Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in North Carolina

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Updated January 19, 2023

Looking for a Associate Degree in Criminal Justice in North Carolina? You should consider these top-tier programs and jobs in the Criminal Justice field.

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Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in North Carolina

Earning an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice in North Carolina

We have compiled a list of the best degrees in North Carolina for criminal justice. These are the degrees that you should consider pursuing if you want to gain a highly respected degree that can prepare you for a long and successful career. Associate degree-holders are well-prepared to pursue a variety of employment opportunities. An associate degree is a great way to prepare for advanced roles.

Associate degree-holders typically earn about $963 per week. With an associate degree, the unemployment rate is 4.6%, versus 6.2% for those with a high school degree.

Criminal Justice Associate Programs for You

Working and Living in North Carolina in the Criminal Justice Profession

A profession that is growing in popularity, criminal justice allows students to pursue a degree that blends both the art and science of law enforcement. This degree can lead to careers in both law enforcement and private security, as well as many other areas such as parole and probation, intelligence analysis, or simply helping those who have been victimized by crime.

In North Carolina, the average salary is $38,370 per year, or $18.45 per hour. This fact applies to all the state's 4,422,020 employees. The BLS reports that the lowest 10% of earners bring in about $22,360 per year, while about $99,300 is earned for those with high incomes. Here are some statistics about the typical earnings of detectives and criminal investigators in North Carolina.

Key

Detectives and Criminal Investigators in North Carolina
Detectives and Criminal Investigators Nationally
All Occupations in North Carolina
All Occupations Nationally

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in North Carolina and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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In terms of cost of living, North Carolina ranks number 23 among 51 states (including Washington, D.C.). An index of the cost of living compares the average cost of living in the United States with specific parts of the country. The U.S. average is measured as 100, and all locations in the U.S. are either above (more expensive) or below (less expensive) that average. According to a 100-point scale, North Carolina's cost of living index is 95, which is -5% lower than the national average. Compare the cost of groceries, housing, utilities, and more in North Carolina.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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Over the next decade, jobs for detectives and criminal investigators are projected to grow by 2.5%. The number of these professionals is projected to change from 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 by 2030. As a general rule, a high school diploma or equivalent is the typical entry-level educational requirement for these positions. These are some of the typical job titles that can be found in the industry:

  • Detectives and criminal investigators
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Deputy United States Marshal
  • FBI Investigator
  • Homicide Detective
  • Narcotics Detective
  • Narcotics Investigator
  • Police Detective

Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in North Carolina

#1 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in North Carolina

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

  • Salisbury, NC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Salisbury, North Carolina, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College provides online education across eight associate degree programs, including its AAS in criminal justice technology. Students in the program gain foundational and advanced knowledge relevant to the criminal justice field. Students seeking further education can apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree.

While enrolled, students can access career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Distance learners can further benefit from virtual services such as library access, writing workshops, and other academic tutoring. Students who attend the school on campus have easier access to campus amenities and professors' offices.

The average financial aid award, the college reports, is $5,628. Eligible students can access scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, two-year

Location: Salisbury, North Carolina

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,432

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,576

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,432
Out-of-state
$8,576
Retention Rate
60%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
7,109
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
71% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in North Carolina

Durham Technical Community College

  • Durham, NC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Durham Technical Community College, a public, two-year college, supports three online associate degree programs available to distance learners worldwide. Students in the criminal justice program benefit from industry-relevant coursework, preparing them for future careers in the field. Typically, students can apply their associate degree credits towards future educational endeavors, like a bachelor's degree.

The college connects students with career services, academic advising, and other success-geared resources. The online learning community connects students with virtual library resources and academic tutoring. Attending classes on campus makes it easier for students to access the school's facilities and professors' offices.

The average student is awarded $4,010 in financial aid, to offset the costs of education. Students can explore numerous funding opportunities, with 85% of enrollees receiving some form of financial aid and 10% opting for student loans.

Durham Technical Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, two-year

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Student-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,094

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,570

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,081
Out-of-state
$7,339
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,672
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in North Carolina

Southeastern Community College

  • Whiteville, NC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Distance learners looking for a flexible online associate degree program in criminal justice should consider Southeastern Community College. The Associate of applied science in criminal justice technology is an online program that prepares students for the field through comprehensive coursework. Students can also transfer their credits toward a bachelor's degree at a four-year college.

While enrolled, students can access career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Further resources available to online students including virtual library services and academic tutoring. Students who attend the school on campus have easier access to campus amenities and professors' offices.

Learners benefit from significant financial support, receiving an average of $5,788 in financial aid awards. Students can meet with the Office of Financial Aid to determine their eligibility for funding.

Southeastern Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, two-year

Location: Whiteville, North Carolina

Student-Faculty Ratio: 9-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,432

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,576

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,432
Out-of-state
$8,576
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,271
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
85% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in North Carolina

Wake Technical Community College

  • Raleigh, NC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a flexible associate degree program in criminal justice? Consider Wake Technical Community College's online criminal justice technology AAS. Students in the program prepare for the demands of the field through instructive study and industry-relevant coursework. Graduates can apply their course credits towards future educational opportunities, such as a bachelor's degree.

While enrolled, students can benefit from career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Further resources available to online students including virtual library services and academic tutoring. Attending classes on campus makes it easier for students to access the school's facilities and professors' offices.

Typically, students are awarded $6,080 in financial aid. The college reports that 59% of students receive financial aid, with 26% taking out student loans.

Wake Technical Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, two-year

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,432

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,576

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,432
Out-of-state
$8,576
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
21,760
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in North Carolina

Craven Community College

  • New Bern, NC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in New Bern, North Carolina, Craven Community College provides online education across eight associate degree programs, including its criminal justice technology AAS. Enrollees gain foundational knowledge and skills relevant to the field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Learners seeking to advance in their studies can apply their credits towards a bachelor's degree.

The college connects students with career services, academic advising, and other success-geared resources. Distance learners can connect with virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources. Those who attend the school on campus can more easily access campus facilities and professors' offices.

Attendees benefit from financial aid opportunities, receiving an average of $4,232 in awards. Students can speak with the financial aid office to determine their eligibility for scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of aid.

Craven Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, two-year

Location: New Bern, North Carolina

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,824

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,432

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,824
Out-of-state
$6,432
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,629
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Financing an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice

It is possible to receive financial aid to help pay for college. Financial aid helps students lower the cost of college. Many students are eligible to receive federal and private scholarships. You may be able to find out if the colleges you are interested in offer scholarships or grants by reviewing their websites.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in North Carolina

Depending on the college or university you attend, the cost of education in North Carolina will vary. Public and private institutions, however, share some common characteristics. Find out if attending a public university is a good fit for you by reviewing the information below.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: North Carolina vs. National Average

Key

North Carolina
National Average

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The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Considering attending a private college or university? Generally, private schools charge higher tuition rates. According to the graph below, private colleges in North Carolina have a higher rate of attendance than public colleges.

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: North Carolina vs. National Average

Key

North Carolina
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

Have you considered borrowing student loans to pay for your education? There are a few things you should consider before taking out a loan.

Here are some statistics to assist you in determining what students typically borrow.

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On-Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees

Pros

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.

Cons

  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The primary differences between online and on-campus programs include cost and class size. Online programs are flexible, affordable, and convenient. As a result of student fees, on-campus degrees tend to cost more. There are many benefits to attending classes on a regular basis.

Top Criminal Justice Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Illinois Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
New York Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Bachelors, Masters
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

Private colleges and public colleges differ in many respects, including cost. The cost of education at public universities is typically reduced through grants and scholarships. Tuition is charged to students by private institutions, but students with high GPAs or SAT scores are usually eligible for merit scholarships.

Private colleges tend to feature smaller classes, allowing students to connect with professors directly. Listed below are some pros and cons of attending a private college as opposed to one that is public.

Pros and Cons

Private

  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight

Public

  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the salary for detectives and criminal investigators in North Carolina?

Detectives and criminal investigators report a mean annual salary of $66,030 in North Carolina each year.

Are criminal justice majors in high demand or not?

The total number of detectives and criminal investigators is projected to change by 2.5% from 2020 to 2030.

Can I get an online associate degree in criminal justice?

It is possible to obtain an online associate degree in criminal justice. At least some online courses are included in most schools' programs in today's environment.

In order to complete an associate degree, how long does it take?

It typically takes two years for a full-time student. For part-time students, the completion time will vary, and the process will take longer to complete.

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