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Criminal Justice in California

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There are schools offering criminal justice degrees in California!

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Schools Offering Criminal Justice Programs in California

Each year, roughly 1.2% of California students graduate with degrees in criminal justice. That means an estimated 10,858 criminal justice professionals graduate from California's 190 criminal justice schools each year.

Top Schools

California Lutheran University, which is located in Thousand Oaks, is the top-ranked school in California that has a criminal justice program. It received a ranking of 37th in the country in 2010. 21 students graduated with a degree in criminal justice from California Lutheran University in 2010. The tuition rate at California Lutheran University was $31,000 per year.

California Baptist University, which is located in Riverside, is the second-ranked school in California that has a criminal justice program. It received a ranking of 40th in the country in 2010. In 2010, California Baptist University graduated 32 students from its criminal justice program. Students at California Baptist University paid $24,654 per year in tuition fees.

San Diego State University, which was ranked 40th nationwide in 2010, is the third-ranked school in California that has a criminal justice program. It is located in San Diego. In 2010, 295 students graduated from San Diego State University criminal justice program. San Diego State University charged in-state students $5,206 in tuition fees per year.


If you are hoping to attend one of California's criminal justice schools, you can expect to pay an average tuition of $4,712 per year, though tuition can range from $31,000 per year to $624 per year. In 2010, the following California criminal justice schools had the highest tuition rates:

  1. California Lutheran University - located in Thousand Oaks, students are charged $31,000 per year
  2. California Baptist University - located in Riverside, students are charged $24,654 per year
  3. Argosy University-Los Angeles - located in Los Angeles, students are charged $19,812 per year

The criminal justice schools that charged the lowest tuition rates in California were:

  1. San Joaquin Delta College - located in Stockton, students are charged $624 per year
  2. West Hills College Lemoore - located in Lemoore, students are charged $624 per year
  3. Barstow Community College - located in Barstow, students are charged $624 per year

A criminal justice degree from a California school... what next?

Some of the most popular jobs criminal justice graduates in California pursue include special agent, private detective, security guard, bailiff, and transit police officer. 219,640 criminal justice professionals were working in California in 2010. Of these, 44,120 were correctional officers. In addition, 12,720 were special agents, and 3,300 were private detectives. The following counties have the largest number of California criminal justice professionals:

  1. Los Angeles County - 60,790 criminal justice professionals
  2. Riverside County - 14,800 criminal justice professionals
  3. San Diego County - 14,790 criminal justice professionals

Projected Growth

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts by 2018, an estimated 260,500 criminal justice professionals will be working in California. This would require the number of criminal justice professional to grow by 13%.


criminal justice professionals in California make an average of $57,409 per year. However, California criminal justice professional earned anywhere in the range from as less than $17,200 per year to more than $138,760 per year in 2010. The counties in California with the highest average salary for criminal justice professionals are:

  1. Alameda County - $66,695 per year
  2. Orange County - $63,695 per year
  3. San Benito County - $63,242 per year

On average, criminal justice professionals earn the least in the following California counties:

  1. Merced County - $22,680 per year
  2. Madera County - $23,560 per year
  3. Sutter County - $25,140 per year

The criminal justice professionals with highest average salaries in California were:

  1. Special Agent - $90,150 per year
  2. Correctional Officer - $65,500 per year
  3. Paralegal - $59,790 per year

On average, the lowest paid criminal justice professionals in California were:

  1. Transit Police Officer - $51,040 per year
  2. Security Guard - $26,790 per year

More Information

For more data regarding a career in criminal justice in California and to compare salaries with various related fields such as criminology or forensic science, take a look at the graphs and charts below.

Here are the different levels of study available for you to explore.

  • Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice in California
  • Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice in California
  • Master's Degree in Criminal Justice in California
  • Certificate in Criminal Justice in California

Want to study at your own time and pace?

Consider Online Schools as a great alternative flexible option to earn a degree!

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Curious what studying Criminal Justice gets you?

Check out the different options and how they're looking in California

Rank Profession Employment Number Avg Salary Job Growth (past 5 yrs)
Security Guards 131,780 $26,790 -3.7%
Correctional Officers and Jailers 44,120 $65,500 30.7%
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 27,260 $59,790 11.9%
Detectives and Criminal Investigators 12,720 $90,150 45.2%
Private Detectives and Investigators 3,300 $55,920 3.1%
Transit and Railroad Police 290 $51,040 -35.6%
Bailiffs 170 $52,670 70.0%

Got your degree? Time to find a job!

Below are criminal justice related jobs in California