Correctional Officer Career Information

Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing inmates in local, state, and federal jails and prisons. They maintain order within these facilities by enforcing the rules and regulations of the institution.

Correctional officers must monitor the activities of the incarcerated in order to prevent disturbances, assaults, and escapes. Correctional officers may be responsible for assisting in the investigation of any crimes that are committed within the facility.

Correctional officers can become members of specialty units, such as tactical response teams, canine, gang units, or fugitive task forces after specific training.

Median Annual Salary


Education Requirements

A high school diploma or graduation equivalency degree is required for all positions. Specific states may require additional college credit to qualify as an applicant; however, law enforcement or military experience can often be substituted for this requirement.

Important Note: The Federal Bureau of Prisons requires most applicants to possess a bachelor’s degree.

Job Outlook & Employment

Overall opportunities at correctional institutions will be excellent for individuals who meet the standards of physical fitness and possess a degree or college credits. Expected population growth and rising rates of incarceration will continue to increase the demand for correctional officers.