CORRECTION OFFICERS oversee persons who have been arrested, awaiting trial, or convicted of a crime and sentenced to a prison term. They maintain security and observe inmate conduct and behavior to prevent disturbances and escapes. They maintain order within the institution and enforce rules and regulations. They monitor the activities of inmates, including working, exercising, eating, and showering. They assign, supervise, and report on the work of inmates. They search inmates and their living quarters for weapons or drugs, settle disputes between inmates, and enforce discipline. Officers must report any inmate who violates the rules.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $51,000 average per year ($24.50 per hour)
- A large occupation (514,800 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (0.9% per year)
Most institutions require CORRECTION OFFICERS to be at least 18 to 21 years of age, and a U.S. Citizen. They must have a high school education or its equivalent, demonstrate job stability (2 continuous years work experience), and have no felony convictions. Post-secondary education, such as criminal justice, police science, criminology, and related fields, may help in promotions. Federal, state, and some local departments of corrections provide training. Many systems require firearms proficiency and self-defense skills.