Working within the criminal justice system offers potential employment in a variety of private and government sectors, and many of the country’s largest cities offer a high concentration of jobs like probation officers and correctional treatment specialists. Large numbers of criminal justice jobs are available in states like California, Texas, and New York because of the dense metropolitan areas in each of these states.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the following locations around the country may offer the best opportunity for those working in criminal justice to find jobs:
1. Los Angeles Metropolitan Division (California)
Including communities like Long Beach and Glendale, the massive and sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles offers the best opportunity in the country for finding a job in criminal justice. With over 4,000 people currently employed in criminal justice in the county, workers also enjoy one of the highest hourly wages in the country for such jobs. Although the Los Angeles area has seen a dip in recent years of some types of violent crime, the region still has a high murder rate compared to other areas of the country.
2. New York Metropolitan Division (New York)
It’s not surprising that Manhattan and the surrounding metropolitan area offer a high concentration of criminal justice jobs. Wages in the New York City area (which includes communities like White Plains) are comparable to those found in Los Angeles. It’s almost impossible to think of New York and not think of iconic groups like the NYPD, and criminal justice jobs remain an important part of this dense part of the country.
3. Atlanta Metropolitan Area (Georgia)
There are many jobs in criminal justice available in the Atlanta, Georgia area with a hefty concentration of criminal justice jobs available versus the overall number of jobs listed in all industries. Some parts of Atlanta have a very high rate of crime. The most populous areas of the greater metropolitan area have seen increases in violent crimes like robberies and assaults in the last few years requiring trained individuals to deal with those illegal activities.
4. Houston Metropolitan Area (Texas)
Encompassing communities like Sugarland, Baytown and the greater Houston area, this southeast Texas metropolis offers a high concentration of criminal justice jobs. Some areas of Texas are so in need of workers in the criminal justice state department that Texas has been offering a signing or recruitment bonus for accepting work in certain locations.
5. Philadelphia Metropolitan Division (Pennsylvania)
Individuals seeking a nice paycheck and available work would do well to consider Philadelphia as this area of the country has high levels of employment in criminal justice and also offers higher pay than some areas of the south (like Houston). Philadelphia is currently fighting against rising rates of homicide although overall the past decade has shown some improvement in that area of crime.
6. San Bernardino, Riverside, & Ontario (California)
Sitting right next to Los Angeles County, the area of San Bernardino also offers the potential for healthy income and available jobs in criminal justice. Individuals working in criminal justice in the San Bernardino area will deal with crimes like murder, robbery, burglary, and motor vehicle theft, which all occur regularly.
7. Washington DC Metropolitan Division
The densely populated areas of Washington DC, which is sandwiched between Virginia and Maryland, offers a high concentration of criminal justice jobs due to ongoing issues with local crime and the need for people in jobs related to law enforcement. Interestingly, Washington DC used to be considered one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, however, crimes like homicides have dipped in recent years.
8. Baltimore (Maryland)
Like the nearby Washington DC area, Baltimore, Maryland has long suffered from high rates of crime and the need for workers in criminal justice has remained high for several years. By hiring many workers to assist with the criminal justice system in Baltimore, the city and county governments have been able to turn the tide against violent crime in recent years to better protect the region’s citizens.
9. Sacramento (California)
For anyone who wants to find a job in criminal justice and also enjoy one of the highest wages in the country, Sacramento would be the place to be. The BLS suggests that criminal justice workers in the California capital earn over $88,000 a year. Although some types of crime have been on the decline in recent years, there has been a surge in places like Sacramento of property crimes and violent crimes, which has required additional personnel working in criminal justice.
10. Minneapolis-St. Paul (Minnesota)
Coming in at the tenth spot in the list, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area offers an appreciable level of criminal justice jobs and also offers one of the best average wages in the country when the cost of living in Minnesota is considered. There have been increases in public concern over crime rates in various sections of St. Paul and the city will need to meet the demand with workers within the criminal justice sector.
Although there are some smaller communities in the country where a higher concentration of criminal justice jobs exist, such as Anderson, Indiana and Santa Barbara, California, the number of overall jobs available in the much larger metropolitan areas listed above offer the best chance for finding a job opening. Dense areas of the country also tend to provide the highest wages associated with criminal justice employment.