Criminal Justice Colleges in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, the ""Keystone State,"" has a population of just over 12.6 million, according to the 2009 U.S. Census Bureau estimate. Harrisburg is Pennsylvania's capital, but Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are the two largest cities, and both have relatively high crime rates. Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime, but it is far outpaced by property crimes such as burglary and theft. Because of this, graduates with degrees in criminal justice are in demand in the state's urban areas. Criminal justice schools in Pennsylvania prepare student for careers in forensics, parole and probation, corrections, criminal investigation, and management roles in law enforcement. Public and private universities offer criminal justice degrees both on-campus and via online distance learning. Pennsylvania criminal justice schools offer both associate's and bachelor's degree programs and advanced degrees.
Police and Law Enforcement Jobs in Pennsylvania
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in protective services should see a ten percent growth rate from 2008 to 2018. Big cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have large police forces with many specialties, but there are also opportunities for graduates of Pennsylvania criminal justice colleges in smaller municipalities. Nationally, the BLS notes that 79 percent of law enforcement jobs are with local governments, while the remainder is split between state and federal agencies. Although some agencies accept applicants with an associate's degree or a high school diploma, graduates with a bachelor's degree from one of the criminal justice colleges in Pennsylvania should have better job prospects and opportunities for advancement. The mean annual income for law enforcement jobs in Pennsylvania is higher than the national mean for some positions and lower for others. The following list shows Pennsylvania mean annual incomes for representative law enforcement jobs, with the national mean listed second:
- Correctional Officers and Jailers: $44,390/$42,610
- Bailiffs: $27,750/$40,240
- Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers: $53,140/$55,180
- Detectives and Criminal Investigators: $68,890/$65,860
- First Line Managers/Supervisors of Police and Detectives: $75,800/$78,580
A degree from one of the Pennsylvania criminal justice schools can help you qualify for one of these careers and enjoy a job keeping Pennsylvanians safe.