement degree which you can take at one of the criminal justice schools in Texas.

Texas also has four FBI field offices, nine U.S. Secret Service field offices and four Homeland Security Special-Agent-in-Charge offices. To gain employment with such prestigious federal agencies, it would be wise to complete a criminal justice degree in Texas with a specialization in homeland security, counterterrorism, cyber security, law enforcement, criminal psychology or another focused and relevant major.

Finally, for those who are tech-savvy, Dallas (North Texas) and Houston have two of the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensic Laboratories (RCFL). According to the North Texas RCFL’s website, “an RCFL is a one-stop, full service forensics laboratory and training center devoted entirely to the examination of digital evidence in support of criminal investigations.” If working at such a forensic laboratory peaks your interest, check the criminal justice schools in Texas for information on cyber security, information security or computer forensics degrees.

Texas Criminal Justice & Legal Job Outlook & Texas Criminal Justice Salary

CareerEmployment Growth through 2018Current Average Salary
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers19%$48,000 – 53,000
Correctional Officers and Jailers16%$30,000 – 36,000
Court Reporters25%$56,000 – 60,000
Detectives and Criminal Investigators28%$66,000 – 71,000
First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives17%$78,000 – 82,000
Private Detectives and Investigators24%$60,000 – 66,000
Paralegals and Legal Assistants27%$46,000 – 48,000
Lawyers15%$126,000 – 130,000+
Emergency Management Specialists31% 
Forensic Science Technicians26%$44,000 – 47,000
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists28%$38,000 – 42,000

Sources: Growth Projections ~ Salary Range

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Texas Crime Rate

According to the National Institute of Corrections, Texas’ crime rate is 32% higher than the country’s average, which is further incentive to complete a criminal justice degree in Texas. More specifically, its property crime rate is 33% higher and its violent crime rate is 23% higher.

In 2010, according to the FBI, Texas had approximately 450 violent crimes and 3,783 property crimes committed per 100,000 people. Violent crimes include rape, aggravated assault, murder, robbery and non-negligent manslaughter. Property crime includes burglary, motor vehicle theft and larceny.

Texas’s Correctional System Stats

FacilityNumber of Facilities & OfficesNumber of Inmates
Probation & Parole122 probation agencies, ~ 66 parole offices426,331 probationers 104,943 parolees


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