Mt. San Antonio College offers degrees and certificates in Administration of Justice and Correctional Science. These programs provide students with the theoretical and practical experiences that will aid them in law enforcement or corrections agencies. Program requirements also prepare students to transfer into the California State University or University of California systems.
Experienced officers and pre-professional students who have participated in work experience or cadet programs may earn credit for previous work.
Careers in the Public Service field (also termed Public Administration) provide challenging and rewarding opportunities for mature adults interested in serving their community and protecting its citizens. Public Service careers include a variety of professional areas and work environments. Law enforcement officers work in city police departments, sheriffs offices, state police departments (often termed State Troopers or Highway Patrol), as well as private agencies. Correctional Officers work in city, county, state, and federal corrections institutions, detention camps, jails, and prisons and in corrections programs - probation, parole, work release, and crime diversion programs.
Officers in law enforcement and corrections are respected professionals who use their training to make decisions and take action while working effectively with others to ensure the safety of the public.
A more security conscious society, public concern about crime, and support for stiff penalties for criminals has lead to continued employment growth in law enforcement and corrections. Turnover in law enforcement positions is low. However, the need to replace retiring officers or those leaving for other reasons will keep opportunities for new officers available. Prepared and qualified applicants will find multiple career entry positions.
Wages & Benefits:
In Southern California, officers in public service receive higher compensation than in other regions. Entry level officers can earn $38,000 per year. With experience and advancement, officers can increase their base pay to $50,000. Employment benefits are generous and there are frequent opportunities for additional and overtime work. Retirement after 20/25 years of service allows many officers opportunities for a second career while still in their 40's.
Personal and Technical Characteristics:
Personal characteristics such as honesty, judgment, integrity, and a strong sense of responsibility are especially important in law enforcement and corrections. Candidates must have a strong personal and professional history with no criminal record of improper conduct, a stable employment history, financial stability, and must show a pattern of respect and honesty in working with individuals and organizations. These careers also require excellent physical and mental health.
Although minimum requirements identify high school completion, most departments prefer candidates with college coursework in the field. A salary premium is offered for degree completion.
* High school diploma or GED
* AA/AS degree preferred
* US Citizen
* No felony convictions
* Valid Driver's License
* 18 years or older (varies by department)
* Ability to speak English fluently