Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

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Updated January 19, 2023

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

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Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

Earning an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice in Texas

The best degrees in Texas for criminal justice can lead to increased salary and career prospects. You can open doors for employment in a variety of fields with an associate degree. Individuals with an associate degree possess the skills needed to move into advanced roles.

Associate degree-holders typically earn $963 per week. This translates to about $3,852 a month and $50,076 annually. Those who graduate from an associate program face an unemployment rate of 4.6%, while those who only have a high school diploma face 6.2% unemployment.

Criminal Justice Associate Programs for You

Working and Living in Texas in the Criminal Justice Profession

Criminal justice programs are designed to prepare students for careers in law enforcement, courts, and the corrections field. Students gain an understanding of the criminal justice system, including crimes, the enforcement process, and evidence collection. Classes can also include sociology, psychology, and cultural studies to round out your perspective on how crime affects different communities across America.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all occupations in Texas is $39,030, or $18.77 per hour. This holds true for the 12,226,170 workers in the state. BLS data shows that the lowest 10% of earners in the state make about $22,110, while the highest 10% bring in about $99,880. This table shows what detectives and criminal investigators make on a regular basis.

Key

Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Texas
Detectives and Criminal Investigators Nationally
All Occupations in Texas
All Occupations Nationally

Salaries for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Texas and Nationwide

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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MERIC's cost of living index ranks Texas number 12 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.). A cost of living index measures the average cost of living in the United States against the cost of living in specific regions of the country. According to the U.S. average, all locations are either above (more expensive) or below (less expensive) that average. The cost of living index for Texas is 90.9, which is -9.1% lower than the national average. Interested in relocating to Texas? Use our cost of living comparison to see if it's the right fit for you.

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Within 10 years, jobs for detectives and criminal investigators are projected to grow by 2.5%. The BLS projects the number of professionals to change from 112,500 in 2020 to 115,300 in 2030. An associate degree is typically required for these positions. An example of a typical job title would be:

  • 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 Texas

#1 Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Texas

Kilgore College

  • Kilgore, TX
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Kilgore, Kilgore College supports an online associate of applied science in criminal justice. Students can build their knowledge of the field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Enrollees can apply their course credits to future educational opportunities, such as a bachelor's degree.

Enrollees can benefit from career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Online students can further access virtual library services and academic tutoring. Campus facilities and lectures are more readily accessible to on-campus degree-seekers.

Attendees benefit from financial aid opportunities, receiving an average of $5,772 in awards. Students can expect to receive financial aid or loans, as 74% of enrollees receive aid and 21% use loans.

Kilgore College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Kilgore

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,120

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,320

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,168
Out-of-state
$4,368
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,100
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% 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 Texas

Brazosport College

  • Lake Jackson, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Distance learners looking for a flexible online associate degree should consider Brazosport College. Students in the associate of applied science in criminal justice program gain foundational and advanced knowledge relevant to the field. Learners seeking to advance in further studies can apply their credits to a bachelor's degree.

Enrollees benefit from institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising. Other resources available for distance learners include academic tutoring and virtual library services. Students who attend the school on campus have easier access to campus amenities and faculty offices.

Degree-seekers can access scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities, with the average award package totaling $4,188. Around 57% of incoming students receive financial aid and around 1% receive student loans.

Brazosport College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Location: Lake Jackson

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,622

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,052

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,629
Out-of-state
$4,063
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,852
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
86% 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 Texas

Midland College

  • Midland, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Midland, Midland College boasts a highly ranked online associate in criminal justice. Students can build their knowledge of the field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Learners seeking to advance in study can apply their credits to a bachelor's degree.

Enrollees benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. The institution also provides online enrollees with virtual library services and academic tutoring resources, including writing tutoring. Campus facilities and professors' offices are easier to access for those who attend the school on campus.

On average, students receive $5,521 in financial aid. Approximately 73% of all incoming enrollees receive financial aid, with 3% receiving student loans.

Midland College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Location: Midland

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,540

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,800

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,600
Out-of-state
$4,860
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,737
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
63% 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 Texas

McLennan Community College

  • Waco, TX
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Waco, McLennan Community College boasts a highly ranked online associate in criminal justice, one of three online associate degrees. Learners gain foundational and advanced knowledge relevant to the field. Upon graduating, students can apply their course credits to a bachelor's degree.

The college prioritizes student success through career services, academic advising, and other resources. As part of an online learning community, distance learners can benefit from virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources. Campus facilities and lectures are more readily accessible to on-campus degree-seekers. 

The average financial aid award, the college reports, is $6,068. Approximately 88% of all incoming students receive financial aid, with 31% receiving student loans.

McLennan Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Waco

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,774

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $3,774

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,720
Out-of-state
$5,430
Retention Rate
58%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
7,742
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% 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 Texas

Austin Community College District

  • Austin, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Austin Community College District supports 12 online associate programs, including an associate of applied science in criminal justice. The program prepares students for the field through comprehensive coursework. Upon completion, graduates can apply their credits to a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

The college prioritizes student success through career services, academic advising, and other resources. Online degree-seekers can further access virtual library services and academic tutoring. Attending classes on campus makes it easier for students to access the school's facilities and professors' offices.

The college connects learners with numerous financial aid opportunities, reporting that enrollees receive an average of $7,415 in financial aid. The college reports that 57% of students receive financial aid, with 29% using student loans.

Austin Community College District at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Location: Austin

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,010

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $12,480

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,010
Out-of-state
$12,480
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
39,896
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
99% 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

Financial aid helps many degree-seekers lower the cost of a degree. Students can explore scholarships, fellowships, and work-study programs. Some degree-seekers qualify for federal and private student loans to pay for college. You should research the colleges you are interested in to find out if they offer scholarships or financial aid.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Texas

In Texas, the cost varies based on which college or university you choose. There are some similarities that exist among institutions of both the public and private sectors. If you are interested in attending a public institution, please take a moment to review the information below.

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

Key

Texas
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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How about attending a private university? The tuition at private schools is typically higher. Find out more about the private colleges in Texas by reviewing the following graph:

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

Key

Texas
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

In order to fund your education, have you considered borrowing student loans? You should keep in mind some important factors before committing to a loan program.

You can find out what students typically borrow by reviewing the following data:

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
On-campus and online programs differ primarily in cost and class size. Online programs feature advantages that include flexibility, affordability, and convenience. Because student fees are optional for distance students, on-campus degrees typically cost more. However, many benefits can be gained from attending classes regularly.

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 Associate, Bachelors, Masters
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

There are some differences between attending a private and a public college. The cost will be different depending on whether you choose a public or private school. Generally, public institutions feature fixed costs, and grants and scholarships are used to cover those costs. Private colleges often offer merit scholarships to those with superior academic performance.

In private colleges, students benefit from more personal interaction with faculty. Consider the pros and cons of attending a private institution versus a public one.

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

For detectives and criminal investigators in Texas, what is the salary?

The mean annual salary for detectives and criminal investigators in Texas is $82,700.

Are criminal justice majors in a high-demand field?

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

Are there any advantages to studying for an associate degree in criminal justice online?

An online associate degree in criminal justice is possible. In today's environment, most schools offer at least some online courses.

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

Typically, it takes two years for a full-time student to complete an associate degree. Part-time students will take longer to complete, and the completion time will vary from student to student.

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