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How Do I Earn a Criminal Justice Certificate?

A criminal justice certificate can qualify you for careers in law enforcement, juvenile justice administration and the judicial system. Read on to learn about some of the requirements for earning such a certificate.

Criminal Justice Certificate Description

A criminal justice certificate program prepares students for entry-level jobs in fields related to the court system and law enforcement. Most programs are designed for people with little or no college experience, and classes taken to earn a certificate can later count towards an associate degree. Some programs require students to take a couple of courses in science or the humanities, but most focus almost exclusively on criminal justice classes.

Important Facts About Criminal Justice Certificates

PrerequisitesHigh School Diploma or GED Equivalent
Online Availability Yes
Continuing Education Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice
Possible CareersPolice Officer, Security Expert, Detective
Median Salary (2018)$63,380 (Police and Detectives)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)7% growth (Police and Detectives)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Coursework Required for a Criminal Justice Certificate

Students must pass 5-10 classes to earn a criminal justice certificate. The number of classes that one must take varies by program, because different programs are designed for different types of students. Programs made for students with no experience in the field often require more introductory classes than programs for people with prior education or work experience.

Common Criminal Justice Certificate Classes

In order to earn a criminal justice certificate, students need to master several subjects relating to law enforcement, justice administration and the court system. Most programs require students to take courses in criminology, law enforcement and sociology.

  • Criminology classes customarily cover current research on the causes and effects of crime, both on individuals and society.
  • Law enforcement classes teach the procedures, theories and constitutional aspects of law enforcement at the municipal, state and federal levels.
  • Classes in sociology help students understand basic sociological principles and how the attitudes and behaviors of groups influence individuals.