Becoming a Correctional Officer in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is divides their inmate population based on the needs and offences of the incarcerated offenders. If permitted, inmates are placed in the facility that may remedy the underlying causes of their offense in the hope that they can be effectively rehabilitated. Once there, they are supervised by the state's 14,893 correctional officers who oversee educational, health, confinement, and leisure activities. As well as placement in a state prison like SCI Huntingdon or SCI Rockview, inmates may be placed in federal custody at Federal Correctional Institution, Schuylkill or in the state's extensive network of county jails. All use state resources to function and communicate effectively between facilities. As of recent figures, the state of Pennsylvania has 50,312 incarcerated inmates across 27 state prisons; because of the growing prison population and its diverse needs, state and federal economists predict that the demand for qualified personnel will continue to rise by approximately 5% over the next decade to reach 2,799 officers. As such, the state Department of Correction is recruiting men and women for front line correctional officer positions. Interested parties must meet the department's hiring criteria, and be prepared for intensive on-the-job training. Read further on this page about how correctional officers can make a difference while advancing through a dynamic career.

66
Schools Analyzed
20
Schools Ranked

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:

Data Sources

  • 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).

1

Valley Forge Military College

1001 Eagle Rd, Wayne, PA 19087-3695

Valley Forge Military College ranks 1st in our rankings with nineteen students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total eighty-six graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 22.09%
  • Program Graduates: 19
  • Total Graduates: 86

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 2-year
  • Website: vfmac.edu
  • School Size: Less than 1,000
2

Lackawanna College

501 Vine St, Scranton, PA 18509-3206

Lackawanna College ranks 2nd in our latest rankings with 117 students completing programs in criminal justice and criminal justice out of a total 812 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 14.41%
  • Program Graduates: 117
  • Total Graduates: 812
  • Programs:
    • Criminal Justice
    • Police Science

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 2-year
  • Website: lackawanna.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
3

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Wilkes-Barre

Old Route 115, Lehman, PA 18627-0217

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Wilkes-Barre ranks 3rd in our rankings with 31 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 216 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 14.35%
  • Program Graduates: 31
  • Total Graduates: 216

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website: wb.psu.edu
  • School Size: Less than 1,000
4

Mercyhurst University-North East Campus

16 W Division St, North East, PA 16428

Mercyhurst University-North East Campus ranks 4th in our rankings with ninety-nine students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 758 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 13.06%
  • Program Graduates: 99
  • Total Graduates: 758

School Details

5

Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center

445 Schoolhouse Rd, Johnstown, PA 15904-2998

Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center ranks 5th in our rankings with thirty-one students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 546 students.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 5.68%
  • Program Graduates: 31
  • Total Graduates: 546

School Details

  • School Type: Public, <2-year
  • Website: gjctc.org
  • School Size: Less than 1,000
6

Thiel College

75 College Ave, Greenville, PA 16125-2181

Thiel College ranks 6th in our latest rankings with twenty students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 358 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 5.59%
  • Program Graduates: 20
  • Total Graduates: 358

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 4-year
  • Website: thiel.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
7

Keystone College

One College Green, La Plume, PA 18440-0200

Keystone College ranks 7th in our rankings with 33 students completing programs in corrections, criminal justice, and law enforcement administration out of a total 596 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 5.54%
  • Program Graduates: 33
  • Total Graduates: 596
  • Programs:
    • Law Enforcement Administration
    • Criminal Justice
    • Corrections

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 4-year
  • Website: keystone.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
8

Delaware County Community College

901 S Media Line Rd, Media, PA 19063-1094

Delaware County Community College ranks 8th in our rankings with 161 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 3,216 graduates.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 5.01%
  • Program Graduates: 161
  • Total Graduates: 3,216

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website: dccc.edu
  • School Size: 10,000 - 20,000
9

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

Academy Street, Mansfield, PA 16933

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania ranks 9th in our latest rankings with 62 students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 1,404 students in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.42%
  • Program Graduates: 62
  • Total Graduates: 1,404

School Details

10

Lock Haven University

401 North Fairview Street, Lock Haven, PA 17745-2390

Lock Haven University ranks tenth in our latest rankings with ninety-nine students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total two thousand graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.38%
  • Program Graduates: 99
  • Total Graduates: 2,258

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website: lhup.edu
  • School Size: 5,000 - 10,000
11

University of Pittsburgh-Bradford

300 Campus Drive, Bradford, PA 16701

University of Pittsburgh-Bradford ranks 11th in our latest rankings with twenty-nine students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 702 students in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.13%
  • Program Graduates: 29
  • Total Graduates: 702

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website: upb.pitt.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
12

Point Park University

201 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1984

Point Park University ranks twelfth in our rankings with seventy-three students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total a thousand graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.00%
  • Program Graduates: 73
  • Total Graduates: 1,824

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 4-year
  • Website: pointpark.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
13

Lincoln University

1570 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln University, PA 19352-0999

Lincoln University ranks thirteenth in our rankings with 37 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 972 students from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.81%
  • Program Graduates: 37
  • Total Graduates: 972

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website: lincoln.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
14

Northampton County Area Community College

3835 Green Pond Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18020-7599

Northampton County Area Community College ranks 14th in our rankings with 135 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 3,550 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.80%
  • Program Graduates: 135
  • Total Graduates: 3,550

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website: northampton.edu
  • School Size: 10,000 - 20,000
15

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania ranks 15th in our latest rankings with 143 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total three thousand students.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.66%
  • Program Graduates: 143
  • Total Graduates: 3,908

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website: ship.edu
  • School Size: 5,000 - 10,000
16

York College of Pennsylvania

441 Country Club Rd, York, PA 17403-3651

York College Pennsylvania ranks sixteenth in our rankings with 78 students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 2,142 students in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.64%
  • Program Graduates: 78
  • Total Graduates: 2,142

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 4-year
  • Website: ycp.edu
  • School Size: 5,000 - 10,000
17

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

101 Community College Way, Johnstown, PA 15904

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is a public, 2-year college located in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The college offers associate's degrees as well as certificates in a variety of disciplines and focuses on offering affordable and accessible education options to its students. Applicants who are seeking a career in law enforcement or corrections are encouraged to apply to the college's department of Criminal Justice. Successful graduates will be able to apply to the state's recruitment departments for corrections and other law enforcement career paths.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.57%
  • Program Graduates: 17
  • Total Graduates: 476
  • Programs:
    • Corrections
    • Law Enforcement Administration

School Details

18

Alvernia University

400 Saint Bernardine St, Reading, PA 19607-1799

Alvernia University ranks 18th in our latest rankings with forty-seven students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total a thousand graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.50%
  • Program Graduates: 47
  • Total Graduates: 1,342

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 4-year
  • Website: alvernia.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
19

Community College of Beaver County

1 Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588

Community College of Beaver County ranks 19th in our rankings with 33 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 948 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.48%
  • Program Graduates: 33
  • Total Graduates: 948

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website: ccbc.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
20

University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg

150 Finoli Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601-5860

University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg ranks 20th in our rankings with eighteen students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 544 students from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.31%
  • Program Graduates: 18
  • Total Graduates: 544

School Details

Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in Pennsylvania

ProgramWebsite

King's College

133 N River St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711-0801
Phone: (570) 208-5900

DeSales University

2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034-9568
Phone: (610) 282-1100

Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg

1 HACC Dr., Harrisburg, PA 17110-2999
Phone: (717) 780-2300

Lehigh Carbon Community College

4525 Education Park Dr, Schnecksville, PA 18078-2598
Phone: (610) 799-2121

Luzerne County Community College

1333 South Prospect Street, Nanticoke, PA 18634-3899
Phone: (570) 740-0200

Neumann University

One Neumann Drive, Aston, PA 19014-1298
Phone: (610) 459-0905

Chestnut Hill College

9601 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118-2693
Phone: (215) 248-7000

Community College of Philadelphia

1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130-3991
Phone: (215) 751-8000

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Fayette- Eberly

2201 University Drive, Lemont Furnace, PA 15456-1025
Phone: (724) 430-4100

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

15200 Kutztown Rd, Kutztown, PA 19530-0730
Phone: (610) 683-4000

Mercyhurst University

501 E 38th St, Erie, PA 16546
Phone: (814) 824-2000

Butler County Community College

107 College Drive, Butler, PA 16002
Phone: (724) 287-8711

La Roche College

9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5898
Phone: (412) 367-9300

Westmoreland County Community College

145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895
Phone: (724) 925-4000

Reading Area Community College

10 S Second St, Reading, PA 19603-1706
Phone: (610) 372-4721

California University of Pennsylvania

250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394
Phone: (724) 938-4400

Bucks County Community College

275 Swamp Rd, Newtown, PA 18940-4106
Phone: (215) 968-8000

Mount Aloysius College

7373 Admiral Peary Hwy, Cresson, PA 16630-1999
Phone: (814) 886-4131

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

219 Meadville Street, Edinboro, PA 16444-0001
Phone: (814) 732-2000

Gannon University

109 W Sixth St, Erie, PA 16541-0001
Phone: (814) 871-7000

Waynesburg University

51 W College St, Waynesburg, PA 15370-1257
Phone: (724) 627-8191

Holy Family University

9801 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114-2009
Phone: (215) 637-7700

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

400 E Second St, Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Phone: (570) 389-4000

Delaware Valley College

700 E Butler Ave, Doylestown, PA 18901-2697
Phone: (215) 345-1500

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

University Avenue and High Street, West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: (610) 436-1000

Harcum College

750 Montgomery Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-3470
Phone: (610) 525-4100

Montgomery County Community College

340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422-0796
Phone: (215) 641-6300

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

200 Prospect Street, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301-2999
Phone: (570) 422-3211

Gwynedd Mercy University

1325 Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437-0901
Phone: (215) 646-7300

Marywood University

2300 Adams Ave, Scranton, PA 18509-1598
Phone: (570) 348-6211

Temple University

1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096
Phone: (215) 204-7000

Community College of Allegheny County

800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895
Phone: (412) 323-2323

Rosemont College

1400 Montgomery Ave, Rosemont, PA 19010-1699
Phone: (610) 527-0200

La Salle University

1900 W Olney Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19141-1199
Phone: (215) 951-1000

University of Scranton

800 Linden Street, Scranton, PA 18510-4629
Phone: (570) 941-7400

Messiah College

One College Ave, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Phone: (717) 766-2511

Seton Hill University

1 Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601
Phone: (724) 834-2200

Widener University-Main Campus

One University Place, Chester, PA 19013-5792
Phone: (610) 499-4000

Wilkes University

84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
Phone: (570) 408-5000

Saint Francis University

117 Evergreen Dr, Loretto, PA 15940
Phone: (814) 472-3000

Villanova University

800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085-1699
Phone: (610) 519-4500

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

840 Wood St, Clarion, PA 16214
Phone: (814) 393-2000

Immaculata University

1145 King Rd, Immaculata, PA 19345-0702
Phone: (610) 647-4400

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: (412) 624-4141

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

1 Morrow Way, Slippery Rock, PA 16057-1383
Phone: (724) 738-9000

Drexel University

3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 895-2000

Pennsylvania Correctional Officer Certification Requirements

The Department of Corrections in Pennsylvania advertises on a regular basis for is continually advertising for qualified men and women to fulfill the role of corrections officer. This is a challenging position and thus the state government is committed to ensuring that only those candidates who meet or exceed all requirements should be awarded with positions. The process begins with eligibility requirements to determine if a candidate can even apply. Candidates should be ready to submit:

  • A complete and accurate application
  • Proof of age
  • No felony convictions
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status
  • Valid Michigan driver's license
  • Proof of military honorable discharge
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Fluent in all aspects of the English language

Having met the above eligibility criteria, candidates may prepare themselves for more rigorous assessments, designed to determine if a candidate is physically and mentally able to fill the role of corrections officer. They are as follows:

  • Physical agility test
  • Physical assessment
  • Mental health assessment
  • Fingerprinting
  • Written test of knowledge

Background check to disclose personal, education, work and military experience

Candidates who have passed the assessments may be offered up to a year of on the job training in order to learn skills such as inmate behaviour, facility policy, and emergency procedures. Only candidates who pass all aspects of training will be retained after the training period is finished.

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Phone: (717) 728-5357
http://www.cor.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/department_of_corrections/4604

Pennsylvania Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook

Correctional Officer Salary: Pennsylvania vs National Salary Comparison

Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011

The state Department of Corrections in Pennsylvania encourages civic-minded citizens to look toward the field of corrections for fulfilling and lucrative career opportunities. At this time, the median income for correctional officers throughout Pennsylvania is higher than the national average at $48,000, with the national median income at $39,800. According to occupational data for the state, available at http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=011000000&jobfam=33&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=333012&menuMode=&stfips=42&x=64&y=9 and published by CareerInfoNet.org, state trends are predicted to experience a 2% growth curve from now until 2022 as compared to the national growth rate of 5%. This predicted growth pattern translates into 500 new openings and existing vacancies to be filled annually.

Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm)

Pennsylvania Correctional Officer Salaries By Area

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

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Philadelphia3,350$22.46$46,710
Pittsburgh1,540$25.07$52,140
Scranton, , Wilkes, Barre910$25.12$52,250
Harrisburg, Carlisle690$24.91$51,820
Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton540$23.80$49,510
Johnstown190$21.49$44,700