Online Criminal Justice Degrees in Alaska

Each year, Alaska experiences significant swings in its population, employment, and business opportunities. As the oil and service industries fluctuate, Alaska residents turn towards educational programs to open new career pathways. A degree in criminal justice can lead to positions in government, law enforcement, security, and even the National Park Service. As of 2017, Alaska ranks among the top five states in protective service occupation salaries, with an annual mean wage of $59,420.

As of 2017, Alaska ranks among the top five states in protective service occupation salaries, with an annual mean wage of $59,420. BLS

You can earn an online criminal justice degree in Alaska at a pace that meets your lifestyle and familial needs. With a bachelor's or master's degree, you will train in both theoretical and applied justice tactics. You will study the evolution of criminology, the psycho-social causes of addiction, statistical analysis, and criminal law. Upper level coursework familiarizes students with key local issues in rural, tribal, and urban contexts. The complexities of advanced procedural law culminates in internship and capstone research opportunities that provide practical job training.

Criminal justice degrees in Alaska lead to job opportunities in government, law, security, and public service. In addition, online programs in criminal justice offer flexible platforms to pursue your academic goals and complete coursework at your own pace. Students can enroll in synchronous courses, which provide a classroom experience through audio conferences on the semester system, or take asynchronous courses to complete assignments and coursework as your schedule allows. Through online system platforms, such as Blackboard, students access course materials and contact professors, meet benchmarks with quizzes and exams, and track grades and GPA scores to keep up to date on personal progress.

When searching for schools and programs, be sure to investigate accreditation standards. Regional and national accreditation ensures that the degree you earn will be considered reputable by future employers. It is important to note that government and private financial aid applications often require accreditation. Also, in the event that you need to transfer credits between schools, you will need proof of accreditation. Ensure that you do not miss out on funding opportunities or credit for work accomplished by choosing a fully accredited institution.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities regulates institutions within Alaska.

The United States Department of Education sanctions six regional governing bodies that control quality standards across the country. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities regulates institutions within Alaska. For degrees in justice and security, look also for the support of the Alaska Police Standards Council, which seeks to maintain quality programs and specialized training for law enforcement, parole, and corrections officers. For a complete list of accredited schools in Alaska, take a look at the U.S. Department of Education's database.

A career in the private or public protective services, or in the national park system, requires varying levels of education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 46% of Alaskan police officers have at least some postsecondary education. Associate degrees in criminal justice prepare students for careers as crime lab technicians, public dispatchers, probation officers, security guards, or private sector security positions. A bachelor's degree in criminal justice in Alaska opens up a variety of job opportunities in criminal investigation as a police officer, detective, investigative administrator, and many national positions in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Secret Service. You can also consider positions in emergency management, probation, or correctional services, where a strong knowledge in criminal justice helps provide fair treatment and facilitates societal reintegration.

As a security or law enforcement employee, your future career requires various forms of state licensure and registration. These certifications reflect your knowledge and competency to potential employers, colleagues, and members of the Alaskan public. Licensure and certification standards vary by state and occasionally by county. Be sure to check that your certification can transfer between regions if you expect to relocate at any time.

These certifications reflect your knowledge and competency to potential employers, colleagues, and members of the Alaskan public.

The Alaska Police Standards Council certifies all criminal justice employees in the state, and provides training courses to meet certifications and improve personal career opportunities. The Police Standards Council also licenses security guards. To become a probation officer, you must pass the basic probation officer academy, a six-week program that prepares you for work in a corrections facility with safety and jurisprudence training. Successful completion entitles participants to probation officer certification. To become a private investigator, licensure depends on the county in which you plan to live and work. To find out more, check out the Alaska State Legislature House Bill No. 9. With a four-year college degree, you can apply for a position with the Federal Bureau of Investigations Alaskan branch to become a special agent, linguist, or crisis respondent. For this, you must complete a twelve-week uniformed police training program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia.

Due to periodic changes to licensing regulations, check the requirements necessary for certification where you plan to live and work. Certification programs build upon the knowledge base attained in your initial criminal justice degree online Alaska program.

Career expectations for online criminal justice degrees in Alaska span a broad spectrum of security, investigative, and public service positions. According to Alaska's 2017 employment statistics, security guards earn a mean hourly wage of $22.48, and an annual average salary of $46,770. Police officers and dispatchers earn an hourly wage of $40.13 and annual wage of $53,330. Correctional officers hold an hourly wage of $30.07 and annual salary of $62,550. With a criminal justice master's degree in Alaska, you can move into leadership positions, such as corrections officer supervisor, and earn an hourly wage of $42.99 and an annual wage of $91,750. The BLS projects positions for police officers, probation officers, and security guards to grow by around 7% over the next decade. Positions for private detectives are projected to increase faster, at an 11% rate.

The following tables detail criminal justice job opportunities in Alaska, including current employment numbers and hourly and annual wage. Bear these financial and employment opportunities in mind as you consider your future career in criminal justice.

Protective Services Occupations in Alaska

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Firefighters 700 $29.29 $60,930
Fire inspectors and investigators N/A N/A N/A
Corrections officers 1,200 $30.07 $62,550
Detectives and criminal investigators 100 $55.83 $116,130
Fish and game wardens N/A N/A N/A
Police and sheriff's patrol officers 1,070 $39.41 $81,980
Private detectives and investigators 50 N/A N/A
Security guards 2,000 $22.48 $46,770
Transportation security screeners 410 $22.67 $47,160
First-line supervisors of corrections officers 80 $44.11 $91,750
Source: BLS, May 2018

Scholarships and grants support the criminal justice field by helping more students afford to attend school. The following list details criminal justice scholarships available for Alaska residents and some for general academic support. In addition to individual scholarships, be sure to apply for government funding through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Criminal Justice Scholarships

Alaska Peace Officer Scholarship, Anchorage Chapter $1,000

Who Can Apply: This scholarship benefits residents of the Anchorage municipality enrolled full-time in an accredited program in criminal justice or a related field. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. View Scholarship

Alaska Peace Officer Scholarship, Juneau Chapter $1,000

Who Can Apply: Residents of the Juneau municipality enrolled full time in an accredited criminal justice program or a related field may apply. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. View Scholarship

Alaska Peace Officer Scholarship, Mat-Su Chapter $1,500

Who Can Apply: This scholarship is for residents of the Mat-Su school district enrolled full time in an accredited program in criminal justice or a related field. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. View Scholarship

Alaska Peace Officer Scholarship, Kenai Chapter $2,000

Who Can Apply: Residents of the Kenai peninsula school district enrolled full time in an accredited program in criminal justice or a related field are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. View Scholarship

The Golden Rule Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: This scholarship aids Ninilchik high school graduating seniors pursuing postsecondary education whose career goals and moral compass exemplify the Golden Rule. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Alaska Residents

Alaska American Legion Western District Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: Alaska residents entering college at the freshmen level with a 2.5-3.7 high school GPA may apply. View Scholarship

Alaska Performance Scholarship $2,378-$4,755/year

Who Can Apply: Alaska high school students with good grades and a rigorous curriculum record qualify for this scholarship. They must be attending an Alaskan college, university, or technical program. View Scholarship

Elmendorf Officers' Spouses' Organization Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: This scholarship benefits high school graduates of the Anchorage or Mat-su school districts who possess valid military identification as a family member (child or spouse) of military personnel. View Scholarship

Kayhi Alumni Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: High school seniors of the Ketchikan school district demonstrating academic and leadership potential may apply. View Scholarship

Neal O. Thorpe Memorial Scholarship $7,500/year

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be Alaska residents, graduates of an Alaskan high school, and attending one of fourteen applicable institutions. Particular preference is given to first-generation college students. View Scholarship

Law Enforcement Agencies in Alaska

Professional Organizations

As with most fields, community plays an important role in career success. Professional organizations offer a venue to network, find jobs, and learn about the latest innovations and opportunities in job development. The following list provides a few of the professional organizations and associations relevant for those pursuing an online criminal justice degree in Alaska, from law enforcement associations to peace officer training.

Alaska Peace Officers Association

The Alaska Peace Officers Association takes pride in its center for professional development. Spanning careers in law enforcement, corrections facilities, and law, this nonpartisan conglomerate brings professionals of varying levels together to improve Alaskan jurisprudence.

International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training

As a continuing education association for members of law enforcement, IADLEST offers evaluation and feedback to career instructors and maintains nationally recognized accreditation standards.

Alaska Association of Fire and Arson Investigators

This organization of fire safety professionals investigatives training and public fire safety awareness, bringing together community members across the state.

Alaska Native Justice Center

Dedicated to the protection of Native rights across Alaska, the ANJC monitors and combats inconsistencies in the criminal and civil justice system. The ANJC offers assistance to community members under prosecution and those reentering the community post incarceration.

Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

As a nonprofit professional organization, the AKACDL promotes ongoing research in criminal defense law by providing lectures, seminars, and publications on recent fieldwork developments.

Alaska Bar Association

The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory association of state legal professionals, designed to maintain quality standards in the judiciary system. The association offers continuing education opportunities and social engagement options, such as the Young Lawyers section.

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