Criminal Justice in North Carolina

While other areas of the country are in decline, North Carolina is very much growing. People are finding new jobs, new homes are being built, and public transportation is improving. For those going to college in North Carolina, there are great criminal justice job opportunities available. The public sector includes jobs in the police department, state prisons, and other law enforcement-related fields. It is also possible to get a private job with a criminal justice degree, with people working as private detectives, investigators, security managers for major companies, and criminal defense lawyers.

What Criminal Justice Careers are Available in North Carolina?

There are a lot of options for criminal justice jobs in North Carolina. Many universities are now calling their programs “criminology” which studies law-making, law-breaking, and the response to those two things. Criminal justice degree jobs in North Carolina, With a four-year BS or MS degree, can lead to jobs as a policeman, investigator, corrections officer, parole officer, or anything related to those. A person could also continue their education with an MA or higher, and become a warden, FBI Agent, or criminologist. People seeking a law degree sometimes start with a criminal justice degree. You could have a career in anything related to law with a degree in criminology. There are concentrations available, depending on the direction a person wishes to go with North Carolina criminal justice jobs. Law enforcement would be different from working in the criminal justice system, or juvenile services, for instance.

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Where are the Best Cities for Criminal Justice Jobs?

As the state capital, Raleigh may be the best place for criminal justice training and to pursue criminal justice careers in North Carolina. The state corrections department headquarters is there, as well as the central prison and the state women’s prison. There are several more prisons around the state. The Raleigh area also has the state juvenile detention center, as well as many other facilities. The State Dept. of Justice is also in Raleigh, as well as one of four state crime labs. With so many facilities, there should be criminal justice jobs in North Carolina available.

The Triad and Research Triangle areas of the state, on the edge of the  Raleigh metropolitan area, should also be a good area for criminal justice jobs in North Carolina. Raleigh, to the west, including Chapel Hill and Durham, make up the Research Triangle. This triangle is home to North Carolina University at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State, and Duke University. To the west of the triangle is the Triad, which includes Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point. With universities and lots of hi-tech companies. Criminal justice degree jobs in North Carolina should be available here, especially in the security area.  

What are the Different Levels of Criminal Justice Careers?

Criminal justice jobs in North Carolina are government jobs, so there will be jobs for people with this degree at all levels of the system. Criminal justice careers in North Carolina can be as diverse as your imagination will allow.

At the local level, you could be a police officer or a sheriff’s deputy. Sheriffs are normally elected and their officers are called deputies. Sheriff deputies are county officers, while police officers work in cities or towns.  A parole officer could also serve at the county or city level. Paralegals work in law offices and are employed by private companies.

A corrections officer in a jail or prison could work at the local, county, or state level. This is also true for detectives and criminal investigators. North Carolina criminal justice jobs are available at all levels of government, and even in the private sector.

There are state troopers at the state level, as well as investigators in many departments. States have a law enforcement division, and there is the FBI, which has offices in each state. 

How is the Job Market in North Carolina?

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the job prospects for police and detectives are good. They are expected to grow five percent through 2029, which is higher than average for all occupations. 

It is not as hot as the medical field, which takes up most of the top 10 most in-demand jobs in the state but there are still several criminal justice jobs in North Carolina to apply for with this degree. It is a competitive field in some areas, so you may not find a lot of job offers just out of college.

Many criminal justice jobs require people with experience, which can make it difficult for recent college graduates. It is a good idea to do an internship while in college to get some experience and make some contacts in the business. You could also work in a low-level security job to get some experience. 

How Much Can I Make as a Criminal Justice Professional?

This field is very broad, so there is a wide variety of criminal justice salary in North Carolina. A recruiting service in North Carolina said the high was $166,000 and the low was $15,000. Overall the average in the state was between $24,000 and $50,000. Private detectives and investigators average about $50,000 in the state.  Many lawyers start with a criminal justice degree, and lawyers always make a lot of money. 

There is also a difference in where you work. Criminal justice salary in North Carolina varies significantly between small towns and larger cities.

Financial Aid for Criminal Justice Students

Scholarships in North Carolina vary depending on the institution you are interested in attending. If you wish to go to a state college, such as North Caroline State University or the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, there are plenty of college-specific scholarships and grants that you can get. That is in addition to the traditional state and federal scholarships available. Private colleges, such as Duke, will have a few of their own scholarships, but those are often given out on merit. For need-based aid, you will have to rely on government grants and loans.


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