Criminal Justice Colleges & Degree Programs in New Mexico, NM

Criminal Justice Colleges in New Mexico

New Mexico is truly a land of enchantment with extremes in weather from living desert to great skiing plus an enchanting blend of Mexican-American culture. New Mexico criminal justice colleges include eight public and seven private universities plus nine two-year institutions. The state is large, so when travel to and from college is prohibitive or other commitments make attending a campus-based college difficult, accredited online universities provide a wide menu of possibilities. Employment in criminal justice tends to resist economic downturns, and while police jobs in New Mexico might be the most visible, grauates of criminal justice schools in New Mexico can enjoy solid career possibilities in corrections, detective work, forensics, security guards, and paralegal activities. New Mexico's border with Mexico also creates a need for border patrol agents and immigration officers. The state has one federal and one state academy to train and qualify peace officers. The need for better-educated criminal justice professionals is bolstered by government-sponsored financial aid to make sure candidates are highly qualified.

Salaries and Outlook for Law Enforcement Jobs in New Mexico

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 23,440 individuals working in protective service occupations in New Mexico in 2009 out of a nationwide workforce of over 3 million. The occupations that employed the most protective service personnel in New Mexico, with mean annual wages, included:

  • Security guards: $26,830
  • Correctional officers and jailers: $36,810
  • Police and sheriff's patrol officers: $43,430
  • Detectives and criminal investigators: $54,650

Overall, those employed in law enforcement jobs in New Mexico had a mean annual wage of $36,810 in 2009, while the national mean was $41,740, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. New Mexico's crime rate was significantly higher than the national average. Overall, crime was 20 percent higher in the state than in other states in 2008, while property crimes were 18 percent higher and violent crime was 30 percent higher, the National Institute of Corrections reports. Rural poverty and urban crime seem to dominate with violent crimes on the rise. Albuquerque seems to have the highest crime rate. A degree from one of the criminal justice colleges in New Mexico can prepare you for a career fighting crime in New Mexico.

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