Prospective law enforcement officers often need to complete criminal justice coursework prior to acceptance into a law enforcement academy and most entry-level criminal justice jobs require a bachelor degree in criminal justice. Obtaining a bachelor degree in criminal justice is also a common choice for future law students who want to establish a solid understanding of criminal justice before going into a law career.
Salaries and job prospects for criminal justice careers vary widely; however, some common criminal justice career choices can be used as an example of what prospective criminal justice professionals can expect. The Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition, put out by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that there were 648,000 police and sheriff’s patrol officers in the U.S. in 2006, making an average of $52,810 per year. Projections show that these careers are expected to experience an 11% growth rate by 2016, resulting in 70,000 new criminal justice jobs across the nation. The BLS also reports that there were 94,000 probation officers and correctional treatment specialists in the U.S. in 2006, which is expected to also increase by 11% by 2016. The same rate of growth can be expected for Illinois criminal justice careers.
Find out more about the Illinois criminal justice careers available to you by browsing the below list of schools offering criminal justice programs.