Corrections Officer Career Information, Job Outlook & Salary

Corrections Officer

Correctional Officers Employment

Correctional officers work in federal and state prisons and in regional and local jails to admit and oversee approximately 12 million inmates a year. There are an estimated 1.5 million offenders in federal and state penitentiaries. In the Unites States, there are currently approximately 500,000 correctional officers, with three of every five jobs located in state-run prisons, prison camps, and correctional facilities for offenders under the age of twenty one.

Corrections Officer Job Description

Advancement is typically approved based on federal, state, or local governmental labor laws, depending on time-on-duty and job performance. Some officers are trained to join a tactical squad that responds to institutional emergencies. Candidates may be required to pass physical and psychological testing, along with extensive background checks. As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, correctional officers may also be assigned to holding facilities operated by The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Corrections Officer Career Training

At state and local levels, you'll need a high school diploma to apply, although preferences are given to graduates of criminal justice or online law enforcement degree programs. Applicants to the Federal Bureau of Prisons should have completed a bachelor's degree along with at least three years of practical law enforcement experience. Upon employment, most federal and state corrections officers are required to attend an academy where they learn about corrections laws, receive firearm and self-defense training, and perform on-the-job duties under direct mentoring from a supervising officer.

Corrections Job Outlook

Jobs for correctional officers are predicted to increase by 16 percent between 2006 and 2016. *The 2008 median annual wage was $38,380, with experienced officers earning $64,110.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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