Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

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Updated October 27, 2022

Many of the dedicated law enforcement and legal professionals in the state began their training in criminal justice degree programs.

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Although the old adage warns us not to mess with Texas, it doesn't stop criminals from trying—and when they do, graduates from criminal justice schools in Texas are there to hold them accountable. In fact, the Brennan Center for Justice reports that violent crime in major cities like Austin, Dallas, and Houston has been declining.

Many of the dedicated law enforcement and legal professionals in the state began their training in criminal justice degree programs. Continue reading to find out more information about these programs and the career paths commonly taken by graduates.

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Leading Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Our Methodology

To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:

  • Accredited at the institutional level
  • Private nonprofit or public school
  • Minimum of 1 bachelor's or master's degree in subject area for 4-year schools
  • Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools

Schools were then scored on factors such as:

  • Cost & Financial Aid
  • Number and variety of program offerings
  • Student-teacher ratios
  • Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
  • Placement and support services offered
  • Academic/Career counseling services
  • Employment services
  • Loan default rates

These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or "bang for your buck" of a college or degree program.

Although there are many choices for those who want to enroll in criminal justice schools in Texas, it can be overwhelming to know which school or program is best. Using the ranking below can give prospective students confidence that they're applying to the best schools in the state. We've evaluated these colleges based on vital factors such as enrollment rates, tuition cost, and the ratio of instructors to students. Explore top criminal justice schools and programs in Texas below.

#1 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Sam Houston State University

  • Huntsville, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Sam Houston State University provides flexible study for bachelor's degree-seekers. The public institution offers hybrid programs at the undergraduate level. The college campus and online learning environment enable enrollees to connect with peers, faculty, and staff during their studies.

Learners pursuing the bachelor's in criminal justice benefit from a robust curriculum. Degree candidates complete industry-relevant coursework and attend lectures, gaining the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. Students complete foundational and advanced coursework, gaining a well-rounded education.

Learners can customize their study by working with an academic advisor. Students seeking academic and career guidance can connect with campus resources, such as academic advising and career services.

To manage the costs of education, students can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding options through the financial aid office. The average enrollee receives $9,014 in financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,856
Out-of-state
$15,984
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
21,558
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

St. Edward's University

  • Austin, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a premier education to jumpstart your career? Consider one of the 73 bachelor’s degrees from St. Edward's University. One option includes a bachelor's in criminal justice. Enrollees connect with peers and faculty through a supportive learning community.

Students gain skills and knowledge through their coursework, becoming better prepared for their future careers. Learners can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree and study trajectory. Degree-seekers can take advantage of academic advising, career services, and other resources.

Eligible students can receive scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$46,690
Out-of-state
$46,690
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
3,976
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Angelo State University

  • San Angelo, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Angelo State University supports flexible educational opportunities for undergraduate students. Located in San Angelo, the public institution offers competitive, flexible programs that enrollees can complete in person or online. Learners pursing the bachelor's in criminal justice connect with peers, faculty, and staff through a supportive learning community.

Throughout their studies, degree-seekers complete coursework as part of the program curriculum. Learners complete foundational and advanced coursework, with the option to pursue internships and other experiential learning opportunities.

By working with an academic advisor, students can modify their coursework, choose electives, and pursue degree concentrations and minors to suit their career goals. Learners can receive guidance through career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources.

The college connects students with scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. At the college, 94% of all incoming degree-seekers receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,332
Out-of-state
$14,460
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
10,568
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Texas State University

  • San Marcos, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Texas State University offers 90 bachelor's programs suitable for learners from all walks of life. One option includes a bachelor of science in criminal justice. Undergraduate students benefit from skilled faculty, rigorous coursework, and a supportive learning environment.

Degree-seekers gain skills and knowledge through classes, lectures, and experiential learning opportunities. Students can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree and study trajectory. Learners can access institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising.

Degree candidates can meet with a financial aid counselor to determine their eligibility for funding and explore scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of aid. According to the institution, 76% of all enrollees receive financial aid, with the average award amounting to $9,570.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,052
Out-of-state
$19,868
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
38,187
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Edinburg, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley provides 66 in-person bachelor's degrees and one remote program. Students pursing the bachelor of science in criminal justice benefit from a supportive learning environment and personalized interactions with faculty and staff.

Enrollees take foundational and advanced classes, learning the ins and outs of their field. Learners modify their classes, choose electives, and customize their studies. Throughout their program, students can access resources such as career services, academic advising, and library services.

Degree-seekers can meet with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid. Of all enrollees, 90% receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,664
Out-of-state
$16,792
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
29,113
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • El Paso, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Individuals looking for a premier bachelor's-level education that fits their schedule should consider The University of Texas at El Paso. Undergraduate students benefit from hybrid learning opportunities, with the option to study in person or online. Regardless of location, students can connect with peers, faculty, and staff through a supportive learning community.

Learners enrolled in the bachelor of arts in criminal justice program benefit from a robust curriculum. Degree-seekers complete criminal justice coursework as part of the curriculum. These classes equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to advance in their future career.

Students can collaborate with an academic advisor to customize their degree. Enrollees can access institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, throughout their studies.

The college connects degree candidates with scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. According to the college, 86% of all enrollees receive financial aid, with the average student receiving $8,946 in aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,193
Out-of-state
$22,556
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
25,177
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

  • Odessa, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is a public college offering premier bachelor's-level education to students worldwide. Undergraduate learners can choose from in-person and remote degrees. The college campus and online learning environment enable degree-seekers to connect with peers, faculty, and staff during their studies.

Learners pursuing the bachelor's in criminology/criminal justice studies benefit from a supportive learning community. As part of the  curriculum, students complete coursework and attend industry-relevant lectures. Students gain skills and knowledge through their engagement with general and advanced classes.

Enrollees work with an academic advisor and customize their degree to meet their academic and career goals. Students can receive guidance through career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources.

Degree candidates can meet with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility for scholarships and other educational funding. According to the college, 91% of all enrollees receive financial aid, with the average student receive $7,890 in aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,867
Out-of-state
$5,767
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
5,283
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
70% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Tarleton State University

  • Stephenville, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking to jumpstart their career should consider a bachelor's degree from Tarleton State University. Degree-seekers can choose from 77 in-person bachelor's degrees and eight remote programs. Undergraduate students in the bachelor of science in criminal justice program benefit from skilled faculty, rigorous coursework, and a supportive learning environment.

Degree candidates gain skills and knowledge through their coursework, becoming better prepared for their future careers. Students can work with an academic advisor to customize their degree and declare minors and degree concentrations. The college connects students with numerous resources, such as academic advising and career services, throughout the duration of their programs.

Learners can meet with a financial aid counselor to determine their eligibility for funding and explore scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of aid. The college boasts an average financial aid award package of $7,164, with 87% of all enrollees receiving some form of aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,526
Out-of-state
$14,296
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
56%
Students Enrolled
13,166
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

West Texas A&M University

  • Canyon, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

West Texas A&M University supports flexible educational opportunities for students near and far. Degree-seekers can pursue remote study or learn from the college's campus in Canyon. According to the college, undergraduates can access 58 bachelor's degrees on campus or pursue remote study across 10 programs.

Once enrolled in the bachelor's in criminal justice administration program, students connect with colleagues, faculty, and staff in a supportive learning community. Degree candidates complete major-specific coursework as part of the curriculum. Learners complete foundational and advanced coursework, gaining a well-rounded education.

Enrollees can declare minors and concentrations by working with an academic advisor. Learners further benefit from access to institutional resources, such as academic advising and career services.

The financial aid office can connect students with funding opportunities. The average enrollee receives approximately $7,099 in financial aid, with 90% of all students receiving some form of aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,554
Out-of-state
$6,960
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
9,970
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Prairie View A&M University

  • Prairie View, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Undergraduate students seeking competitive study should consider one of Prairie View A&M University's 41 bachelor's programs. One option includes a bachelor of science in criminal justice. Enrollees benefit from a supportive learning environment and personalized interactions with faculty and staff.

Degree-seekers benefit from foundational and advanced coursework as well as industry-specific lectures. Depending on their career goals, students can declare a double major, minor, or degree concentration. Throughout their program, learners can access resources such as career services, academic advising, and library services.

Applicants may be eligible for funding, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. Of all enrollees, 91% receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,043
Out-of-state
$21,911
Retention Rate
66%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
8,940
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#11 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Wiley College

  • Marshall, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking to jumpstart their career should consider a bachelor's degree from Wiley College. The private college offers 23 bachelor's programs, three of which are fully remote. Undergraduate students pursuing the bachelor's in criminal justice benefit from skilled faculty, rigorous coursework, and a supportive learning environment.

Enrollees gain skills and knowledge suitable for their field of choosing through lectures, coursework, and other learning opportunities. Students can customize their studies by choosing electives and declaring minors and degree concentrations. Throughout their program, students can access resources such as career services, academic advising, and library services.

Prospective applicants can inquire with the financial aid office about funding opportunities. Options may include scholarships, fellowships, and other aid. The institution reports that 100% of all degree-seekers receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,118
Out-of-state
$10,118
Retention Rate
51%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
712
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#12 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

University of North Texas

  • Denton, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Denton, University of North Texas supports numerous hybrid degree options for undergraduate students. To date, the college offers 88 in-person bachelor's programs, five of which are fully remote. Undergraduate students pursuing the bachelor of science in criminal justice benefit from skilled faculty, rigorous coursework, and a supportive learning environment.

Degree-seekers gain skills and knowledge through their coursework, becoming better prepared for their future careers. Enrollees can modify their classes, choose electives, and customize their studies. Learners receive guidance throughout their studies through academic advising, career services, and other resources.

Eligible students can apply scholarships, fellowships, and other funding toward their educational expenses. The college boasts an average financial aid award package of $9,441, with 82% of all enrollees receiving some form of aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,295
Out-of-state
$18,423
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
39,336
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#13 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Stephen F. Austin State University

  • Nacogdoches, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Stephen F. Austin State University offers numerous bachelor's degrees suitable for learners from all walks of life. Of its 72 bachelor's programs, 16 are offered online. Enrollees pursuing a bachelor's in criminal justice benefit from rigorous coursework, supportive faculty and peers, and a premier education.

Degree-seekers benefit from foundational and advanced coursework as well as industry-specific lectures. Depending on their career goals, students can declare a double major, minor, or degree concentration. Enrollees benefit from career and academic counselors, receiving personal and academic guidance throughout their studies.

Prospective applicants can meet with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility for scholarships and other financial aid. The college notes that 86% of all enrollees receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,096
Out-of-state
$16,224
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
12,969
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#14 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

University of Houston-Downtown

  • Houston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Individuals looking for a premier bachelor's-level education that fits their schedule should consider University of Houston-Downtown. The school supports hybrid learning opportunities, with in-person and online programs. Undergraduate students in the bachelor of science in criminal justice program connect with peers, faculty, and staff through a supportive learning community.

Degree-seekers near and far benefit from a supportive learning community. Enrollees complete criminal justice-specific coursework. Degree-seekers can supplement their learning through experiential learning opportunities, such as research projects and internships.

By working with an academic advisor, students can modify their coursework, choose electives, and pursue degree concentrations and minors to suit their career goals. Learners can access institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, throughout their studies.

When preparing for the costs of education, interested applicants can meet with the financial aid office to explore funding opportunities. Students can expect to receive an average financial aid package of $9,677.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,460
Out-of-state
$15,408
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
14,640
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#15 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

The University of Texas at Arlington

  • Arlington, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Undergraduate students can benefit from a flexible, thorough education at The University of Texas at Arlington. For undergraduates, the college supports hybrid study from its main campus in Arlington. Regardless of location, students pursuing the bachelor's in criminology and criminal justice can connect with peers, faculty, and staff through a supportive learning community.

Degree-seekers follow a rigorous program curriculum. Classes equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to advance in their future career.

Students can collaborate with an academic advisor to customize their program. While enrolled, learners can connect with institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, to receive further guidance.

The college connects learners with scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities. The average degree-seeker receives approximately $8,603 in financial aid, with 90% of all enrollees receiving some form of aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,624
Out-of-state
$25,713
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
48,635
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#16 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

University of the Incarnate Word

  • San Antonio, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of the Incarnate Word supports a variety of undergraduate-level degrees. The college supports hybrid study from its main campus in San Antonio. At present, the college provides 77 bachelor's programs, with 18 running online.

After enrollment, students pursuing the bachelor of arts in criminal justice join a supportive learning community, connecting with peers, faculty, and staff in person and online. As part of the program curriculum, students complete coursework and attend industry-relevant lectures. Degree candidates can also pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and research projects.

Enrollees work with an academic advisor and customize their degree to meet their academic and career goals. Students can connect with institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising, to receive further guidance.

Learners can meet with a financial aid counselor to determine their eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$29,900
Out-of-state
$29,900
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
8,175
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#17 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Texas A&M University-Commerce

  • Commerce, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Texas A&M University-Commerce supports a variety of undergraduate-level degrees, including a bachelor's in criminal justice. According to the public college, undergraduates can access 51 bachelor's programs on campus or pursue remote study across 12 programs.

Whether in person or online, students join a supportive learning community, working alongside peers, faculty, and staff. Enrollees complete criminal justice-specific coursework as part of the curriculum. Degree-seekers can supplement their learning through experiential learning opportunities, such as research projects and internships.

Learners can customize their studies to suit their personal and professional goals. Students can receive personalized guidance by connecting with career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources.

To manage the costs of education, degree-seekers can apply for scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities through the financial aid office. Of all enrollees, 91% receive some form of financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,790
Out-of-state
$17,460
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
43%
Students Enrolled
12,109
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#18 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

East Texas Baptist University

  • Marshall, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Undergraduate students can benefit from a flexible, thorough education at East Texas Baptist University. A leader in hybrid education, the private college supports both in-person and online learning. Students pursuing a bachelor's in criminal justice gain access to a supportive learning community regardless of their location.

Degree candidates connect with a supportive learning community and complete industry-relevant coursework. Students also attend lectures, gaining the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. Degree-seekers can supplement their learning through experiential learning opportunities, such as research projects and internships.

Students can work with their academic advisor to modify their studies, select electives, and pursue additional coursework that suits their career goals. Learners further benefit from access to institutional resources, such as academic advising and career services.

Enrollees can meet with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility for scholarships and other educational funding. 

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,100
Out-of-state
$26,100
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
59%
Students Enrolled
1,593
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#19 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

St. Mary's University

  • San Antonio, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

St. Mary's University offers 41 bachelor's programs suitable for learners from all walks of life. One option includes a bachelor's in criminal justice. Enrollees connect with peers, faculty, and staff, either through campus learning environments or virtual classrooms.

Degree candidates take foundational and advanced classes, learning the ins and outs of their field. Depending on their career goals, students can declare a double major, minor, or degree concentration. Learners receive guidance throughout their studies through academic advising, career services, and other resources.

Degree candidates can meet with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other financial aid. The college reports that 100% of all learners receive some form of aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$31,170
Out-of-state
$31,170
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
3,513
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#20 Criminal Justice Schools in Texas

Wayland Baptist University

  • Plainview, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Wayland Baptist University supports flexible educational opportunities for undergraduate students. Enrollees benefit from hybrid learning opportunities, with the option to study in person or online. According to the college, undergraduates can access 49 bachelor's programs on campus or pursue remote study across 10 degrees.

Learners pursuing the bachelor's in criminal justice administration benefit from a robust program curriculum. Enrollees complete general and criminal justice-specific coursework. Students can modify their schedule and choose electives.

Enrollees work with an academic advisor and customize their degree to meet their academic and career goals. Learners can also connect with career services to receive guidance throughout the program.

Learners can meet with a financial aid counselor to determine their eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. To date, 94% of all degree-seekers receive financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$21,360
Out-of-state
$21,360
Retention Rate
41%
Admission Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
4,084
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
61% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Texas' Fulfilling Careers in Criminal Justice

There are a number of jobs available to graduates from criminal justice schools in Texas, such as patrol officer, paralegal, police detective, and probation officer positions. The table below highlights some of these jobs and provides information on how many people are employed in specific positions, as well as how much money they make.

Police, Sheriff and Highway Patrol Officers

  • Total Employed in Texas: 60,790
  • Median Salary in Texas: $58,520
  • Degree Level Required in Texas: Academy Program

Correctional Officer

  • Total Employed in Texas: 48,280
  • Median Salary in Texas: $38,020
  • Degree Level Required in Texas: Certification

Business Compliance Officer

  • Total Employed in Texas: 22,430
  • Median Salary in Texas: $70,580
  • Degree Level Required in Texas: Bachelor's

Paralegal and Legal Assistant

  • Total Employed in Texas: 22,350
  • Median Salary in Texas: $49,700
  • Degree Level Required in Texas: Varies; up to Bachelor's

Detectives and Criminal Investigators

  • Total Employed in Texas: 16,940
  • Median Salary in Texas: $74,880
  • Degree Level Required in Texas: Varies; up to Bachelor's

Probation Officer

  • Total Employed in Texas: 7,670
  • Median Salary in Texas: $40,810
  • Degree Level Required in Texas: Bachelor's

Court, Municipal and License Clerks

  • Total Employed in Texas: 9,620
  • Median Salary in Texas: $32,770
  • Degree Level Required in Texas: Varies; up to Bachelor's

How Do Texas' Criminal Justice Careers Compare to the National Average?

How do criminal justice salaries in Texas compare to other locations? In some cases, the earnings that professionals make in Texas are close to national averages, or even exceed them. The tables below provide a comparison of state salaries and job growth to national levels to illustrate how Texas stacks up.

Salary
JobNationalTexas
Private Detectives and Investigators43,57053,530
Lawyers139,880149,400
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers60,35062,760
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers93,14099,400
Correctional Officers and Jailers40,91046,750
Paralegals and Legal Assistants53,18054,480
Detectives and Criminal Investigators73,65081,490
Court Reporters56,94078,410
Bailiffs44,32045,740
Fish and Game Wardens54,76066,900

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Job Growth
JobNationalTexas
Private Detectives and Investigators0.0110.218
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists0.0360.172
Lawyers0.0560.24
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates0.0060.139
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers0.050.189
Bailiffs0.0470.194
Court, Municipal, and License Clerks0.0450.188
Court Reporters0.0150.146
Fish and Game Wardens0.0190.125
Correctional Officers and Jailers0.0370.149

Source: Projections Central, 2015

Expert Advice on Criminal Justice in Texas: FAQ with Alejandro Del Carmen

Alejandro (Alex) del Carmen

Alejandro (Alex) del Carmen received a Ph.D. in Criminology from the College of Criminology at the Florida State University. He is considered an authority on the topic of race and crime with particular emphasis on racial profiling in law enforcement. Dr. del Carmen has written numerous articles in internationally recognized journals and published several books. Among these is the nationally recognized book titled “Racial Profiling in America”, which he published with Prentice Hall. Dr. del Carmen has presented his research findings throughout the world (Scotland, Belgium, Slovenia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and Italy).

Dr. del Carmen is currently Professor and Executive Director of the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic Studies at Tarleton State University. He also serves as a Federal Monitor for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. In this role, he monitors, on behalf of the U.S. Courts, the New Orleans Police Department.

Q. What do criminal justice departments look for when considering students to admit?

They look for individuals who are motivated and have a core belief and commitment in serving others.

Q. What careers are available in Texas to those who complete criminal justice degrees?

Careers vary from police officers to intelligence analysts in the intelligence community. Some of the most frequent careers are police officers, federal agents, correctional officers, judges, lawyers, analysts, lab technicians, statisticians, crime analysts and professors.

Q. What makes criminal justice a rewarding career to pursue?

You will end up serving your country, your state and your fellow community members. In short, you will be committing to an ideal and principle bigger than your own ambitions.

Q. What makes the criminal justice profession unique in Texas?

We are a state that is made up of honest and hardworking people. Texas law enforcement is a national model for others to follow.

Q. What makes the criminal justice field unique in your state?

The criminal justice program at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, in the same town with the headquarters of the Department of Criminal Justice, is a pretty unique fit between academic program and real world application, and there has always been a lot of cross-pollination between the two.

The size of the criminal justice population is also significant, though not completely unique, and that inherently makes for more career opportunities.

Q. What are the most important qualities that people in the criminal justice field have?

There are a lot of different roles in the criminal justice field, but in general there should be some empathy for the less fortunate and a desire to help people. Careers in law enforcement, probation, parole, and corrections, should not be filled by people with a mentality of “teaching criminals a lesson” or other less than empathetic motivations.

Q. What criminal justice jobs are most common in your state?

Like every state, law enforcement, supervision, and corrections.

Q. What advice would you give to students who are interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice?

Be well-rounded in your education, including and understanding of the research and statistical methods well enough to review treatment literature and the psychology of criminal conduct; core legal concepts in criminal justice, such as due process, separation of powers, and the legal process from beginning to end; and implicit bias, racial disproportionality, and the impact of poverty.

Q. What do criminal justice departments look for when considering students to admit?

Most criminal justice programs in Texas do not admit students. That is done by the university or college admissions office. Students may choose criminal justice as their major and begin enrolling. Institutions tend to have academic advisors who may be staff or faculty to help students choose a major and to follow degree plans that have been established.

Q. What careers are available in Texas to those who complete criminal justice degrees?

Any career open to any other social science degreed individual is open to a criminal justice graduate. Law enforcement careers exist at the city, county, state and federal level for Texas graduates. Some cities in Texas now require college credits for employment as a police officer including some cities that require the bachelor's degree. The Texas DPS, Game Wardens, and Park Rangers are state level career opportunities. The federal government has more than 50 agencies that hire criminal investigators or inspectors. Both of these careers require the bachelor's degree at the federal level.

Employment is available from probation, parole, and prison systems in Texas or probation and the prison system at the Federal level. Court systems and prosecutors hire in a variety of roles including bailiff, court administrator, investigator, and trial assistant. Victim assistance programs hire advocates and counselors. This may include organizations that serve only children or only women victims. Substance abuse programs hire counselors and prevention specialists. In Texas, Child and Adult Protective Services hire case workers, independent school districts hire attendance specialists, private retail organizations hire loss prevention specialists, insurance companies hire claims investigators, claims adjustors, and fraud investigators and all of these are careers for Criminal Justice majors in Texas. Private security is a major source of careers for criminal justice majors. Major private security companies employ in Texas.

This is not a complete list, but is to demonstrate the wide variety of careers open. Additional careers are open once one finishes a master's or PhD. Degree.

Q. What makes criminal justice a rewarding career to pursue?

Several things make criminal justice rewarding:

  • Salaries and Benefits are very good in many careers.
  • Opportunities for advancement exist in many careers.
  • The prevention of crime, protection of people, catching of criminal offenders, serving victims, counseling those in need, providing behavioral correction and other goals are significantly the intangible rewards.
  • Contributing to a just society may be seen as rewarding.

Q. What makes the criminal justice profession unique in Texas?

Most criminal justice programs advise their students and graduates to seek careers not just in Texas, but in the nation (any state or federal system). Our graduates are marketable nationwide and students should not limit themselves to only local or Texas job openings. Little is unique in criminal justice professions as similar jobs exist at local, state and national levels and in all states.

Texas' Professional Resources for Future Criminal Justice Employees

Business Compliance Resources

This page contains information provided by the Texas Economic Development Division. Users can learn about funding a new business, strategies for building a new company, and local and state incentives available to entrepreneurs. Provides comprehensive information that small business owners in Texas need. The Austin Chamber of Commerce provides business growth and development resources to entrepreneurs in the state's capital.

Correctional Resources

This organization creates training programs for corrections professionals and conducts research about the field. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, or TDCJ, is responsible for managing those who are incarcerated in state-run jails and prisons, as well as private correctional facilities. Anyone interested in starting a career in the corrections industry can find leads from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on this page. The TJJD provides information about the juvenile justice system in Texas. It contains resources for the public about programs, facilities, probation, community services and more. The Parole Division promotes public safety through supervision, programs and services for offenders.

Court and Judicial Resources

Provides seminars, education, conventions, and certifications for court reporters around the state. This website has information about the different courts in Texas and what jurisdictions they handle. Also, users can find training materials, information on court rules, and forms that are used in court cases. The Texas Municipal Courts Association, or TXMCA, offers training and support to those who work for municipal courts around the state. The TCJC seeks to improve the criminal justice system in Texas for adults and youths by providing policy research and advocacy. The Texas chapter of the national organization for Court Appointed Special Advocates provides resources and advocacy for children who have been abused and neglected. A membership-based organization, the TJCJ provides education and resources for judges in Texas. Provides career support, including education, certification programs, and networking events. This site allows users to search for specific parts of the Texas Constitution, as well as statutes, administrative rules, and Attorney General Opinions. There is also information on building codes, municipal laws, and federal statutes. Since 1949, TTLA has provided trial attorneys with professional development support, such as continuing legal education courses, conferences, and networking opportunities. This webpage provides membership-based resources for paralegals in the state of Texas. The Texas Attorney General is responsible for providing legal counsel and representation to state entities and employees as well as consumer protection to Texas residents.

Law Enforcement Resources

This page has information from the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center on the training programs it provides for warrant officers and bailiffs. Job listings from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. Agency responsible for licensing private investigators in Texas. This organization provides education and advocacy services to those in the animal control profession. Organization that provides education and resources to private investigators. This association serves a relatively small group of Texas officers who are in charge of investigating gangs and organized crime. A membership-based group, the association provides information about training and connects members.

Wildlife and Environmental Resources

Job leads from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department are available on this page. TPWD is responsible for managing and conserving the state's natural resources. This group works to protect wildlife in Texas. This page provides information about wildfire investigators in Texas. Texas game wardens provide law enforcement, water safety and search and rescue. Their mission is to serve the citizens of Texas and protect the state's natural resources. State park police provide safety services in Texas state parks to protect visitors and the park's resources. This page provides career information about working conditions and recruiting.

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