Correctional officers are the voice of authority within state prisons, local jails, and federal penitentiaries. There are correctional officer jobs all over the country, and in many states there is a lack of law enforcement professionals to fill the jobs. The job of correctional officers is more than just ensuring that prisoners don't break any rules. They also offer safety to those both within the facilities and without.
Correctional Officer Job Education Requirements
Each state has different education requirements for correctional officer jobs. However, the basic that crosses all state borders is that you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. If you are interested in a federal job as a correctional officer, you'll need to have at least a bachelor's degree in law enforcement or a similar field. In addition, you'll have to have three years of experience in law enforcement for a job with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Some states require you to get a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or law enforcement. States also have a correctional officer training course you need to go through. This training varies from several weeks to several months, depending on the state and the facility.
Correctional Officer Job Market
At a 5 percent growth rate, the job market for correctional officers has a slower than average growth. It is expected that between 2012-2022 there will be an additional 23,000 correctional officer jobs throughout the country.
Correctional Officer Job Salary Information
The median salary for correctional officers throughout the United States is $38,970 per year. However, this varies significantly between states, as well as between local or federal positions. Salaries range from less than $33,000 to more than $50,000, so the more experience you have in the field, the higher salary you can expect.