How to Become a Corrections Officer?
Steps to Become a Correctional OfficerIf you're considering starting your Correctional Officer career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Correctional Officer and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Correctional Officer career.
Earn a DegreeTo begin your Correctional Officer career path, a Bachelor's Degree in correctional science or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Correctional Officer internship may be required to earn your Bachelor's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.
What type of degree should you pursue to become a Correctional Officer?
57% of people working as a Correctional Officer earned a Bachelor's Degree
What skills do you need to be a Correctional Officer?
- 24 Hour
- Report Writing
- English Language
- Written Communication
Choose a Specialty in Your FieldAs an Correctional Officer, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Correctional Officer field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Correctional Officer specialty.
Get an Entry-Level Position as a Correctional OfficerOnce you've acquired a Bachelor's Degree in correctional science or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Correctional Officer. In general, you can become a Correctional Officer after completing your 4 year Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Correctional Officer role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified correctional officer.
Advance in Your Correctional Officer CareerFollowing entry-level, there are several Correctional Officer career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Correctional Officer to progress to the senior correctional officer position. Each advanced Correctional Officer position requires approximately 8 years of experience at each level to advance in your Correctional Officer career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Correctional Officer career path.
Continued Education for Your Correctional Officer Career PathNot all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Correctional Officer career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Bachelor's Degree in correctional science can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Bachelor's Degree typically make $61,288 compared to $29,618 for those without that type of degree.
Corrections Officer Career Path
Senior Correctional Officer
Director of Correctional
Total Pay Trajectory
Corrections Officer Career Path
Related Careers in the Military & Protective Services Industry
Interested in other Military & Protective Services careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Corrections Officer skills. Discover some of the most common Corrections Officer career transitions, along with skills overlap.