The Iowa Department of Corrections has a mandate to safely guide offenders back into the community while protecting the public, staff, and other offenders through a variety of techniques and systems. The Department of Corrections is one of the largest state employers - its front line corrections officers supervise basic education, mental health, life skills, remediation, and work experiences while on the job. As the field grows over the next ten years, Iowa will require additional human resources in order to meet this need. Currently, there are 3,001 male and female front line correctional officers employed in Iowa prisons; the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the number of new positions will increase by approximately 150 roles over the next 10 years. Additionally, the Department of Corrections will be hiring to fill positions due to retirement, attrition, and professional development during this time. Scroll on for more information regarding a correctional officer job in Iowa.
Top Schools Supporting Careers in Criminal Justice & Corrections
The following rankings are based on student data, published surveys, and other school and career data collected from several sources which include the following government agencies:
- National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
- The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
By obtaining our base data set from the above data sources, schools were ranked using the criteria below:
- Schools with less than 10 total graduates per year were omitted in order to maintain statistical integrity
- Schools must have at least 1 graduate in the field of criminal justice
- Only 4-year, 2-year, and technical public and private non-profit schools were included
Schools were sorted in order of the highest percentage of total students graduating with a degree in the field of criminal justice (CIPCODES: 43.0102, 43.0110, 43.0113, 43.0103, 43.0104, 43.0107, 43.0109, 43.0111, 43.0112, 43.0199).
University of Dubuque
University of Dubuque ranks 1st in our rankings with thirty-six students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 986 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
Buena Vista University
Buena Vista University ranks second in our latest rankings with sixty-two students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total two thousand students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Saint Ambrose University
Saint Ambrose University ranks 3rd in our latest rankings with fifty-eight students graduating from programs in criminalistics and criminal science and criminal justice out of a total two thousand students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Simpson College ranks fourth in our rankings with thirty students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total a thousand graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
Iowa Wesleyan College
Iowa Wesleyan College ranks 5th in our latest rankings with 9 students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 364 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Southeastern Community College
Southeastern Community College ranks 6th in our latest rankings with 24 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total a thousand graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
Mount Mercy University
Mount Mercy University ranks seventh in our rankings with twenty-four students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total a thousand students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Briar Cliff University
Briar Cliff University ranks 8th in our latest rankings with 7 students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 518 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Central Community College ranks ninth in our rankings with twenty-nine students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total two thousand graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
William Penn University
William Penn University ranks tenth in our latest rankings with 11 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 960 graduates.
Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in Iowa
Hawkeye Community College
1501 E Orange Rd, Waterloo, IA 50701
Phone: (319) 296-2320
1450 Alta Vista, Dubuque, IA 52004-0178
Phone: (563) 588-7100
Grand View University
1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316
Phone: (515) 263-2800
North Iowa Area Community College
500 College Dr, Mason City, IA 50401
Phone: (641) 423-1264
Des Moines Area Community College
2006 Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023-3993
Phone: (515) 964-6241
Indian Hills Community College
525 Grandview Ave, Ottumwa, IA 52501
Phone: (641) 683-5111
Western Iowa Tech Community College
4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, IA 51102-5199
Phone: (712) 274-6400
498 4th Ave NE, Sioux Center, IA 51250-1697
Phone: (712) 722-6000
Iowa Lakes Community College
19 S 7th St, Estherville, IA 51334-2295
Phone: (712) 362-2601
Marshalltown Community College
3700 S Center St, Marshalltown, IA 50158
Phone: (641) 752-7106
Graceland University - Lamoni
1 University Place, Lamoni, IA 50140
Phone: (641) 784-5000
Kirkwood Community College
6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068
Phone: (319) 398-5411
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Iowa Correctional Officer Certification Requirements
The state Department of Corrections in Iowa is continually campaigning to recruit professional and motivated people to become corrections officers. Because of the various challenges in this role, the Department of Corrections has deemed it mandatory that all recruits meet the eligibility and aptitude requirements in order to ensure the safety of their colleagues and surrounding communities. Eligibility requirements include:
A completed, accurate application form
- Proof of age
- Valid Iowa driver's license
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- High school diploma or GED
- Proof of honorable discharge (DD-214) if applicable
After submitting the application package, candidates may be invited to participate in the assessment process. Applicants will be required to complete the following in order to ensure that they are a good fit for the role of corrections officer:
- Written comprehension test
- Physical ability test
- Mental health test
- Extensive background screening and fingerprinting
If candidates scores are acceptable to the department, they may await contact for an interview before being extended an offer of employment. Please note that that the offer is conditional upon successful completion of the new recruit basic training that takes place over a period of weeks at a state correctional facility.
Iowa Department of Corrections
510 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: (515) 725-5701
Iowa Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook
Correctional Officer Salary: Iowa vs National Salary Comparison
Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011
The state of Iowa is committed to serve and support correctional facilities in the state by encouraging growth in the field. To this end, the median income for front-line correctional officers throughout the state is higher at $49,100 than the median national income of $39,800. CareerInfoNet.org has published state and national trends at http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=011000000&jobfam=33&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=333012&menuMode=&stfips=19&x=39&y=13 which predict that growth in Iowa at 5% from now until 2022 is exactly on par with the national growth trend. The predicted job growth translates into approximately 100 jobs annually in the form of newly created openings and existing vacancies over the next decade.
Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm)
Iowa Correctional Officer Salaries By Area
The table below lists career information retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for correctional officers in Iowa. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Davenport, Moline, Rock Island||430||$26.95||$56,060|
|Des Moines, West Des Moines||420||$24.07||$50,060|
|Waterloo, Cedar Falls||140||$20.24||$42,110|