How to Become a Correctional Officer
Over the next few years, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 5% increase in this occupational area. Correctional officer positions can be found in practically every state and county in the United States. There are a few things you should know if you want to work as a correctional officer.
Step 1 – Meet the Minimum Requirements
The federal, state, and local governments all run prisons and jails. Each branch of government has its own set of employment policies and procedures. To become a correctional officer, you must meet a variety of basic qualifications. It is critical to investigate your state’s specific regulations to ensure that you meet the minimal eligibility requirements.
Step 2 – Obtain a Degree or Experience
Advanced correctional officer roles may require a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, psychology, sociology, counseling, or another discipline of behavioral sciences. Prior military service is usually accepted as a substitute for the post-secondary education requirement in most states. Veterans may be eligible for increased beginning pay, seniority, and bonuses in some jurisdictions.
Step 3 – Apply for a Position
A correctional officer’s principal role is to oversee inmates and maintain order in correctional facilities. Physical restraint or restraining devices are frequently used to maintain proper security. All officers must have a high level of mental acuity and be well-versed in legislation and facility regulations.
Step 4 – Complete Correctional Officer Training at an Approved Training Academy
Before an offer of employment is made, most states demand that the candidate finish a training course. In most states, this entails extensive training similar to that provided to other law enforcement professionals, such as police recruits. The purpose is to get the recruit ready to cope with potentially aggressive inmates and react correctly in dangerous situations.
To ensure the safety of both convicts and employees, several jurisdictions have highly precise rules that must be followed in correctional institutions. Failure to follow these protocols by a correctional officer can result in legal implications for the institution as well as putting the officer in danger.
Although most correctional guards who work in close quarters with offenders do not carry firearms, they must be capable in the event of an emergency or if they are assigned to protect the institution’s perimeter. The majority of states demand annual requalification and competency in the use of a variety of firearms.
New hires may be required to complete in-service probationary training for a few months or up to two years. During this training, the new correctional officer usually works in a minimum-security population under the supervision of senior correctional officers. According to the National Correctional Officers Association, state correctional officers are receiving better training.
Basic Fitness Training
A physical fitness exam, which includes push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, is required in all states. The classroom training ensures that all candidates have a basic understanding of rehabilitative techniques and the law. Even applicants with a college education may lack experience in these fields.
Rehabilitative Methods Training
The federal and state governments have mandated the development of therapeutic and rehabilitation programs within prisons and jails in order to reduce recidivism rates. Substance misuse, mental health difficulties, and a lack of education or vocational skills are all addressed through these programs. Correctional officers must gain a basic understanding of these programs in order to identify suitable candidates for programs at their facility.
To ensure the proper administration of the institution, a correctional officer must have a basic understanding of essential areas of the law. The majority of programs cover criminal law, constitutional law, civil rights law, and the use of force. The majority of officers in American prisons are not attorneys.
Step 5 – Become a Sworn Officer
A correctional officer’s responsibilities include enforcing rules and maintaining order. They also keep track of inmate behavior and assist with offender rehabilitation and counseling. The oath of office is a spoken and written declaration to respect these responsibilities. It varies by state, however it usually contains the following: Keep an eye on the detainees’ activities.
Is it hard to get a correctional officer job?
Given that only 3-4 percent of all applicants for correctional officer positions make it through the entire selection process in most states, it’s critical for anyone interested in working in corrections to be fully informed about the various application steps and to spend time preparing both physically and mentally.
Do correctional officers make good money?
Corrections officers make an average pay. You’ve landed a fantastic new job with excellent benefits. Correctional officers in the state of New York earn $21.01 per hour, or $43,710 per year. Correctional officers in the federal government earn $25.15 per hour, or $52,310 per year.
Is working in corrections a good job?
A career as a prison officer can be enjoyable, stable, and well-paying. In addition, according to BLS data from May 2017, California has the highest annual mean wage of all states, at $71,630. California also employs the second-highest number of correctional officers in the country, with 36,730 positions.
How much do correctional officers make a week?
Complete roughly 12 weeks of correctional officer basic training successfully. The University of Alberta is located in Edmonton, Alberta.
|Average Wage||$36.55 / hr|
|Average Salary||$75,595.00 / yr|
|Hours Per Week||39.6 hrs|
How many days a week do correctional officers work?
Correctional officers often work eight-hour days on rotational shifts five days a week. Officers work all hours of the day and night, weekends, and holidays since prison and jail security must be provided around the clock. Officers may also be required to work overtime.
What are the disadvantages of being a correctional officer?
In addition, compared to other law enforcement positions, jail guards have a higher risk of chronic injury, high cholesterol, hypertension, and heart disease. Correctional officers are stressed due to job conflicts, exhaustion, a hard workload, and a lack of resources.
Do correctional officers get paid more than police officers?
So, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual compensation for correctional officers in 2018 was $44,330. Police officers, on average, have a higher earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for police officers and detectives in 2018 was $63,380.
Is being a correctional officer stressful?
Every day, correctional officials are exposed to a tremendous level of stress. Working long shifts behind closed doors day after day can, and does, take its toll. Correctional personnel had greater rates of divorce, PTSD, severe depression, and suicide, according to statistics.
Who are the highest paid correctional officers?
Table 1 shows the states with the highest compensation for correctional officers and jailers (2020 Survey)
|Rank||State||Average Salary i|
Which is more dangerous police or corrections?
Only police officers have more violent occurrences at work than correction officials, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2011, there were 254 workplace assaults and violent injuries reported for every 10,000 full-time COs, which is 36 times the average for all American workers.
How long does the Corrections hiring process take?
An online application process is included in the application for a position as a correctional officer. The hiring procedure can take anywhere between 12 and 18 months to complete. Within four to six months of the date of your Written Examination1, you will be told that your application has been received.
How much do correctional officers make hourly?
Salary of a Correctional Service Officer in Canada According to the most recent data, Alberta has the highest hourly average (median) wages at $37.26 per hour, while Prince Edward Island has the lowest average (median) wages at $26.89 per hour.
How do you become a CO?
To Become a California State Correctional Officer, You Must Meet the Following Requirements
- You must be at least 21 years old to participate.
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- You must have a high school diploma or a GED.
- You should be in superb physical shape.
- To be able to own/operate a firearm, you must be at least 18 years old (i.e., no felony convictions or domestic violence misdemeanor convictions)