Steps To Become a Correctional Officer, Prison Guard, Jailer

Become a corrections officer federal, state, or county deputy

Becoming a Correctional Officer & Prison Guard

If you’ve decided that law enforcement is for you, consider becoming a correctional officer for your state, county or the federal government.

The great thing about government jobs is that it’s a lot more secure than private sector jobs. In some instances, especially jobs at the federal level, the pay and benefits are better in all facets.

Becoming a correctional officer, county jailer or prison guard for your state or county takes a lot of mandatory steps before you are sworn in as a certified CO. To be honest with you the entire application process is a long and tedious one.

Requirements To Become a Corrections Officer:

Before you are even allowed to apply for a position in corrections, you must meet the minimum requirements below:

  • You must be at least 18 years old (some state require that you be 21)
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony
  • You must not have been convicted of domestic battery
  • You must not have a pending criminal case
  • You must pass all pre-employment drug screen
  • You must pass the psychological exam


Additional steps to become a correctional officer (Jailer, Prison Guard, Detention Officer):

Step#1: Civil Service Exam:

You must get a satisfactory score on the correctional officer exam. The higher you score on the exam – the better ( we recommend looking over sample questions and answers at this site)

Step #2: Polygraph Test:

You must pass the polygraph test. The polygraph exam is really tricky. Statistics show that 50% of all people who take the polygraph test – fails it. That’s why we recommend reading How To Pass Your Polygraph beforehand.

Step# 3: Correctional Panel Interview:

You must pass the correctional officer oral board interview. We recommend reviewing situational interview questions at this site. It’s a very good corrections interview prep book.

Step #4: Physical Fitness Test: 

You must pass the physical fitness test. Some agencies don’t require a fitness test for their applicants. however a great amount of correctional agencies do. We suggest downloading a comprehensive law enforcement specific workout program here.

Click on the link below to learn more about being a correctional officer in your state:

Alabama AL Montana MT
Alaska AK Nebraska NE
Arizona AZ Nevada NV
Arkansas AR New Hampshire NH
California CA New Jersey NJ
Colorado CO New Mexico NM
Connecticut CT New York NY
Delaware DE North Carolina NC
Florida FL North Dakota ND
Georgia GA Ohio OH
Hawaii HI Oklahoma OK
Idaho ID Oregon OR
Illinois IL Pennsylvania PA
Indiana IN Rhode Island RI
Iowa IA South Carolina SC
Kansas KS South Dakota SD
Kentucky KY Tennessee TN
Louisiana LA Texas TX
Maine ME Utah UT
Maryland MD Vermont VT
Massachusetts MA Virginia VA
Michigan MI Washington WA
Minnesota MN West Virginia WV
Mississippi MS Wisconsin WI
Missouri MO Wyoming WY
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1 Comment on Steps To Become a Correctional Officer, Prison Guard, Jailer

  1. i want to be a correctional officer in houston texas, i was a police officer in another country, tell me what do i have to do, will the experince i have assist me in becoming a correctional officer

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