Correctional officers must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. They then go through a training academy and are assigned to a facility for on-the-job training. Some facilities also require some college education or work experience, but law enforcement or military experience may be substituted for this requirement.
Correctional officers may complete a variety of certifications that provide additional resources for their daily work. These certifications also are a means to further the officers’ careers because they may lead to promotions. Qualified officers may advance to the position of correctional sergeant, who is responsible for maintaining security and directing the activities of other officers. Qualified officers also can be promoted to supervisory or administrative positions, including warden. Officers sometimes transfer to related jobs, such as probation officer, parole officer, or correctional treatment specialist.
What are Correctional Officers like?
Based on our pool of users, correctional officers tend to be predominately investigative people.
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Correctional Officers by Strongest Interest Archetype
Based on sample of 344 Sokanu users
Are Correctional Officers happy?
Correctional officers rank
among the least happy
careers. Overall they rank in the 2nd percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.
Correctional Officer Career Satisfaction by Dimension
Percentile among all careers
Education History of Correctional Officers
The most common degree held by correctional officers is Criminal Justice.
10% of correctional officers had a degree in criminal justice before becoming correctional officers. That is over 9 times the average across all careers.
Psychology graduates are the second most common among correctional officers, representing 5% of correctional officers in the Sokanu user base, which is 0.9 times the average.
Correctional Officer Education History
This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Correctional Officer, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.