Criminal Justice Colleges in Virginia
Some of the best four-year and community colleges in the nation are located in Virginia, and a wide variety of those institutions offer degrees in criminal justice. Students at criminal justice colleges in Virginia can pursue associate's degrees, full four-year degrees, or even advanced degrees, preparing them for any number of law enforcement jobs in Virginia. Virginia residents can also elect to earn a degree from Virginia criminal justice schools via online learning, studying from the comfort of their home when it's convenient for them.
Virginia Criminal Justice Colleges
Studying at one of the criminal justice colleges in Virginia gives students a strong sense of the great sweep of history. Virginia is often called the ""Mother of Presidents"" because no fewer than eight of our country's chief executives were born there. Virginia, though populated by more than 8 million people, is still a very scenic state, its beauty embodied from its Chesapeake Bay shoreline to the Blue Ridge Mountains. A degree from one of the criminal justice schools in Virginia can take you in any one of a number of directions. You can choose a career in law enforcement, corrections, investigations or forensics, or you can go on to get an advanced degree and work as a law enforcement manager or lawyer after graduating from a Virginia criminal justice college.
Law Enforcement Jobs in Virginia
Virginia's 280 law enforcement agencies employ more than 23,000 law enforcement employees. Police and sheriff's patrol officers make a mean annual wage of a little more than $50,000 annually, about 10 percent less than the national mean, and first-line supervisors and managers of police officers and detectives make about $77,000, which is just below the national wage of $78,000, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Protective service agencies in Virginia employ more than 90,000 people, and this group includes such workers as firefighters, animal control workers and security guards in addition to patrol officers, jailers and managers. The mean annual salary for all these jobs is $41,300, a hair below the national rate of $41,700. Virginia's violent crime rate is the lowest of all Southern states and well below the average for the south Atlantic region of the U.S. What's more, the crime rate is dropping for most offenses. For instance, from 2008 to 2009, the number of violent crimes in Virginia dropped 10 percent; the number of reported rapes dropped 15 percent and robberies dropped 16 percent. The highest violent crime rate in Virginia is in the town of Petersburg, which is home to about 33,000 and experienced about 307 violent crimes last year, about one for every 107 residents, according to FBI data. The large city with the highest violent crime rate is Richmond, with a population of 203,000, which had one violent crime committed for each 125 residents in 2009. Virginia Beach, Virginia's largest city with nearly 450,000 residents has a very low violent crime rate. Whether you're interested in a degree in corrections, criminology, or any other bachelor's or master's justice degree, the search for finding the right criminal justice academy for you begins with requesting a free information packet from schools in your area.