Criminal Justice Schools in Washington | WA

Washington State Criminal Justice Degrees

The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) is an amazing educational and informational resource. It provides information on law enforcement and corrections training academies and employment listings for police, sheriff, security and correctional positions, including support professions. The criminal justice schools in Washington offer online and campus educational programs to help you start a career in the law enforcement, legal or justice fields. For example, you could complete an Associate’s degree in law enforcement to better your chances on being accepted into a police training academy. If you complete a criminal justice degree in Washington, you could complete advanced training through the WSCJTC to advance your career or even become an instructor.

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Several criminal justice careers in Washington show a very promising outlook, including that for police officers, paralegals, lawyers, correctional officers and probation officers. Check out the list of online and campus criminal justice schools in Washington for information on degrees and courses that will help you start these booming professions.

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Washington Criminal Justice Career Outlook

Currently, Washington is one of five states with the highest level of employment for gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Through keen wit, observational skills and the use of technological surveillance equipment, gaming officers ensure safety and security in casinos and other gaming establishments; they are also there to prevent or monitor illegal activity. Working as a gaming surveillance officer is an ideal springboard position to provide you with experience to someday become a police officer, sheriff’s deputy or detective. Check out the criminal justice schools in Washington for information on gaming surveillance or casino security certification programs to prepare you for this type of profession.

Examples of criminal justice careers in Washington that show a positive outlook for growth and demand are:

  • Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers – 290 openings/year
  • Correctional Officers and Jailers – 220 openings/year
  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators – 40 openings/year
  • First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives – 100 openings/year
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants – 200 openings/year
  • Lawyers – 440 openings/year
  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists – 80 openings/year

(Resource: Projections Central)

Completing a criminal justice degree in Washington specializing in law enforcement, corrections, paralegal or legal studies, law, social work or other related majors will help you secure entrance into one of these thriving careers.

Top Criminal Justice Employers & Agencies

Washington is home to two U.S. Secret Service field offices (Seattle and Spokane) and one of Homeland Security’s Special-Agent-in-Charge field offices (Seattle). To become prepared and to better increase your chances of gaining employment with one of these top federal agencies, complete a criminal justice degree in Washington specializing in counterterrorism, cyber security, law enforcement, homeland security, computer forensics or another relevant discipline.

Speaking of working for the Department of Homeland Security, an ideal way to enter this federal agency and eventually move up its career ladder is to start by serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. Washington has several Coast Guard stations, including Port Angeles, Seattle, Neah Bay, Bellingham, Port Townsend and Everett. Completing a homeland security degree at one of the criminal justice schools in Washington, while serving in the Coast Guard, is an excellent pairing for rising up the ranks within the Department of Homeland Security.

A law enforcement or criminal justice degree can also lead to work as a DEA Agent or ATF Agent. In Washington, the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) and DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) have offices in Seattle.

Washington Criminal Justice & Legal Job Outlook & Washington Criminal Justice Salary

CareerEmployment Growth through 2018Current Average Salary
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers5%$64,000 – 68,000
Correctional Officers and Jailers4%$45,000 – 48,000
Court Reporters23%$68,000 – 72,000
Detectives and Criminal Investigators4%$82,000 – 86,000
First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives5%$86,000 – 92,000
Private Detectives and Investigators21%$60,000 – 63,000
Paralegals and Legal Assistants17%$48,000 – 52,000
Lawyers9%$110,000 – 120,000+
Emergency Management Specialists11%$61,000 – 66,000
Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigators9%$28,000 – 31,000
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists4%$50,000 – 55,000

Sources: Growth Projections ~ Salary Range

Washington Crime Rate

According to the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), Washington’s crime rate is 25% higher compared to the rest of the country. Its property crime rate (which includes burglary, motor vehicle theft and larceny) is 30% higher than the national average. This is further incentive for you to become a police officer or sheriff’s deputy to help prevent this form of crime. Complete an Associate’s degree in law enforcement at one of the criminal justice schools in Washington, as most agencies prefer some post secondary training or previous related experience before accepting entry-level officers.

(Washington’s violent crime rate is 14% lower than the national average, according to the NIC).

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Washington’s Correctional System Stats

FacilityNumber of Facilities & OfficesNumber of Inmates
Prisons12 prisons and 15 work release facilities17,636
Probation & Parole14726,707


Degrees by State