Criminal Justice Colleges & Degree Programs in Washington, WA

Criminal Justice Colleges in Washington

Washington's many four-year and community colleges offer a wide variety of opportunities to study criminal justice in the Evergreen State. From the Puget Sound to the Cascades and the arid eastern regions, criminal justice schools in Washington are preparing candidates to work in many of the protective service agencies that operate in the state.

Washington Criminal Justice Colleges

Studying at one of the Washington criminal justice colleges can not only earn you a degree but open up the variety of activities and vibrant communities available in the state. Washington stretches from the exciting coastline of the Pacific Ocean to the dry reaches of the eastern desert, and provides untold opportunities to ski, hike, and kayak or visit the big waterfront cities of Tacoma, Seattle, and Bellingham. There are more than 15,000 law enforcement employees working for the more than 240 law enforcement agencies in Washington, and training at one of the Washington criminal justice schools can prepare you for one of those jobs. Graduates of one of the criminal justice colleges in Washington go on to succeed in jobs working in correctional facilities, crime labs, and police and sheriff patrols.

Police Jobs in Washington

There are nearly 58,000 people working in a protective service occupation in Washington, a group that includes not only police and sheriff patrol officers but also bailiffs, fish and game wardens, security guards and detectives. These workers, many of whom graduated from criminal justice schools in Washington, made a mean annual wage of more than $50,000 in 2009, roughly 20 percent more than the national rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Police and sheriff patrol officers in Washington make nearly $65,000 annually, and detectives and criminal investigators make more than $76,000 annually. These salaries are much higher than the national mean of $55,000 for police and sheriff patrol officers and $66,000 for detectives and criminal investigators. Among cities in Washington, Tacoma records one of the highest numbers of violent crimes with nearly 2,000 in 2009, or about one violent crime for every 100 residents. Seattle, with more than 600,000 residents, had the most violent crimes with nearly 4,000 in 2009, but its rate of violent crime was much lower than Tacoma's and about the same as Spokane, which has a population of just over 200,000. Washington has a population of 6.6 million and its violent crime rate per 100,000 residents is higher than the neighboring state of Oregon but below the overall rate for the Pacific region. The murder rate declined from 2008 to 2009, as did its per-capita rape rate, but robberies increased slightly. Whether you're interested in a degree in corrections, criminology, or any other bachelor's or master's justice degree, a law enforcement careers begins with finding the right criminal justice academy.

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