Becoming a Correctional Officer in Montana

The Department of Corrections is one of Montana's largest employers - with current staffing of approximately 2,380 correctional officers throughout the state, officers commit to performing their duties with a high standard of integrity and impartiality, in a courteous and respectful manner while treating others with dignity and respect at all times. Montana's 3,642 offenders are contained in the state's 6 state-run facilities like Montana State Prison, Montana Women's Prison, and Treasure State Correctional Training center or in one of the state's privately run facilities like the Nexus Treatment Center or the Elkhorn Treatment Center. Persons awaiting incarceration may be held in a county jail. Montana does not have any federal prisons. According to economic forecasts, job growth in the industry is stable at 5%, meaning that by 2022 there will be approximately 119 new jobs created for frontline officers throughout the state. Additional recruitment efforts will focus on replacing retiring or advancing officers. To learn more about this challenging career choice, read on.


Dawson Community College

300 College Dr, Glendive, MT 59330
Phone: (406) 377-3396

University of Great Falls

1301 Twentieth St S, Great Falls, MT 59405-4996
Phone: (406) 761-8210

Blackfeet Community College

504 S. East Boundary, Browning, MT 59417-0819
Phone: (406) 338-5441 x2200

Montana State University - Billings

1500 University Drive, Billings, MT 59101-0298
Phone: (406) 657-2011

Flathead Valley Community College

777 Grandview Dr, Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 756-3822

Montana State University-Northern

300 W 11th St, Havre, MT 59501
Phone: (406) 265-3700

Montana Correctional Officer Certification Requirements

The Department of Corrections in Montana is continually recruiting interested applicants for the position of corrections officer for positions in penitentiaries and jails throughout the state. Working in this dynamic environment means that the state DOC is committed to employing only the fittest candidates for the role in order to ensure the safety of self, others, and communities. The first step in the application process is determining your edibility. Do you have the following?

  • Proof of age (21+)
  • Valid Montana driver's license
  • No felony convictions
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status
  • Proof of military honorable discharge (if applicable)
  • High school diploma or GED or greater
  • Fluent in all aspects of the English language

Candidates who submit the above proofs of eligibility along with a complete and accuracy application will be able to move on to the second tier of assessment by the DOC. These include:

  • Written test of knowledge
  • Fitness and agility test
  • Physical assessment
  • Mental health assessment
  • Extensive background and reference check
  • Interview regarding personal, education, work and military experience

Candidates who have successful scores on their assessment components may be contacted with a conditional offer of employment depending on job vacancies. These candidates are required to attend new recruit basic training at a state facility. Training is an intensive hands-on course for teaching necessary job-skills to corrections officers. Successful graduates will be considered certified as a correctional officer in the state of Montana.

Montana Department of Corrections

5 S. Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT 59620-1301
Phone: (406) 444-3930

Montana Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook

Correctional Officer Salary: Montana vs National Salary Comparison

Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011

The state Department of Corrections in Montana encourages civic-minded citizens to look toward the corrections field for fulfilling and lucrative career opportunities. At this time, the median income for correctional officers throughout Montana is lower than the national average at $33,100, with the national median income at $39,800. According to occupational data for the state of Montana, available at and published by, state trends are predicted to experience a 12% growth curve from now until 2022 as compared to the national growth rate of 5%. This predicted growth pattern translates into 40 new openings and existing vacancies annually.

Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (

Montana Correctional Officer Salaries By Area

The table below lists career information obtained from the BLS for correctional officers in Montana. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary