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Criminal Justice Schools in Virginia | VA

Virginia State Criminal Justice DegreesQuantico, Virginia – Home of the FBI Academy where all special agent trainees begin their career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI’s Laboratory Division, Operational Technology Division and National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime are also located in Quantico. A range of careers exist with the FBI from the realms of criminal investigation to intelligence and counterterrorism. To be a contender when you apply to become a Special Agent Trainee, complete a relevant degree at one of the criminal justice schools in Virginia. Online or campus degrees in law enforcement, homeland security, counterterrorism, cyber security, criminal investigations, forensic psychology, computer forensics and other related programs are compatible choices for starting a career with the FBI.

Many other criminal justice career possibilities exist in Virginia including that for police officers, paralegals, court reporters, correctional officers, emergency management specialists, lawyers and private detectives. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor, Virginia is one of five states with the highest level of employment for private detectives and investigators. Previous experience and completing a criminal justice degree in Virginia (specializing in law enforcement, criminology or investigations) can help you land this independent career. If you would like to become a paralegal, several online and campus options exist. It is advisable to take a minimum of an Associate’s degree in law enforcement if you would like to become a police officer or sheriff’s deputy. The criminal justice schools in Virginia offer educational programs for the career of your choice.

Virginia Criminal Justice Career Outlook

Many criminal justice careers in Virginia show a positive outlook for increase in demand. Here are some examples. (The average annual job openings per profession are calculated by Projections Central):

The criminal justice schools in Virginia offer programs to help you become prepared and qualified for these booming careers. Online and campus programs you may consider include law enforcement, corrections, paralegal, law, emergency management, forensic science, social work, criminology and other criminal justice degrees. For example, to become a probation officer, it is recommended to complete a criminal justice degree in Virginia specializing in corrections, social work, law enforcement, psychology or human services.

Top Criminal Justice Employers & Agencies

In addition to the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ Training Academy and Laboratory, Technological and Violent Crime Analysis divisions being located in Quantico, the FBI has two field offices in Virginia (in Norfolk and Richmond). To increase the chances of being accepted into Special Agent Training, it’s a good idea to specialize your educational credentials. At one of the criminal justice schools in Virginia, you could take a homeland security, information security, counterterrorism, computer forensics, criminal psychology or law enforcement degree, for example.

The FBI’s National Office for all the Regional Computer Forensic Laboratories (RCFLs) is additionally located in Quantico. It serves to oversee all of the RCFLs across the country; RCFLs provide digital evidence analysis and training to affiliated law enforcement agencies. To work for such an agency, helping solve Internet, child pornography, terrorism and other crimes, complete an information security, computer forensics or cyber security degree.

Virginia also has three U.S. Secret Service field offices (in Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke). To work for such a prestigious federal agency, it would be wise to first complete a criminal justice degree in Virginia majoring in counterterrorism, cyber security or another related discipline.

Finally, one of Virginia’s largest employers, according to Career One Stop, is the Virginia State Police. With over 2,500 personnel, the agency hires sworn officers (state troopers), but also civilian positions, such as dispatchers and computer technicians. Check out the criminal justice schools in Virginia for information on law enforcement, criminology, administration or computer science/information security related degrees to gain the experience and credentials you need to work for the State Police.

Virginia Criminal Justice & Legal Job Outlook & Virginia Criminal Justice Salary

Career Employment Growth through 2018 Current Average Salary
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 14% $49,000 – 53,000
Correctional Officers and Jailers 9% $36,000 – 41,000
Court Reporters 44% $43,000 – 47,000
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 16% $84,000 – 88,000
First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives 11% $80,000 – 85,000
Private Detectives and Investigators 31% $65,000 – 68,000
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 29% $48,000 – 52,000
Lawyers 18% $130,000 – 133,000
Emergency Management Specialists 37% $67,000 – 74,000
Forensic Science Technicians 24% $68,000 – 72,000
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists 19% $40,000 – 45,000

Sources: Growth Projections ~ Salary Range

Virginia Crime Rate

The National Institute of Corrections reports that Virginia’s crime rate is approximately 21% lower compared to the rest of the states: its property crime rate is 18% lower and its violent crime rate 41% lower than the national average.

For 2010, the FBI reported a property crime rate of 2,327 offenses per 100,000 people and a violent crime rate of 213 offenses per 100,000 people.

Virginia's Correctional System Stats

Facility Number of Facilities/Offices Number of Inmates
Jails 78 27,858
Prisons 43 31,061
Probation/Parole 42 58,199


Article By Michelle Brunet