Online Criminal Justice Degrees in Nevada

In a city where a single hotel employs more people than the entire police force, there will always be a big demand for criminal justice professionals. The robust job market for criminal justice personnel accounts for the increase of both on-campus and online criminal justice degrees in Nevada. Because of the proliferation of hotel casinos, the Silver State has the highest concentration of gaming surveillance officers in the nation. In addition, Nevada has one of the largest contingents of security screeners and security guards in the country. These career paths are open to criminal justice graduates. Earning a criminal justice degree in Nevada prepares you to enter a healthy job market with a variety of opportunities.

The robust job market for criminal justice personnel accounts for the increase of both on-campus and online criminal justice degrees in Nevada.

Nevada has recovered from the 2008 recession. The gaming and tourism industry is booming, and criminal justice jobs connected with this industry are on the rise. However, criminal justice graduates can work in many other fields as paralegals or police and sheriff patrol officers.

Technology has revolutionized education. Students can now access information, update their skills, and even complete four-year college degrees from practically anywhere in the world. Digital education is affordable, convenient, and flexible. Students will find that this holds true as well when studying for an online criminal justice degree in Nevada.

Because online learning is often more affordable than enrolling in on-campus courses, more students can now afford to shoulder the cost of a quality education. This ultimately translates to a more educated workforce, which benefits not only degree-holders and their families, but society in general. Online learning is also convenient. There is no commute involved (nor parking fees or gas bills), and students can attend classes without leaving home.

Additionally, many schools offer online courses asynchronously, which means students can attend classes at their convenience. Finally, online learning is flexible. It can be squeezed in with other life responsibilities, be it a demanding work schedule or a busy family life. Some online programs have on-campus components. These hybrid degrees give young students a taste of the college experience, which is important for some learners. Students will find that earning a criminal justice degree online in Nevada has all the advantages of digital learning.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes six regional organizations that accredit colleges and universities throughout the country. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) accredits Nevada schools, as well as colleges in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Regional accrediting organizations accredit nonprofit, state-owned schools that offer a full range of degrees (associate, baccalaureate, and post-baccalaureate).

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) accredits Nevada schools.

Some religious institutions and schools that offer technical or vocational programs seek national, instead of regional, accreditation. Specialized accreditation covers programs or specific degrees within a college or university. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) is an example of an international association that confers specialized accreditation.

It is important to discern a prospective school's accreditation before enrolling. Schools that are not accredited, or whose accreditation is not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, are not eligible to receive federal funds. Several scholarship programs depend on federal funding. Therefore, enrolling in a school without accreditation means students cannot access federally funded scholarships. Additionally, while nationally accredited schools accept students from schools with regional or national accreditation, the opposite is not true. Regionally accredited colleges and universities often only accept transfer students from other regionally accredited institutions.

Students who earn an on-campus or online criminal justice degree in Nevada can choose from a variety of career paths. Not all jobs in the field require you to complete a four-year degree. For instance, after having completed an associate of applied science program, graduates are eligible to work as paralegals, law enforcement officers, and hotel security personnel. Some criminal justice jobs require a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Graduates who wish to pursue careers in security management, justice administration, or human services management can increase their odds of finding work with a bachelor's degree.

Criminal justice jobs are not only varied, but have also become highly specialized. Areas that have a distinct focus often require applicants to have a master's degree in a specific area of emphasis. This is the case for forensic psychologists, U.S. Marshals, federal probation officers, and federal agents for the FBI and the DEA. Additionally, some criminal justice jobs require specialized training to perform. Parole and probation officers, for instance, must complete 480 hours of field training and classroom instruction during their first year on the job. They must also undergo quarterly weapons reviews and pass an annual firearms skills test.

There are several different types of work opportunities that fall under the criminal justice umbrella. This variety means there are also different types of licensure and certification requirements for each particular job category. Licensure requirements may vary from one state to another and licenses are not always transferrable. It is good to keep this in mind when planning a career change or move.

Licensure requirements may vary from one state to another and licenses are not always transferrable.

It's also important to note that licensure and certification are not the same. When the state issues a license to an individual, it allows the licensee to practice his or her profession in the state. For example, before private investigators can work in Nevada, they must first be licensed by the Private Investigator's Licensing Board of the Office of the Attorney General. This license is not transferable to other states. Private investigators cannot practice without first obtaining another license in a new state.

However, there are eight states with a reciprocity agreement that allow licensed private investigators to practice freely within each other's jurisdiction. These states include California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia. A private investigator license is mandatory. On the other hand, a private investigator certification is purely voluntary. Private investigators can be certified by an organization such as the National Association of Legal Investigators or the American Society for Industrial Security. A state may refuse to issue a license to an individual even if that same person has been certified by an organization related to his or her profession.

Most state licenses must be renewed regularly. The length of time between renewals varies by profession and state. Additionally, licensing requirements change, so it's always sound practice for job seekers to verify the current licensing requirements in the state where they plan to seek employment.

Graduates who successfully earn a criminal justice degree in Nevada enter a job market with ample work opportunities. Because of the variety of criminal justice jobs graduates can pursue, the salary range in the field varies considerably. The mean hourly wage for protective service personnel in Nevada is currently $12.48, while the annual mean wage is $44,680. Security guards in Nevada tend to earn the lowest salaries in the field ($29,430), while judges and magistrates earn the highest ($157,030). Detectives and criminal investigators as well as fire inspectors typically earn an annual salary that lies somewhere in the middle ($85,000).

Nevada has one of the highest concentrations of criminal justice jobs in the country. The gaming and tourism industry in Nevada is a boon for certain criminal justice occupations, such as private security personnel and gaming surveillance officers. Nevada also welcomes an average of almost 43 million visitors each year. Ensuring their safety and well-being is the job of the state's police force, which includes patrol officers from the sheriff's department.

Nevada offers criminal justice graduates a good mix of employment opportunities with competitive salaries. Because of the size of the state's gaming industry, there is a great need for security personnel, which includes well-trained gaming surveillance professionals.

Protective Services Occupations in Nevada

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Firefighters 1,860 $32.05 $66,670
Fire Inspectors and Investigators 130 $40.44 $84,110
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 560 $40.87 $85,000
Fish and Game Wardens 40 $29.70 $61,780
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers 4,740 $35.54 $73,930
Private Detectives and Investigators 460 $29.22 $60,770
Security Guards 21,000 $14.15 $29,940
Transportation Security Screeners 1,120 $18.72 $38,940
Source: BLS, May 2017

Court and Corrections Occupations in Nevada

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists 880 $29.07 $60,470
Lawyers 5,150 $66.75 $138,850
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates 220 $75.50 $157,030
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 2,200 $26.28 $54,670
Court Reporters N/A $26.65 $55,440
Bailiffs 170 $24.21 $50,370
Correctional Officers and Jailers 2,840 $29.14 $60,610
Source: BLS, May 2017

Other Criminal Justice Occupations in Nevada

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Forensic Science Technicians 230 $36.62 $76,160
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary 160 N/A $49,170
Source: BLS, May 2017

Many criminal justice jobs are growing at a faster rate than the average growth of other occupations. To meet the demand for criminal justice professionals, several schools offer both on-campus and online criminal justice degrees in Nevada. Schools have several scholarships available for criminal justice majors to entice students to enter the field.

Criminal Justice Scholarships

Edna R. Anthony Memorial Scholarship $500

Who Can Apply: The scholarship accepts female graduating high school seniors of color who plan to pursue a degree in criminal justice. Applicants must enroll in a historically black college or university and submit a 1,000-word essay. View Scholarship

National Security Education Board Boren Scholarship $20,000-30,000

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be enrolled in a criminal justice program, willing to take part in an intensive study-abroad opportunity, and work for the federal government for at least one year after graduation. View Scholarship

Regina B. Shearn Scholarship $1,500

Who Can Apply: Undergraduate or graduate student members of the Alpha Phi Sigma enrolled in a criminal justice program can apply. Applicants must submit a five-page personal statement paper. View Scholarship

Susan M. Hunter Correctional Scholarship $1,500

Who Can Apply: The scholarship accepts application from full-time undergraduate or graduate students who are children of a member agency of the Association of State Correctional Administrators. Applicants must major in either corrections or criminal justice. View Scholarship

Thurgood Marshall Scholarship $2,000

Who Can Apply: The scholarship is open to undergraduate minority students who must submit a 1,000-word essay giving the reasons behind their pursuit of a criminal justice degree. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Nevada Residents

Legal Leaders Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: Students enrolled in pre-law or paralegal studies or are working towards their juris doctorate degree in any law concentration are encouraged to apply for the scholarship. View Scholarship

Nevada Security Association John Rodda Youth Scholarship Program $3,500

Who Can Apply: The program accepts applications from children of active-duty law enforcement and fire service personnel in Clark County, Nevada. View Scholarship

Peace Officers Relief and Education Foundation PORAC Scholarship $2,000

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be dependents of active, retired, or deceased PORAC (Peace Officers Research Association of California) members residing in California or Nevada who have been accepted to a four-year degree program in an accredited school in the United States. View Scholarship

Robert Chaires Law and Justice Scholarship Endowment Varies

Who Can Apply: Applicants must be full-time Latino undergraduate students pursuing a law and justice specialization at the University of Nevada, Reno. View Scholarship

University of Nevada-Las Vegas Bluecoats, Inc. Scholarship $2,500

Who Can Apply: The scholarship is open to dependents of active or retired Clark County firefighters, highway patrol, or police officers who have been accepted to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. View Scholarship

Law Enforcement Agencies in Nevada

Professional Organizations

Graduates who have earned an on-campus or online criminal justice degree in Nevada will do well to begin their career by joining professional organizations related to their field of interest. These organizations provide excellent opportunities for networking and learning about the latest developments and trends in the field. Quite often, these organizations are also a rich source of jobs and/or training opportunities that can be highly beneficial for fresh graduates.

American Correctional Health Services Association – California & Nevada

This organization is comprised of different healthcare professionals who provide medical, mental health, and dental health services to incarcerated individuals.

International Homicide Investigators Association

The Nevada chapter upholds the goals of the organization—promoting national and international cooperation, and providing leadership training in the field.

Nevada Corrections Association

The NCA represents the interests and concerns of its members, ensuring these are given due attention and fair consideration.

Nevada Fraternal Order of Police

This organization represents police and other law enforcement personnel of varying ranks and levels in labor negotiations and disputes.

Nevada Justice Association

This nonprofit organization provides its members with continuing legal education programs with the goal of improving the civil justice system in Nevada.

Nevada State Law Enforcement Officers Association (NSLEOA)

The NSLEOA is the second largest state law enforcement organization in Nevada and provides legal defense services for state law enforcement officers.

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