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Criminal Justice in Hawaii

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Hawaii’s economy is a fascinating mix of tourism, military/defense, agriculture & fishing. While the overall economy supports many criminal justice jobs, the military presence – at the state and federal level, offers an unusually large number of criminal justice occupations available for the state’s size.  

Criminal Justice Career Options at the Federal Level

In addition to the military presence in Pearl Harbor and the Schofield Barracks, Hawaii is also the FBI’s base for managing American protectorates and territories in the Pacific region. The state capital of Honolulu is also home to a major international airport that generates a significant need for homeland security specialists. And, also located at the airport is a Federal Detention Center. Each of these federally based operations mandates the skills & services of criminal justice graduates.

Criminal Justice Career Options at the State Level

The DPS – the Hawaii Department of Public Safety is tasked with the state’s law enforcement and corrections functions, which differs from most other states that operate these departments independently of one another.  Criminal justice jobs with the Department of Public Safety provide competitive salaries and significant benefits. But note, the DPS often prefers job candidates who hold a criminal justice degree.

The common criminal justice jobs available in Hawaii will vary but likely fall within these primary criminal justice categories –

  • Law Enforcement & Criminology
  • Medical First Responders
  • The Court System
  • Fire & Arson Investigations
  • Security & Protection
  • Forensic Science Specialists
  • Corrections & Probation/Parole
  • Criminal Justice Education
  • Paralegals or Legal Assistants

Do I Have to Pursue a Career in Law Enforcement If I am Interested in a Criminal Justice Career?

Although most people automatically think of a police officer when considering a criminal justice career, the reality is that criminal justice jobs span a spectrum of career options. The following list details some criminal justice jobs available in Hawaii that are not specifically involved in law enforcement.

  • Correctional Officers & Bailiffs
  • Forensic Science Technicians
  • Probation Officers
  • Private investigators
  • Security Guards
  • The Court System
  • Paralegals
  • Fire Inspectors & Firefighters
  • Transportation Security

How is the Job Market in Hawaii?

The job market for criminal justice careers and jobs in Hawaii depends on which criminal justice jobs are of interest.

The job market, as of 2020, in Hawaii is as follows

  • Nearly 1,400 correctional officers were working in Hawaii, with an annual median salary of $62,190.
  • More than 425 criminal investigators and detectives were working in Hawaii, which ranks among the top-paying states with an annual median salary of $113,150.
  • There were nearly 2,500 police & sheriff’s patrol officers working in Hawaii, with an annual median salary of $81,460.
  • More than 8,700 security guards were working in Hawaii with an annual median salary of $35,370.
  • More than 1,100 transportation security professionals in Hawaii, with an annual median salary of $46,970.
  • There were nearly 1,100 paralegals & legal professionals working in Hawaii, with an annual median salary of $55,520.

Which Hawaiian Cities Offer the Best Criminal Justice Jobs?

The 2020 Census revealed that the Hawaiian population was 1,455,271, which included a 4%-plus increase from 2010’s Census data of 1,360,307.

The largest cities in Hawaii include the following –

  • Urban Honolulu, with a 2020 population of 350,964, is home to about 25% of the state’s population.
  • East Honolulu with a 2020 population of 50,922.
  • Pearl City with a 2020 population of 45,295.
  • Hilo with a 2020 population of 44,186.
  • Waipahu with a 2020 population of 43,485.

Urban Honolulu

As one would expect, Urban Honolulu offers the most comprehensive list of criminal justice jobs in the state. In 2020, there were nearly 14,000 criminal justice/protective service professionals working in Urban Honolulu with an aggregate median annual income of $52,900 – with more than half of those employed as a security guards in some capacity. In addition, Urban Honolulu’s criminal justice marketplace offers these jobs –

  • Criminal Investigators – with a median salary of $115,940/year.
  • Police & Sheriff’s Patrol Officers – with a median salary of $81,740/year.
  • Transportation Security Professionals – with a median salary of $43,030/year.
  • Paralegals & Legal Professionals – with a median salary of $55,420/year.

Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina

  • Police & Sheriff’s Patrol Officers – with a median salary of $74,280/year.
  • Transportation Security Professionals – with a median salary of $53,110/year.
  • Paralegals & Legal Professionals – with a median salary of $53,320/year.

Non-Metro Hawaii/Kauai

  • Criminal Investigators — with a median salary of $106,550/year.
  • Police & Sheriff’s Patrol Officers – with a median salary of $84,370/year.
  • Transportation Security Professionals – with a median salary of $51,310/year.
  • Paralegals & Legal Professionals – with a median salary of $57,790/year.

Related:

Should I Get an CSI Certification?

GOVERNMENT JOBS

JOBS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT OR AS A FEDERAL AGENT

LEGAL AND COURT JOBS

JOBS IN SOCIAL SERVICES

HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL FOR A CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREE?

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