Online Criminal Justice Degrees in Maryland
Maryland has an overall positive economic outlook. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, its GDP continues to rise, outpacing the national average. With a per capita personal income of $59,524, the state ranks fifth nationwide.
Maryland’s unemployment rate of 4.3% is higher than the national rate of 3.9%. Maryland’s 2.2% employment growth rate was the country’s sixth fastest, surpassing the national rate of 1.4% BLS
Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that Maryland’s unemployment rate of 4.3% is higher than the national rate of 3.9%. However, the state announced in 2018 that it had experienced a 10-year low for unemployment insurance claims. In November 2017, Maryland’s 2.2% employment growth rate was the country’s sixth fastest, surpassing the national rate of 1.4%.
As employment opportunities surge, the state promotes continued economic growth by investing heavily in education. Additionally, as online programs become increasingly available, more students can further their education and advance their careers.
The future is particularly promising for Maryland’s criminal justice professionals. The BLS projects 5% national employment growth for protective service occupations between 2016 and 2026. However, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation projects 13.7% growth for the state’s protective service workers between 2014 and 2024.
Furthermore, Maryland protective service professionals earn some of the nation’s highest mean annual salaries. Likewise, Maryland maintains one of the nation’s highest job concentrations for legal professionals.
Earning an Online Criminal Justice Degree in Maryland
For many students, an online criminal justice degree in Maryland is a flexible alternative to traditional on-campus programs. Generally, more program and school options are available to distance learners. Maryland residents may pursue an in-state degree or pay in-state tuition for an out-of-state program online.
Students earning an online criminal justice degree in Maryland study at home according to their own schedules. Synchronous online programs require students to complete coursework at specific times, but they typically accommodate the needs of working students. Asynchronous online programs allow students to study whenever is most convenient for them.
Online criminal justice degrees in Maryland are generally more affordable than on-campus programs. Distance learners pay fewer fees related to on-campus housing, unused facilities, and travel.
Accredited Criminal Justice Programs in Maryland
Students researching criminal justice degrees in Maryland must consider each school’s accreditation status. Colleges and universities undergo voluntary accreditation to demonstrate the quality of their programs. Federal aid is only available to students enrolled in accredited schools. Additionally, many employers only select candidates from accredited institutions.
Most academically oriented, nonprofit institutions are regionally accredited. However, many career-based, for-profit schools opt for national accreditation. Although nationally accredited schools typically accept transfer credits from any accredited school, most regionally accredited schools only accept credits from other regionally accredited schools.
Although nationally accredited schools typically accept transfer credits from any accredited school, most regionally accredited schools only accept credits from other regionally accredited schools
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recognizes six regional accrediting bodies, each of which evaluates higher education institutions within a specific geographic area. Because regional accreditation entails a more rigorous evaluation process than national accreditation, it is more widely respected.
Often, departments within universities maintain additional, program-specific accreditation. However, since regulations vary by state, few national organizations grant programmatic accreditation for criminal justice degrees. Still, some national law enforcement agencies allow programs to bear their seal of approval. This can be helpful for students seeking employment within a specific organization.
Education and Training Requirements for Criminal Justice Professionals in Maryland
The criminal justice field provides opportunities for people of diverse educational backgrounds. Many aspiring protective service professionals earn an associate degree in criminal justice. Associate holders often work in entry-level police force, corrections, and security positions.
An associate degree can be an excellent springboard to further education. Many graduates of associate programs later earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. This prepares students to work as parole officers, domestic violence counselors, or corrections case workers.
Some criminal justice professions require an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree in criminal justice. These fields typically require substantial counseling training, a deep understanding of the legal system, and exceptional leadership skills.
In Maryland, most protective service organizations require candidates to complete focused training programs. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services maintains specialized training facilities and programs for aspiring police officers, parole officers, corrections professionals, and public safety workers.
Licensing, Registration, and Certification Requirements in Maryland
Many criminal justice occupations require specialized certification or licensure. State registration is also mandatory for many protective service workers, particularly those who carry weapons. Certification proves that a criminal justice worker has satisfactorily completed a field-specific training program. Although most certificates are legally optional, many employers require them.
Licenses, on the other hand, are state-mandated legal documents which professionals must possess to work in their field. Licensure and certification requirements vary by state. The Maryland State Police Licensing Division oversees training, certification, and licensure for state police officers, fire marshals, parole officers, security guards, and private investigators.
Students planning to work elsewhere after earning a criminal justice degree in Maryland should research their new state’s regulations. Similarly, criminal justice workers who move to Maryland from other regions must typically complete additional training. However, experienced professionals may qualify for training waivers.
Career and Salary Expectations
Criminal justice degrees in Maryland prepare students for careers in protective services, legal services, and corrections. According to BLS data, Maryland’s protective service workers earn a mean annual salary of $49,700. This surpasses the occupation’s national average of $47,190.
In Maryland, these workers earn $92,010 on average each year. Maryland’s concentration of legal jobs is the nation’s fifth-highest
Nationally, legal professionals earn a median annual salary of $80,080. In Maryland, these workers earn $92,010 on average each year. Maryland’s concentration of legal jobs is the nation’s fifth-highest.
The BLS projects 9% employment growth for legal professionals nationwide between 2016 and 2026. According to the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), analysts project 19.1% employment growth for Maryland paralegals and legal assistants between 2014 and 2024.
Similarly, analysts project 20.2% growth for the state’s security guards — much higher than the projected national growth of 5.1%. The table below contains employment and salary data for criminal justice professions in Maryland.
Protective Services Occupations in Maryland
|Average Hourly Wage
|Average Annual Wage
|Fire Inspectors and Investigators
|Detectives and Criminal Investigators
|Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers
|Private Detectives and Investigators
Court and Corrections Occupations in Maryland
|Average Hourly Wage
|Average Annual Wage
|Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
|Paralegals and Legal Assistants
|Correctional Officers and Jailers
Other Criminal Justice Occupations in Maryland
|Average Hourly Wage
|Average Annual Wage
|Forensic Science Technicians
|Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Students earning online criminal justice degrees in Maryland should begin researching financial aid options early. Students may determine their eligibility for federal assistance by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). National, state-specific, and program-specific scholarships are also available to help students finance their educations.
Students pursuing a criminal justice degree online in Maryland may be eligible for the scholarships listed below.
Criminal Justice Scholarships
Irlet Anderson Scholarship Award $2,500
Criminal Justice Scholarship Award $500
Captain James J. Regan Memorial Scholarship $500
Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award $6,500 to $8,500
Brian Terry Foundation Scholarship Program Varies
Scholarships for Maryland Residents
Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance Grant $400 to $3,000
Maryland 2+2 Transfer Scholarship $1,000
Central Scholarship Program Varies
Angie M. Houtz Memorial Scholarship $3,000
Maryland Chiefs of Police Association Scholarship $500
Resources for Criminal Justice Students in Maryland
Law Enforcement Agencies in Maryland
- Maryland Department of Corrections
- Maryland State Police
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- Maryland Transportation Authority Police
- Maryland Transit Administration Police Force
Professional organizations can be excellent resources for criminal justice students. Many associations offer members career assistance, networking opportunities, and access to industry research. Some organizations also provide health and insurance benefits, scholarship funds, and continuing education.
Students pursuing a criminal justice degree online in Maryland may join one of the organizations listed below.
This association supports Maryland corrections workers by providing training opportunities and advocating for improved working conditions.
This organization grants a voice to Maryland police troopers. Members receive training and educational support, advocate for improved employment standards, and promote best security practices.
This association connects Maryland’s investigators and security professionals to information exchanges, professional networking, and advocacy initiatives.
This organization represents and assists law enforcement officials in Maryland. It provides professional resources, training programs, and advocacy opportunities for its members.
This association connects Maryland paralegals to mentorship programs, networking events, and industry information.
This organization promotes law enforcement efficacy and improvement. Members work with communities and legislators to enhance police communication and relations in Maryland.