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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 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Montgomery 1120 $35,110
Birmingham 1070 $36,380
Hoover 1070 $36,380
Huntsville 470 $34,940
Tuscaloosa 230 $40,560
Decatur 200 $30,950
Dothan 160 $29,300
Foley 140 $35,320
Fairhope 140 $35,320
Daphne 140 $35,320
Oxford 100 $26,610
Jacksonville 100 $26,610
Anniston 100 $26,610
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 9920 $44,160
Mesa 9920 $44,160
Phoenix 9920 $44,160
Tucson 2080 $39,380
Flagstaff 90 $36,670
Lake Havasu City N/A $35,800
Kingman N/A $35,800
Yuma N/A $36,750
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pine Bluff 1410 $34,900
Conway 760 $34,050
North Little Rock 760 $34,050
Little Rock 760 $34,050
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 4590 $61,100
Long Beach 4590 $61,100
Los Angeles 4590 $61,100
Ontario 4500 $80,270
Riverside 4500 $80,270
San Bernardino 4500 $80,270
Bakersfield 4200 $82,870
San Diego 2580 $70,370
Carlsbad 2580 $70,370
Sacramento 2250 $65,110
Arden 2250 $65,110
Arcade 2250 $65,110
Roseville 2250 $65,110
Fresno 1700 $66,930
Lodi 1660 $68,340
Stockton 1660 $68,340
Hayward 1460 $72,540
San Francisco 1460 $72,540
Oakland 1460 $72,540
Madera 870 $82,880
Merced 320 $56,290
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 1660 $48,870
Aurora 1660 $48,870
Denver 1660 $48,870
Pueblo 590 $46,090
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 6610 $53,360
Fort Lauderdale 6610 $53,360
West Palm Beach 6610 $53,360
Orlando 2560 $38,730
Sanford 2560 $38,730
Kissimmee 2560 $38,730
St. Petersburg 2560 $51,400
Clearwater 2560 $51,400
Tampa 2560 $51,400
Jacksonville 1710 $41,110
Ferry Pass 1440 $36,110
Brent 1440 $36,110
Pensacola 1440 $36,110
Tallahassee 1440 $36,250
The Villages 1040 $43,240
Panama City 790 $33,040
Winter Haven 720 $38,070
Lakeland 720 $38,070
Titusville 650 $39,720
Melbourne 650 $39,720
Palm Bay 650 $39,720
Gainesville 590 $36,710
Fort Walton Beach 580 $35,650
Crestview 580 $35,650
Destin 580 $35,650
Ormond Beach 550 $35,670
Daytona Beach 550 $35,670
Deltona 550 $35,670
North Port 480 $52,070
Bradenton 480 $52,070
Sarasota 480 $52,070
Naples 390 $47,450
Marco Island 390 $47,450
Immokalee 390 $47,450
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 4120 $34,480
Atlanta 4120 $34,480
Sandy Springs 4120 $34,480
Macon 560 $29,610
Savannah 490 $32,990
Valdosta 430 $31,190
Warner Robins 360 $31,550
Albany 350 $28,590
Brunswick 160 $29,100
Gainesville 160 $34,130
Athens 100 $25,910
Clarke County 100 $25,910
Dalton 80 $27,010
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 1100 $32,330
Idaho Falls 80 $42,960
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 260 $48,030
Carbondale 240 $48,070
Marion 240 $48,070
Champaign 160 $43,870
Urbana 160 $43,870
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 2390 $29,710
Anderson 2390 $29,710
Carmel 2390 $29,710
Terre Haute 900 $36,370
Fort Wayne 180 $39,530
Lafayette 80 $35,380
West Lafayette 80 $35,380
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 380 $52,400
Des Moines 380 $52,400
Cedar Rapids 240 $52,130
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 680 $32,630
Topeka 510 $31,100
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 740 $38,690
Lexington 740 $38,690
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 2740 $31,090
Metairie 1100 $30,520
New Orleans 1100 $30,520
Alexandria 540 $48,040
Lafayette 500 $34,870
Thibodaux 250 $37,720
Houma 250 $37,720
Lake Charles 230 $34,490
Hammond 200 $29,230
Bossier City 190 $42,480
Shreveport 190 $42,480
Monroe N/A $34,820
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lewiston N/A $34,440
Auburn N/A $34,440
South Portland N/A $39,030
Portland N/A $39,030
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 3830 $45,410
Columbia 3830 $45,410
Baltimore 3830 $45,410
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 70 $58,780
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 1790 $50,510
Dearborn 1790 $50,510
Detroit 1790 $50,510
Wyoming 680 $54,090
Grand Rapids 680 $54,090
Ann Arbor 660 $54,090
East Lansing 320 $52,280
Lansing 320 $52,280
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 230 $50,700
St. Cloud 90 $54,420
Mankato 50 $45,860
North Mankato 50 $45,860
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 1450 $25,610
Pascagoula 800 $26,830
Biloxi 800 $26,830
Gulfport 800 $26,830
Hattiesburg N/A $30,670
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jefferson City 1140 $29,280
Springfield 560 $36,470
Joplin 90 $28,180
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 1740 $60,980
Henderson 1740 $60,980
Las Vegas 1740 $60,980
Carson City 360 $47,140
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bridgeton 1980 $77,160
Vineland 1980 $77,160
Trenton 1130 $77,150
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 1340 $33,410
Santa Fe 410 $35,500
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 1960 $63,840
Cheektowaga 1840 $64,740
Buffalo 1840 $64,740
Niagara Falls 1840 $64,740
Utica 1470 $66,320
Rome 1470 $66,320
Schenectady 1110 $52,330
Troy 1110 $52,330
Albany 1110 $52,330
Glens Falls 880 $61,640
Elmira 860 $63,920
Syracuse 610 $48,990
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 1770 $31,740
Morganton 940 $30,410
Hickory 940 $30,410
Lenoir 940 $30,410
Greensboro 460 $36,670
High Point 460 $36,670
New Bern 450 $30,400
Asheville 420 $33,490
Winston 420 $34,510
Salem 420 $34,510
Wilmington 390 $31,430
Durham 340 $37,400
Chapel Hill 340 $37,400
Rocky Mount 270 $31,420
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 260 $39,310
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 2550 $45,000
Elyria 1900 $44,590
Cleveland 1900 $44,590
Toledo 530 $40,660
Dayton 450 $40,090
Lima 360 $46,240
Akron N/A $39,890
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 1180 $38,900
Tulsa 520 $29,520
Lawton 40 $30,780
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 810 $54,940
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 1530 $55,580
Hazleton 720 $60,760
Barre 720 $60,760
Wilkes 720 $60,760
Scranton 720 $60,760
Carlisle 690 $56,390
Harrisburg 690 $56,390
Erie 540 $46,550
Johnstown 180 $47,080
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 1810 $29,850
North Charleston 780 $34,200
Charleston 780 $34,200
Mauldin 500 $34,250
Anderson 500 $34,250
Greenville 500 $34,250
Spartanburg 460 $31,870
Sumter 210 $29,760
Beaufort 190 $32,360
Bluffton 190 $32,360
Hilton Head Island 190 $32,360
Florence 120 $27,050
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rapid City 180 $45,040
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 2110 $30,770
Murfreesboro 2110 $30,770
Davidson 2110 $30,770
Nashville 2110 $30,770
Knoxville 1180 $30,740
Johnson City 230 $30,150
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Houston 8100 $43,270
The Woodlands 8100 $43,270
Sugar Land 8100 $43,270
Fort Worth 6420 $39,030
Dallas 6420 $39,030
Arlington 6420 $39,030
San Antonio 2490 $40,170
New Braunfels 2490 $40,170
Austin 2100 $40,970
Round Rock 2100 $40,970
Killeen 1990 $41,340
Temple 1990 $41,340
Beaumont 1590 $43,870
Port Arthur 1590 $43,870
Amarillo 1120 $41,330
McAllen 990 $41,720
Mission 990 $41,720
Edinburg 990 $41,720
Abilene 890 $40,170
Waco 840 $39,500
Brownsville 410 $29,300
Harlingen 410 $29,300
San Angelo 190 $36,740
College Station N/A $40,120
Bryan N/A $40,120
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 1160 $39,170
Clearfield 230 $43,520
Ogden 230 $43,520
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 190 $41,260
Burlington 190 $41,260
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 3170 $37,320
Charlottesville 610 $35,080
Roanoke 510 $37,920
Staunton 410 $35,490
Waynesboro 410 $35,490
Lynchburg 250 $35,630
Blacksburg 230 $35,500
Christiansburg 230 $35,500
Radford 230 $35,500
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 2510 $58,620
Tacoma 2510 $58,620
Seattle 2510 $58,620
Spokane 470 $49,950
Spokane Valley 470 $49,950
Richland 430 $46,170
Kennewick 430 $46,170
Yakima 180 $53,760
Tumwater 110 $48,730
Olympia 110 $48,730
Wenatchee 70 $52,980
Mount Vernon 40 $57,260
Anacortes 40 $57,260
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Beckley 540 $27,950
Morgantown 520 $49,370
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 1020 $40,490
Waukesha 1020 $40,490
Milwaukee 1020 $40,490
Madison 590 $40,300
Neenah 520 $45,190
Oshkosh 520 $45,190
Green Bay 400 $43,470
Eau Claire 390 $40,490
Appleton 100 $54,970

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.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

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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Results:  9
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Irvine
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  • Criminal Justice (11-Month Diploma Program)
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Riverside
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  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
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  • Criminal Justice (BS) (Online)
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
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  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
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  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
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  • MS in Criminal Justice - General Track
  • MS in Criminal Justice - Behavior Management Track
  • Post-master's Certificate in Criminal Justice - Behavior Analysis

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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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