Online Criminal Justice Degrees in North Dakota

North Dakota is one of the best places to work as a police officer, according to WalletHub, which did an extensive survey of the best places to work in law enforcement. The study considered 25 indicators of police friendliness, including salary, cost of living, opportunity, quality of life, and job hazards.

The BLS projects that law enforcement positions will grow 5% in the coming years.

North Dakota was number one overall and ranked especially high in quality of life. North Dakota is simply a nice place to live, with attractive towns, up-and-coming cities, and affordable housing. It is also a place that holds law enforcement officers in high regard, and it ranks high among states in which to raise a family. The state saw some of the highest median income growth in the past couple of years.

North Dakota is a great state for graduates of online criminal justice programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the positive outlook for law enforcement jobs should continue. The BLS projects that law enforcement positions will grow 5% in the coming years. The state is home to many criminal justice programs, both on campus and online, which makes entering this exciting field easier than ever.

Many students appreciate the convenience of online criminal justice degrees in North Dakota. Many distance learners are able to maintain work and family obligations while completing online programs. The majority of online programs are taught asynchronously, allowing distance learners to log on at times that fit their schedules. Some asynchronous programs can be completed in less time than their on-campus counterparts.

Other advantages of the web-based format include cost savings. Online students do their work from home and don't pay for room and board. Some colleges offer a lower tuition for their online programs and allow non-resident, online students to pay in-state tuition. Digital education also gives students access to the best universities in the state without having to relocate.

When searching for the right online criminal justice degree in North Dakota, it is vital to check the accreditation of the programs that interest you. To receive financial aid, you must attend an accredited university. Many employers will not recognize degrees unless they are accredited. The North Dakota Highway Patrol specifies that its troopers must hold a degree from a college or university that is regionally accredited by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

The Higher Learning Commission is the regional accreditor for North Dakota.

Most of the best colleges and universities carry accreditation by one of the six regional accrediting agencies. The Higher Learning Commission is the regional accreditor for North Dakota. Some schools hold accreditation from national agencies, but these tend to be vocational and technical programs. The ED oversees all of these agencies, ensuring that they hold schools to the highest standards. The ED also maintains a database that makes checking a program's accreditation simple.

To earn a North Dakota state trooper badge, applicants must hold at least an associate degree. The same holds true for those interested in becoming a game warden. North Dakota does not require college degrees of all law enforcement officers in the state. Patrol officer, sheriff's deputy, corrections officer, and security guard positions only require a high school diploma or a GED. The state puts its future officers through its own certification process, so as long as they can meet eligibility requirements and physical fitness standards, they can serve and protect.

Administrative positions typically require a bachelor's or a master's degree. Professionals in the Criminal Investigation Bureau and detectives across the state benefit from advanced degrees. Many criminal justice positions require at least a bachelor's degree.

An online criminal justice degree in North Dakota prepares graduates for many careers. In addition to the law enforcement jobs everyone thinks of, like police officer and sheriff's deputy, graduates might find work as security guards, game wardens, arson investigators, transportation security officers, corrections officers, and park rangers.

North Dakota's Peace Officer Standards of Training or POST certification covers all law enforcement positions at public agencies in the state.

North Dakota's Peace Officer Standards of Training or POST certification covers all law enforcement positions at public agencies in the state. Traditionally, state's grant licenses and professional organizations issue certifications, but in North Dakota the state issues certification to qualified candidates. POST applicants must be U.S. citizens over the age of 21, hold a high school diploma or GED, possess a driver's license, and pass a psychological exam and all background checks. Candidates who meet these standards can begin basic training and earn certification. Individuals who hold law enforcement certification from other states can often waive many parts of basic training in North Dakota. Licenses cover three-year periods, and officers must undergo 60 hours of training to maintain them.

Each public agency sets its own standards. State troopers and game wardens must meet educational requirements that go beyond the standard POST requirements. This is also the case to serve in many administrative positions. Some local departments issue their own qualifications as well.

Standards differ slightly for grads who desire working for a private agency. Security guards private investigators must pass qualifying exams to carry a firearm. Private investigators must also meet standards similar to POST qualifications, such as holding a high school diploma and passing background and mental health checks.

According to the BLS, North Dakota's law enforcement officers currently make a mean salary of $56,420, which puts them among the best paid in the nation when factored against cost of living.

Protective services is a wide-ranging field. Corrections officers, court bailiffs, security guards, transportation safety screeners, game wardens, and fire investigators all fall under the heading. Because of the diverse nature of these occupations, salaries vary widely by region and position. The mean overall hourly wage for protective services in North Dakota is $20.83, which adds up to a salary of $46,820 per year. But the range in the field is varies. Police officer's salaries rise and fall depending upon the agency and the level of responsibility. Officers in urban areas like Fargo make far more than officers in rural areas. Detectives take home larger checks than beat cops or patrol officers.

An online criminal justice degree in North Dakota provides preparation for many careers. Security guards in North Dakota earn a mean salary of $35,390 per year. You could also work for North Dakota's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and earn one of the highest protective services salaries in the state, at $84,970, or earn $60,100 a year as a conservation law officer. With a North Dakota online criminal justice degree, graduates are also prepared for positions as paralegals.

Protective Services Occupations in North Dakota

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Firefighters 480 $20.38 $42,380
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 270 $40.85 $84,970
Fish and Game Wardens 70 $28.89 $60,100
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers 1,640 $27.13 $56,420
Private Detectives and Investigators N/A $18.74 $38,980
Security Guards 1,410 $17.01 $35,390
Transportation Security Screeners 150 $21.04 $43,760
Source: BLS, May 2017

Court and Corrections Occupations in North Dakota

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists 160 $26.57 $55,260
Lawyers 960 $46.96 $97,680
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates 100 $57.40 $119,390
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 590 $22.52 $46,840
Court Reporters 70 $25.45 $52,940
Bailiffs 210 $13.98 $29,090
Correctional Officers and Jailers 890 $21.31 $44,310
Source: BLS, May 2017

Other Criminal Justice Occupations in North Dakota

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Forensic Science Technicians 30 $20.31 $42,240
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary 30 N/A $64,960
Source: BLS, May 2017

Scholarships and grants provide a way to offset the cost of higher education. Aspiring law enforcement officers with an interest in earning a criminal justice degree online in North Dakota will find several organizations that offer scholarships for students in related programs and residents.

Criminal Justice Scholarships

Brian Terry Foundation Scholarships Varies

Who Can Apply: Eligibility for these awards extends to any student in or entering an undergraduate criminal justice program with the intent of becoming a law enforcement officer. View Scholarship

Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Award Varies

Who Can Apply: Administered by the American Correctional Association, these awards go to minority undergraduates with an intent to pursue a career in criminal justice. Applicants must have been accepted into a four-year program and demonstrate financial need. View Scholarship

NBPA Alphonso Deal Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: The National Black Police Officers Association sponsors this grant to help aspiring officers of color afford their education. Applicants must be entering their first year of a criminal justice or law program at an accredited university. View Scholarship

Crimchek Criminal Justice Scholarship $500

Who Can Apply: Crimchek provides scholarships to students in criminal justice programs, or who plan to attend college to pursue a law enforcement degree. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. View Scholarship

My Alarm Center Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: My Alarm Center rewards students in or entering their first or second year in a criminal justice program who write the best essay answering one of two law enforcement prompts. View Scholarship

Scholarships for North Dakota Residents

North Dakota Academic Scholarship Up to $6,000

Who Can Apply: Created by the state legislature, these grants go to undergraduates at public, private, and tribal institutions in North Dakota. View Scholarship

North Dakota Scholars Program Full tuition

Who Can Apply: These scholarships pay full tuition to academically outstanding resident high school seniors as they enter undergraduate programs in the state. Students must score at or above the 95th percentile on the ACT exam. View Scholarship

North Dakota Indian Scholarships Up to $2,000

Who Can Apply: Any member of a federally recognized tribe attending a North Dakota institution of higher learning may apply. Scholarships are dispersed based on need and merit. View Scholarship

North Dakota State Student Incentive Grant Program Up to $975/semester

Who Can Apply: Students who have graduated from a state high school and who are first-time undergraduates. Learners must attend a qualifying public, private, or tribal college in the state. View Scholarship

North Dakota State University Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: NDSU provides scholarships to applicants at every level of study, including entering freshmen, undergraduates, and graduate students. The university distributes awards based on merit and need. View Scholarship

Law Enforcement Agencies in North Dakota

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations bring members together for networking, mentoring, and information sharing. Recent criminal justice graduates will find that these associations present them with opportunities to connect with their peers. Professional organizations also offer the opportunity to stay current on the latest research and techniques, discover professional development and training opportunities, access publications, and browse job boards.

North Dakota Peace Officers Association

The NDPOA provides fellowship, professional development, emergency relief, and advocacy to its members. Membership is available to any police officer or criminal justice employee in good standing.

North Dakota Sheriffs and Deputies Association

The NDSDA is the voice of sheriffs and deputies across the state. The association monitors legislation, coordinates with other law enforcement agencies, and distributes information to members.

North Dakota Game Wardens Association

The NDGWA works to foster training opportunities; promote the best practices of law enforcement and wildlife management; and encourage cooperation between law enforcement agencies, communities, and wildlife management.

International Association of Arson Investigators North Dakota Chapter

The IAAI provides resources for fire investigators, and its North Dakota chapter meets annually to share information, learn about training initiatives, and network.

North Dakota Fraternal Order of Police

A chapter of the national Fraternal Order of Police, NDFOP is a membership organization dedicated to advancing the careers of peace officers. It provides support, training opportunities, networking, and camaraderie to men and women behind the badge.

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