Online Criminal Justice Degrees in Connecticut

According to Pete Gioia, vice president of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, as many as 25,000 jobs paying an average of $15 per hour will remain unfilled in the state of Connecticut due to high living costs. The state of Connecticut's unemployment rate is around 4.5%. As a result, Connecticut residents are looking increasingly towards educational options that will improve salary potential. One of the growing areas of job security in the state includes criminal justice.

The highest employment numbers in protective services across Connecticut in 2017 include corrections officers, policemen, and security guards. BLS

Criminal justice involves community engagement, research, and jurisprudence. A degree in criminal justice prepares students for careers in policing, investigation, parole and advocacy, paralegal and lab technician specialties, and even firefighting and the national parks services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest employment numbers in protective services across Connecticut in 2017 include corrections officers, policemen, and security guards. By earning a criminal justice degree online in Connecticut, you can make a positive difference in your local community.

One of the key benefits of online learning is flexibility. Many online programs will allow you to complete work at your own pace. Online classes for criminal justice degrees in Connecticut cover a variety of subjects, including sociological issues underpinning intercultural relations, investigative techniques, and the ethics of police work.

Many of these online courses are offered in one of two formats: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous means that the courses coincide with campus classes, often including online conference meetings and lectures. Asynchronous provides flexible completion dates and coursework submissions to complement a busy work-life schedule.

The objective behind online coursework is convenience, allowing students to achieve academic and professional goals while managing outside obligations and responsibilities.

When looking for an online program, accreditation is a vital component. Accreditation means that your school meets regional or national educational standards. Regional accreditation is seen as more prestigious, and often, institutions with this accreditation will only accept transfer credits from other regionally accredited schools. National accreditation is common among for-profit and vocational institutions.

The state of Connecticut is accredited regionally by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Eligibility for many federally and privately sponsored scholarship and grant opportunities depend in part on school accreditation. Make sure that your skills and training will be recognized by your future employers and colleagues with state or national accreditation.

The state of Connecticut is accredited regionally by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), one of the six governing bodies under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). To access a complete list of schools accredited by the ED, check out their website.

A wide range of jobs are available with a degree in criminal justice. At the associate level, you can become an administrator, corrections officer, private investigator, firefighter or fire inspector, or a security guard in the public or private sector. At the bachelor's level, your opportunities expand to include probation officer, detective, local FBI agent, emergency management director, or forensic science technician. An online criminal justice master's degree prepares students for positions of leadership.

Various jobs in criminal justice require supplemental training and certification. All aspiring policeman in the state of Connecticut must complete 818 training hours at a Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council-approved training academy. As you investigate potential career paths, be sure to check individual state or county training requirements to ensure success in your future profession.

Criminal justice professionals are often required to earn various certifications and register with the state. These certifications attest to your skill level, competency, and professionalism.

Connecticut requires most security professions to register with the state.

Connecticut requires most security professions to register with the state. Private security guards are required to obtain a professional license from the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection; all private detectives must register with the same institution. It is also important to note that all firearms, privately or professionally owned, must be registered through the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit Headquarters of Connecticut.

Certification for police work in Connecticut requires 818 training hours at an approved POST training facility, or the completion of a 22-week program. Paralegal positions require specific certification in addition to a criminal justice degree. Licensure and certification standards can vary by state, so be sure to check that your certification transfers between regions if you expect to relocate or work long distance. Due to periodic changes to licensing regulations, it is important to stay up to date on the certification requirements where you plan to live and work. All certification programs are designed to build upon the knowledge base obtained from your criminal justice program.

Given the diverse range of job opportunities associated with an online criminal justice degree in Connecticut, degree holders can expect a wide spectrum of career and salary expectations. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, firefighter, police, security guard, and paralegal positions are all projected to grow.

In 2017, firefighters earned an average hourly wage of $30.35, with an annual wage of $63,130, and police officers earned an average hourly rate of $33.95, with an annual wage of $70,610. Paralegals have an annual average income of $60,150, while forensic science technicians make $74,560 per year on average.

The following tables detail employment numbers and salary averages across three major areas associated with criminal justice: protective services, court and corrections occupations, and technical and educational support. Consider these statistics as you plan for your future degree.

Protective Services Occupations in Connecticut

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Firefighters 3,270 $30.35 $63,130
Fire Inspectors and Investigators 260 $33.80 $70,310
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 920 $43.64 $90,770
Fish and Game Wardens 80 $27.50 $57,190
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers 6,820 $33.95 $70,610
Private Detectives and Investigators N/A $28.41 $59,100
Security Guards 11,380 $16.18 $33,660
Transportation Security Screeners 240 $21.14 $43,970
Source: BLS, May 2017

Court and Corrections Occupations in Connecticut

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Lawyers 7,070 $73.33 $152,540
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates 240 $81.30 $169,110
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 5,110 $28.92 $60,150
Court Reporters 280 $25.57 $52,560
Correctional Officers and Jailers 3,810 $26.20 $54,500
Source: BLS, May 2017

Other Criminal Justice Occupations in Connecticut

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Forensic Science Technicians 100 $35.85 $74,560
Source: BLS, May 2017

The following lists detail criminal justice scholarships available for Connecticut residents, as well as more general support scholarships for in-state learners. Be sure to also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you are eligible for government support.

Criminal Justice Scholarships

Andrew J. Flanagan Memorial Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: Active, in-state firefighters enrolled in college-level courses in fire science, technology, or administration. View Scholarship

Connecticut Association of Women Police Scholarship $200-500

Who Can Apply: Designed to help graduating seniors from Connecticut high schools enter two- or four-year college programs with a major in criminal justice. View Scholarship

Brian A. Aselton Memorial Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: Intended for children of police officers in the Hartford, East Hartford, and South Windsor precincts, as well as Manchester Community College criminal justice students. Applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA upon application and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to be eligible for subsequent support. View Scholarship

Master Police Officer Peter J. Lavery Memorial Scholarship Fund Varies

Who Can Apply: Open to graduating high school seniors of the Newington, Berlin, or other local high schools in Hartford County. Student must enter a program in law enforcement or criminal justice. View Scholarship

Carl J. Niedzial Memorial Scholarship $400-1,000

Who Can Apply: Members or direct relatives of members of the State Police Credit Union who live in one of the 21 towns the credit union services in Connecticut. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Connecticut Residents

CarterCares Scholarship Program $2,000

Who Can Apply: Connecticut high school seniors that exhibit strong leadership skills through competitive academic performance, extracurriculars, and volunteer work. View Scholarship

Live Out Loud Scholarship $2,500

Who Can Apply: For lesbian, gay, transgender, or bisexual students residing in the tri-state area, the Live Out Loud Scholarship offers financial assistance to upcoming high school seniors or graduates within one year of graduation. Selection is based off financial need, leadership potential, and community outreach. View Scholarship

Shaw-Worth Memorial Scholarship Up to $2,500

Who Can Apply: Available to high school seniors across New England dedicated to animal protection. Students must show community engagement and a longstanding commitment to animal rights. View Scholarship

Eileen Kraus Scholarship $5,000

Who Can Apply: Administered through the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame, the Eileen Kraus Scholarship is designed for young women entering their first year of undergraduate studies in the state of Connecticut. View Scholarship

James P. and Debra Fitzgerald Healy Foundation Scholarship $3,000

Who Can Apply: For rising juniors and seniors enrolled in an accredited Connecticut college or university. This scholarship assists students who have experienced sudden and/or unforeseen financial hardship; a minimum 3.0 GPA is required. View Scholarship

Law Enforcement Agencies in Connecticut

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are excellent venues to build and maintain connections and create networks. These associations also often provide job search resources and career development opportunities such as continuing education and certifications. The following list details six criminal justice professional organizations.

Central Connecticut Association of Paralegals

This association promotes continuing education among paralegals in order to strengthen paralegal efficiency across the central Connecticut districts.

Connecticut Bar Association

The Connecticut State Bar Association maintains quality standards of the judiciary system and monitors members.

Association of State Correctional Administrators

The ASCA works closely with security guards, bailiffs, and probation officers to improve correctional facilities statewide.

Connecticut State Firefighters Association

This consortium of nonprofit and career firefighters fights for federal and state legislative initiatives, disability support, and offers ongoing training opportunities for community members.

Connecticut Police Chiefs Association

The police chiefs association brings government and community members together to improve the administration of local justice.

Keep the Promise Coalition

The KTP advocates for mental health issues, bringing health specialists together with interested community members and justice professionals to fight for a comprehensive mental health care system in Connecticut.

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