Online Criminal Justice Degrees in Hawaii

Hawaii students who earn a criminal justice degree qualify for positions in law enforcement, corrections, and the courts.

Law enforcement professionals work as police officers, detectives, and investigators. Corrections workers include probation officers, correctional treatment specialists, correctional officers, and bailiffs. A degree in criminal justice is also suitable for legal professionals, such as paralegals and legal assistants.

Protective service and legal professionals in Hawaii earn a significantly higher median annual salary than most workers throughout the economy. BLS

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), protective service and legal professionals in Hawaii earn a significantly higher median annual salary than most workers throughout the economy. Additionally, Hawaii's 2.1% unemployment rate is the lowest among all 50 states.

Educational requirements for criminal justice jobs vary by occupation. Crime scene investigators, probation officers, and correctional treatment specialists must typically have a bachelor's degree. A high school diploma is sufficient for police and detective positions, but these professionals must also complete intensive training.

Any student considering a Hawaii criminal justice degree should verify the school's accreditation status. Colleges and universities undergo evaluative accreditation by non-governmental organizations to demonstrate the quality and rigor of their programs.

To qualify for federal financial aid, students must attend fully accredited postsecondary institutions. Nationally accredited institutions usually accept credits from both regionally and nationally accredited schools. However, most regionally accredited colleges only accept credits from other regionally accredited institutions.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits colleges and universities based in Hawaii.

Academically oriented nonprofit institutions typically hold regional accreditation. National accreditation is most common among for-profit vocational and professional schools. In many accredited schools, individual programs also obtain field-specific programmatic accreditation.

There are six regional accrediting organizations in the U.S. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits colleges and universities based in Hawaii. However, some schools are headquartered elsewhere and maintain satellite campuses in Hawaii. These campuses may hold accreditation from another regional body.

Hawaii schools that offer online programs may obtain national accreditation through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

For further information about accreditation, students may consult the U.S. Department of Education, which maintains an online database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs.

Police officers and detectives in Hawaii must hold a high school diploma or equivalency certificate. Additionally, federal law enforcement agencies may require these professionals to complete some college coursework.

Crime scene investigators usually need a bachelor's degree in forensic science and a background in criminal justice, chemistry, and biology. Most probation officers and correctional treatment specialists have a bachelor's in criminal justice or a related field, and postsecondary criminal justice teachers must hold a graduate degree.

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) accredits three of Hawaii's largest law enforcement agencies: the Honolulu Police Department, the Hawaii County Police Department, and the Maui County Police Department.

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) accredits three of Hawaii's largest law enforcement agencies: the Honolulu Police Department, the Hawaii County Police Department, and the Maui County Police Department. To comply with CALEA standards, these agencies must perform medical examinations and psychological screenings on all officer candidates.

Additionally, law enforcement workers must complete comprehensive training. The Honolulu Police Department, for example, trains officer candidates in control and arrest tactics, firearm use, and emergency vehicle operation. Non-police criminal justice professionals, such as forensic scientists, may begin their careers as sworn officers who undergo the same training.

Those pursuing careers as federal agents in Hawaii must complete lengthy training outside the state, usually at either the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Georgia, or the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia.

In Hawaii, some criminal justice careers require licensure or certification.

While a license is a mandatory, state-issued credential, certification is normally voluntary and field-regulated. Often, professionals must fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain licensure or certification. Since licensure and certification requirements are subject to change, and aspiring criminal justice professionals in Hawaii may contact their prospective employers for up-to-date information.

While a license is a mandatory, state-issued credential, certification is normally voluntary and field-regulated.

Private detectives, guards, and detective agencies must maintain licensure through the Professional and Vocational Licensing Division of the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. To receive licensure, a private detective agency must provide employment histories and background checks for its employees and appoint a principal detective or guard to oversee its operations.

Self-employed private detectives and guards must also obtain state licensure. To qualify, candidates must possess a high school diploma or equivalency certificate and at least four years of supervised field experience. Other requirements include an examination, a psychological screening, and a criminal background check.

To register with the Hawaii Board of Private Detectives and Guards, aspiring security professionals must complete an eight-hour training course which addresses search and seizure, use of force, and arrest procedures.

According to BLS estimates, the mean annual salary for all protective service occupations in Hawaii is $61,990. Nationally, the median annual salary for these occupations is $39,550.

Hawaii probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earn a mean annual wage of $55,480. Legal professionals in Hawaii take home a mean annual wage of $91,190. Meanwhile, their colleagues earn a median annual salary of $80,080 nationwide.

The tables below feature employment and wage data for protective service, court and corrections, and other criminal justice occupations in Hawaii. The data demonstrates a link between low employment figures -- and generally the higher education requirements these positions necessitate -- and higher salaries for protective service occupations.

Protective Services Occupations in Hawaii

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Firefighters 1,750 N/A N/A
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 460 N/A N/A
Fish and Game Wardens 90 $33.17 $69,000
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 2,700 N/A N/A
Security Guards 9,100 $15.74 $32,740
Transportation Security Screeners 1,050 $19.22 $39,970
Source: BLS, May 2017

Many criminal justice students procure financial aid through scholarship funds. Unlike federal loans, scholarships never require repayment. Many scholarship awards are renewable, allowing students to collect aid for multiple years. The lists below include scholarship information for criminal justice majors and Hawaii residents.

Criminal Justice Scholarships

Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award $1,000

Who Can Apply: Honoring the late civil rights leader, this scholarship provides funds to minority students pursuing degrees related to criminal justice. Candidates must attend a four-year university and demonstrate financial need and academic excellence. View Scholarship

Alphonso Deal Scholarship Award Varies

Who Can Apply: The National Black Police Association offers this award to high school seniors planning to pursue law enforcement training or education. Applicants must provide a letter of acceptance to a learning institution, as well as a 500-word essay that discusses their academic plans. View Scholarship

Out to Protect Scholarship $500-1,000

Who Can Apply: This award supports LGBT students enrolled in U.S. law enforcement, corrections, and 911 dispatcher training programs. Applicants must demonstrate determination to complete training and become a positive role model in their chosen profession. View Scholarship

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship $1,000-10,000

Who Can Apply: Named after two fraud examiners killed in the line of duty, this award helps learners study criminal justice and other fields related to fraud examination. Eligible applicants include undergraduate students enrolled in at least nine credit hours and graduate students enrolled in at least six credit hours. View Scholarship

Sheryl A. Horak Law Enforcement Explorer Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: This award is available to high school seniors participating in the Law Enforcement Explorer program, which allows young people to obtain career training through their local law enforcement agencies. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay describing why they wish to pursue a law enforcement career. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Hawaii Residents

Hawaii Community Foundation Scholarships $2,500 on average

Who Can Apply: The Hawaii Community Foundation offers multiple scholarships to students pursuing criminal justice or law careers. These include the Inspired to Serve Scholarship Fund in Memory of Seigo and Hisaye Kagawa and the Cayetano Foundation Scholarship Fund. Other awards are available to applicants regardless of major or career plans. View Scholarship

Horatio Alger State Scholarship Up to $10,000

Who Can Apply: This scholarship is available to one student in each state. Candidates must demonstrate critical financial need, community involvement, and commitment to earning a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year university. View Scholarship

Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: This award is open to any Hawaii resident enrolled full-time in an accredited university. High school seniors must possess a 2.5 minimum GPA. Civic Club members and students of Native Hawaiian ancestry receive preference. View Scholarship

University of Hawaii Scholarships Varies

Who Can Apply: With 10 campuses across the Hawaiian islands, the University of Hawaii is the state's largest university system. Students enrolled in the UH system are eligible for nine general and campus-specific scholarships. View Scholarship

Pauahi Foundation Scholarships Varies

Who Can Apply: The Pauahi Foundation offers multiple scholarships each academic year. Any student attending an accredited two- or four-year institution in the U.S. may apply for this award. Students of Native Hawaiian ancestry receive preference. View Scholarship

Law Enforcement Agencies in Hawaii

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations can be a valuable resource for students pursuing criminal justice degrees in Hawaii.

These organizations offer professional development and certification opportunities, conferences and networking events, online publications, and career resources. Many associations offer discounted membership rates to students and early-career professionals.

The following organizations serve criminal justice workers throughout the state of Hawaii. Their members include law enforcement, public safety, information security, and legal professionals.

Hawaii Fire Fighters Association

The HFFA is an affiliate member of the International Association of Fire Fighters. It represents roughly 2,900 active firefighters across the Hawaiian islands.

Hawaii State Bar Association

The HSBA offers continuing education programs for legal professionals in Hawaii. Other member benefits include business discounts and financial services.

State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers

he SHOPO is Hawaii's only official police union. Chapters exist in Honolulu and on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai.

Information Security Systems Association – Hawaii Chapter

The ISSA's Hawaiian chapter represents information security organizations including corporations, consulting firms, and state government agencies.

Association of State Correctional Administrators

ASCA members include correctional agency leaders in all 50 states. These professionals attend training events and conferences throughout the U.S.

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