Some Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice programs prepare graduates for immediate entry into the work force. Others offer transferability for those who would like to pursue further education. A criminal justice degree program with a focus on corrections prepares students for a multitude of jobs in correctional facilities. For example, graduates can seek employment in jails, federal or minimum-security prisons, courtrooms and police departments. Those interested in working in the private sector might work as security guards, private security officers, contract advocates or consultants.
Students must have a high school diploma or GED certificate as well as physical training to be admitted into the criminal justice program.
Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice - Corrections
The 2-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice program explores practical application techniques, physical fitness and teamwork. Students investigate current practices used in community-based corrections as well as traditional procedures. To succeed in this program, participants must develop analytical, problem-solving and communication skills. Students learn first aid, CPR, physical conditioning and ethics. Though most corrections officers need to complete a professional training program, the courses in an AAS program could help prepare graduates to enter a training academy. Some common course topics include:
- Juvenile justice
- Criminal law and procedures
- Constitutional law
- Criminal justice research
- American government
Popular Career Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the majority of correctional officers work for government agencies in positions such as:
- Probation officer
- Corrections officer
Employment Outlook & Salary
Data from the BLS shows demand for correctional officers and jailers is likely decrease by 7% over the 2019-2029 decade, and those in this field earned an average salary of $52,340 in 2020. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists were paid an average of $61,900 in 2020, and the field should see 4% growth between 2019 and 2029, as reported by the BLS.
Continuing Education Info
A bachelor's degree program in criminal justice provides students with the advanced theoretical knowledge in criminology, law and police administration to qualify for leadership positions in law enforcement, crime prevention and court administration. Additionally, bachelor's holders with research or academia pursuits can complete a graduate program in the field.
An Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice program delivers practical application in addition to coursework in criminal justice, law, psychology and more. The program prepares students for a career in corrections or as a probation officer.