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Correctional officers and jailers oversee people who are serving time in a secure, locked facility, either as they await release on bail, wait for an upcoming trial or hearing, or serve time as part of a local, state, or federal sentence. The job can be high-risk, but rewarding for those want to be part of the larger criminal justice community.

Correctional Officers And Jailers picture    Correctional Officers And Jailers image

Correctional Officer Schools

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically needed to enter a career in corrections, although some agencies may require completion of some college credit. Individuals who are interested in a career working in the federal prisons usually have to have a bachelor's degree and/or three years of full-time experience in counseling, assistance or supervision. The following are five schools offering degrees for future correctional officers:

  • Kaplan University: This online school offers an associate degree in criminal justice. The program offer foundational classes math, sociology, criminology, forensics, and psychological profiling.
  • Penn State World Campus: The online campus of Penn State offers a bachelor's in criminal justice, taught by the same on-campus faculty who possess real-world experience.
  • Southern New Hampshire University: This university offers an associate degree in criminal justice that allows graduates to seek entry-level work in the field. The program provides the fundamentals of criminal law and social science.
  • Strayer University: This university offers an online bachelor's in criminal justice. The program offers 1 of 4 in-demand concentrations, including Computer Security and Forensics, and Homeland Security Technology.
  • University of Maryland University College: This college offers a bachelor's degree in criminal justice which gives students key critical-thinking skills to solve for a wide range of challenges in the criminal justice environment.

Correctional Officer Education Requirements

Though the correctional officer education requirements vary from facility to facility, those hoping to pursue employment at a federal facility should attain a bachelor's degree. Candidates for a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, perhaps the academic field most relevant to work as a correctional officer, might find themselves studying arrest and control techniques, skills related to firearm use, basic first aid and defense tactics while unarmed. Common student admission requirements to criminal justice bachelor's degree programs include:

  • A valid U.S. driver's license
  • Good physical health
  • Handgun, holster and fingerprint clearance for firing range work
  • Satisfactory marks on institutional profile assessment
  • No convictions for use or sale of narcotics or any felony offense
  • A minimum age of 21 at graduation

Correctional Officer Training

Most correctional officer training occurs on the job. However, all agencies require correctional officer supervisors to have a high school diploma and some agencies require some college coursework or related work experience. A regional training program often needs to be completed before individuals are allowed to begin working. These programs give individuals training in specific procedures and policies and help them to understand their scope of responsibility when it comes to custody, law and security. Coursework at most academies cover topics such as:

  • Laws of arrest and constitutional rights of law
  • Rules and concepts of evidence
  • Rights of the confined
  • Use of force and restraint devices
  • Cell and prison searches
  • Prison gangs

Correctional Officer Certification and Licensing

After completing a program or academy, officers may become certified in specific skill sets or in Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST), depending on the type of training they completed. They may need to recertify in specific areas in a given timeframe.

Individuals who have received training may receive some type of credential or badge, but this can be dependent on the scope and type of training completed.

Correctional officer supervisors typically receive most of their training on the job. All agencies require correctional officer supervisors to have a high school diploma and some agencies require some college coursework or related work experience. Most correctional officer supervisors began their careers as correctional officers.

Resources for Correctional Officers

Sources:

  1. Correctional Officers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/correctional-officers.htm
  2. Correctional Officers and Jailers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm
  3. Southern New Hampshire University, http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/associate/as-in-criminal-justice
  4. Strayer University, http://www.strayer.edu/degree/bachelors-degree/criminal-justice
  5. Kaplan University, http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/criminal-justice/criminal-justice-criminology-associate-degree.aspx
  6. PennState Online, http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/criminal-justice-bachelors/overview
  7. University of Maryland University College, http://www.umuc.edu/academic-programs/bachelors-degrees/criminal-justice-major.cfm

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Correctional Officers and Jailers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Correctional Officers and Jailers jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Montgomery 1120 $35,740
Birmingham 1050 $38,610
Hoover 1050 $38,610
Huntsville 440 $35,880
Decatur 220 $31,000
Tuscaloosa 210 $42,740
Foley 180 $34,370
Fairhope 180 $34,370
Daphne 180 $34,370
Dothan 120 $27,930
Oxford 50 $24,500
Anniston 50 $24,500
Jacksonville 50 $24,500
Muscle Shoals 40 $23,450
Florence 40 $23,450
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mesa 8430 $40,050
Scottsdale 8430 $40,050
Phoenix 8430 $40,050
Tucson 2000 $39,960
Flagstaff 140 $35,690
Lake Havasu City N/A $34,750
Kingman N/A $34,750
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pine Bluff 1490 $34,440
Conway 690 $33,920
Little Rock 690 $33,920
North Little Rock 690 $33,920
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bakersfield 4540 $77,350
Ontario 4380 $77,230
San Bernardino 4380 $77,230
Riverside 4380 $77,230
Anaheim 4350 $60,100
Los Angeles 4350 $60,100
Long Beach 4350 $60,100
Sacramento 2350 $75,140
Roseville 2350 $75,140
Arcade 2350 $75,140
Arden 2350 $75,140
Fresno 1590 $69,010
Stockton 1520 $76,000
Lodi 1520 $76,000
Oakland 1420 $72,310
Hayward 1420 $72,310
San Francisco 1420 $72,310
Merced 310 $55,630
Porterville 210 $41,160
Visalia 210 $41,160
Carlsbad N/A $78,790
San Diego N/A $78,790
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 1600 $46,880
Aurora 1600 $46,880
Denver 1600 $46,880
Pueblo 580 $43,190
Colorado Springs 370 $47,920
Greeley 300 $49,860
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 8670 $59,400
West Palm Beach 8670 $59,400
Fort Lauderdale 8670 $59,400
Kissimmee 2500 $38,190
Orlando 2500 $38,190
Sanford 2500 $38,190
Jacksonville 1710 $42,370
Ferry Pass 1480 $35,390
Brent 1480 $35,390
Pensacola 1480 $35,390
Tallahassee 1430 N/A
The Villages 970 $47,480
Panama City 750 $32,740
Crestview 600 $35,020
Fort Walton Beach 600 $35,020
Destin 600 $35,020
Gainesville 590 $35,910
Deltona 570 $35,910
Ormond Beach 570 $35,910
Daytona Beach 570 $35,910
Sarasota 510 $49,680
North Port 510 $49,680
Bradenton 510 $49,680
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 4260 $31,040
Sandy Springs 4260 $31,040
Atlanta 4260 $31,040
Macon 600 $27,560
Savannah 560 $30,440
Valdosta 390 $27,670
Warner Robins 380 $29,960
Albany 340 $27,860
Gainesville 150 $33,180
Brunswick 130 $28,450
Athens 90 $29,640
Clarke County 90 $29,640
Dalton 80 $26,130
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 1030 $29,680
Pocatello 130 $33,680
Idaho Falls 90 $41,470
Coeur d'Alene 40 $33,910
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 270 $47,150
Carbondale 210 $47,470
Marion 210 $47,470
Champaign 50 $44,120
Urbana 50 $44,120
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Carmel 2280 $31,120
Anderson 2280 $31,120
Indianapolis 2280 $31,120
Terre Haute 880 $36,180
Fort Wayne 150 $38,140
Lafayette 70 $34,330
West Lafayette 70 $34,330
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 440 $52,030
Des Moines 440 $52,030
Iowa City 360 $48,800
Cedar Rapids 240 $51,050
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 550 $31,330
Topeka 530 $29,480
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 810 $36,830
Lexington 810 $36,830
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 2880 $32,650
Metairie 660 $28,610
New Orleans 660 $28,610
Lafayette 540 $33,620
Alexandria 510 $47,470
Houma 460 $33,190
Thibodaux 460 $33,190
Bossier City 290 $38,950
Shreveport 290 $38,950
Lake Charles 240 $33,770
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland N/A $36,450
Portland N/A $36,450
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 3620 $43,200
Columbia 3620 $43,200
Baltimore 3620 $43,200
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 80 $45,840
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 1830 $52,400
Detroit 1830 $52,400
Dearborn 1830 $52,400
Grand Rapids 690 $52,410
Wyoming 690 $52,410
Ann Arbor 580 $52,410
Lansing 240 $51,570
East Lansing 240 $51,570
Saginaw 210 $52,410
Portage 70 $46,370
Kalamazoo 70 $46,370
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 220 $49,180
St. Cloud 100 $48,880
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 2300 $24,920
Gulfport 810 $26,800
Pascagoula 810 $26,800
Biloxi 810 $26,800
Hattiesburg 120 $29,850
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jefferson City 1160 $29,610
Springfield 540 $36,560
Joplin 90 $26,990
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 700 $36,280
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 1730 $59,470
Henderson 1730 $59,470
Las Vegas 1730 $59,470
Carson City 340 $45,410
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bridgeton 1960 $76,250
Vineland 1960 $76,250
Trenton 1180 N/A
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 1180 $32,560
Santa Fe 470 $33,400
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 1930 $60,580
Niagara Falls 1820 $61,500
Cheektowaga 1820 $61,500
Buffalo 1820 $61,500
Utica 1470 $64,930
Rome 1470 $64,930
Schenectady 1110 $50,690
Troy 1110 $50,690
Albany 1110 $50,690
Glens Falls 890 $59,180
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 1710 $31,370
Morganton 840 $31,040
Hickory 840 $31,040
Lenoir 840 $31,040
High Point 530 $36,080
Greensboro 530 $36,080
Asheville 440 $33,900
New Bern 400 $30,050
Salem 390 $33,790
Winston 390 $33,790
Wilmington 380 $31,540
Rocky Mount 360 $31,040
Durham 310 $34,570
Chapel Hill 310 $34,570
Fayetteville 290 $32,240
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 310 $38,220
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 2480 $43,220
Elyria 2040 $43,210
Cleveland 2040 $43,210
Toledo 520 $39,700
Dayton 440 $39,560
Lima 340 $44,750
Akron N/A $38,690
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 1670 $39,000
Tulsa 570 $30,250
Lawton N/A $30,130
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 810 $52,780
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 1520 $52,560
Barre 860 $55,480
Hazleton 860 $55,480
Wilkes 860 $55,480
Scranton 860 $55,480
Carlisle 680 $54,950
Harrisburg 680 $54,950
Erie 500 $47,520
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 1930 $29,260
North Charleston 800 $32,900
Charleston 800 $32,900
Mauldin 530 $32,480
Greenville 530 $32,480
Anderson 530 $32,480
Spartanburg 450 $30,150
Bluffton 200 $32,560
Beaufort 200 $32,560
Hilton Head Island 200 $32,560
Florence 110 $28,340
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rapid City 170 $43,470
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Murfreesboro 2320 $29,680
Franklin 2320 $29,680
Davidson 2320 $29,680
Nashville 2320 $29,680
Knoxville 1110 $28,920
Johnson City 230 $29,130
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 7630 $39,180
The Woodlands 7630 $39,180
Houston 7630 $39,180
Arlington 5860 $37,850
Fort Worth 5860 $37,850
Dallas 5860 $37,850
San Antonio 2420 $38,030
New Braunfels 2420 $38,030
Killeen 1980 $38,020
Temple 1980 $38,020
Port Arthur 1610 $39,180
Beaumont 1610 $39,180
Amarillo 1160 $36,880
El Paso 960 $48,030
Abilene 880 $35,880
Waco 780 $38,030
San Angelo 190 $35,690
Bryan N/A $38,180
College Station N/A $38,180
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 1190 $37,060
Clearfield 220 $42,610
Ogden 220 $42,610
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 3600 $35,020
Charlottesville 580 $33,010
Roanoke 490 $37,300
Staunton 470 $33,870
Waynesboro 470 $33,870
Lynchburg 320 $33,890
Blacksburg 220 $34,480
Radford 220 $34,480
Christiansburg 220 $34,480
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 2620 $53,890
Seattle 2620 $53,890
Tacoma 2620 $53,890
Spokane Valley 490 $46,790
Spokane 490 $46,790
Richland 480 $45,630
Kennewick 480 $45,630
Yakima 180 $51,790
Olympia 110 $45,630
Tumwater 110 $45,630
Wenatchee 100 $44,570
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 480 $48,810
Beckley 440 $29,280
Charleston 260 $23,860
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Waukesha 1000 $41,550
West Allis 1000 $41,550
Milwaukee 1000 $41,550
Neenah 530 $44,860
Oshkosh 530 $44,860
Green Bay 410 $44,140
Appleton 90 $53,670
Madison N/A $39,980

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Correctional Officers and Jailers

To find out more about building a career as Correctional Officers And Jailers, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Correctional Officers and Jailers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Government 406,330 94% $38,900
Office Services And Staffing 20,440 4% $28,810
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Correctional Officers and Jailers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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