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Many people choose criminal justice careers because they want to serve the community and protect citizens. The work is challenging, exciting and, let’s face it, financially worthwhile. As of May 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for police and detectives was $62,960.[1]

In the last few years, law enforcement has received an undeserved bad rap as being a high risk, low reward job. While it certainly can be physically demanding, stressful and hazardous, being a police officer didn’t even crack the top 10 most dangerous occupations in 2016.[2] And, the employment outlook for police officers and detectives is really good, with jobs expected to grow seven percent from 2016 to 2026, about the same rate as the average for all occupations.[3]

As in almost every other field, an academic degree is a valuable asset for police officers. Whether you’re just starting out, you’re going after a promotion or you want to prepare for a post-retirement job, a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree can give you an edge over other candidates. It can also help put more money in your bank account. On average, college graduates in all fields earned 56 percent more than high school graduates in 2015, the biggest spread since 1973.[4] Many police departments offer tuition reimbursement or education incentive pay for having a degree, making higher education an even sweeter deal.

On average, college graduates in all fields earned 56 percent more than high school graduates in 2015, the biggest spread since 1973.

Law enforcement is only one career track in the criminal justice field. Tiffin University also offers degree programs in criminal behavior, criminalistics, homeland security and justice administration for private investigators, corporate security, military members, corrections officers and other adults ready to advance or change careers. With Tiffin behind you, the next step in your career is sure to move you forward.

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[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Police and Detectives, April 13, 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm#tab-1

[2] Johnson, David, Time, “The Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America,” December 22, 2017, http://time.com/5074471/most-dangerous-jobs/ 

[3] Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Police and Detectives, April 13, 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm#tab-1

[4] Rugaber, Christopher S., The Associated Press, “Pay gap between college grads and everyone else at a record,” January 12, 2017, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/12/pay-gap-between-college-grads-and-everyone-else-record/96493348/