Becoming a Correctional Officer in South Carolina

Incarcerated offenders in South Carolina's county jails as well as state and federal prisons need accredited correctional officers who value safety - for the public, fellow employees, and inmates - as well as valuing rehabilitation and self-improvement opportunities for inmates. South Carolina's Department of Justice is committed to maintaining facilities in which offenders are provided opportunities for education and betterment during their sentence. Recent data shows that the state employs 7,628 front line corrections officers throughout 24 state facilities and just over 22,000 offenders. Additionally, South Carolina has an extensive network of county jails and 5 federal penitentiaries which also require state support and communications. Some prisons, like the Goodman Correctional Institution, house women only and therefore require proportionally more female correctional officers to fill available roles. Most other prisons in the state house a general population of at a variety of security levels; federal penitentiaries house violent criminals and long-term offenders. This type of structure throughout the corrections system indicates that, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests, the corrections industry is set to grow at a steady pace over the next decade. Newly created positions are expected to account for approximately 380 jobs across the state. Additional jobs will become available as senior staff members retire, switch careers, or move into senior roles. Read more information about the industry below.

27
Schools Analyzed
10
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

University of South Carolina-Lancaster

476 Hubbard Drive, Lancaster, SC 29720

University of South Carolina-Lancaster ranks 1st in our rankings with twenty-four students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 320 students from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 7.50%
  • Program Graduates: 24
  • Total Graduates: 320

School Details

2

Morris College

100 West College Street, Sumter, SC 29150-3599

Morris College ranks 2nd in our rankings with sixteen students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 266 students in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 6.02%
  • Program Graduates: 16
  • Total Graduates: 266

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 4-year
  • Website: morris.edu
  • School Size: Less than 1,000
3

Claflin University

400 Magnolia Street, Orangeburg, SC 29115-4498

Claflin University ranks third in our latest rankings with forty students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 680 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 5.88%
  • Program Graduates: 40
  • Total Graduates: 680

School Details

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

Voorhees College

481 Porter Drive, Denmark, SC 29042

Voorhees College ranks 4th in our rankings with fifteen students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 262 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 5.73%
  • Program Graduates: 15
  • Total Graduates: 262

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 4-year
  • Website: voorhees.edu
  • School Size: Less than 1,000
5

Spartanburg Methodist College

1000 Powell Mill Road, Spartanburg, SC 29301-5899

Spartanburg Methodist College ranks fifth in our latest rankings with twenty-three students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 404 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 5.69%
  • Program Graduates: 23
  • Total Graduates: 404

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 2-year
  • Website: smcsc.edu
  • School Size: Less than 1,000
6

Benedict College

1600 Harden Street, Columbia, SC 29204-1086

Benedict College ranks sixth in our latest rankings with 37 students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 754 students in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.91%
  • Program Graduates: 37
  • Total Graduates: 754

School Details

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

Citadel Military College of South Carolina

171 Moultrie St, Charleston, SC 29409

Citadel Military College of South Carolina ranks seventh in our rankings with seventy-three students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 1,736 students from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.21%
  • Program Graduates: 73
  • Total Graduates: 1,736

School Details

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

Charleston Southern University

9200 University Blvd, Charleston, SC 29406-9121

Charleston Southern University ranks eighth in our latest rankings with 52 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total a thousand students.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.19%
  • Program Graduates: 52
  • Total Graduates: 1,240

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 4-year
  • Website: csuniv.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
9

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College

3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29118-8299

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College ranks ninth in our rankings with 34 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total a thousand graduates.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.31%
  • Program Graduates: 34
  • Total Graduates: 1,026

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website: octech.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
10

South Carolina State University

300 College St NE, Orangeburg, SC 29117-0001

South Carolina State University ranks tenth in our rankings with forty-two students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 1,428 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 2.94%
  • Program Graduates: 42
  • Total Graduates: 1,428

School Details

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

Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in South Carolina

ProgramWebsite

Limestone College

1115 College Drive, Gaffney, SC 29340-3799
Phone: (800) 795-7151 x0

Anderson University

316 Boulevard, Anderson, SC 29621-4035
Phone: (864) 231-2000

University of South Carolina-Upstate

800 University Way, Spartanburg, SC 29303-4999
Phone: (864) 503-5000

Denmark Technical College

1126 Solomon Blatt Blvd, Denmark, SC 29042
Phone: (803) 793-5100

Northeastern Technical College

1201 Chesterfield Hwy., Cheraw, SC 29520
Phone: (843) 921-6900

York Technical College

452 S Anderson Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29730
Phone: (803) 327-8000

Trident Technical College

7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29423-8067
Phone: (843) 574-6111

Tri-County Technical College

7900 U.S. Hwy 76, Pendleton, SC 29670
Phone: (864) 646-1500

Aiken Technical College

2276 Jefferson Davis Highway, Graniteville, SC 29829
Phone: (803) 508-7263

Midlands Technical College

1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176
Phone: (803) 738-8324

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

2050 Highway 501 East, Conway, SC 29526
Phone: (843) 347-3186

Piedmont Technical College

620 North Emerald Road, Greenwood, SC 29646
Phone: (864) 941-8324

Technical College of the Lowcountry

921 Ribaut Road, Beaufort, SC 29901-1288
Phone: (800) 768-8252

University of South Carolina-Columbia

Columbia-Campus, Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: (803) 777-7000

Greenville Technical College

738 S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, SC 29607-2418
Phone: (864) 250-8000

Central Carolina Technical College

506 N Guignard Dr, Sumter, SC 29150-2499
Phone: (803) 778-1961

Lander University

320 Stanley Avenue, Greenwood, SC 29649-2099
Phone: (864) 388-8000

South Carolina Correctional Officer Certification Requirements

The Department of Corrections in South Carolina continually recruits men and women that have an interest in becoming corrections officers throughout the state. These people must be excellent communicators, career-minded, and ready for a life of public service in a challenging environment. South Carolina's hiring policy is to employ only the best candidates for state jobs, therefore candidates pass through a several-stage hiring process in order to determine their fit for the role. To begin, applicants must provide proof of the following:

  • U.S. citizenship or U.S. naturalization
  • Valid South Carolina driver's license
  • Proof of age (21+)
  • No domestic violence or felony convictions
  • Proof of honorable discharge (DD-214) if applicable

Applicants that meet the initial eligibility requirements will be contacted to submit for more testing. At this phase, testing will include:

  • Fitness assessment based on age and gender
  • Extensive criminal, personal and professional background investigation
  • Drug testing
  • Medical examination
  • Mental health examination
  • An on-site interview

Candidates who are the most qualified will be invited to enrol in the state's new officer academy training program. The program is designed to prepare candidates by teaching a variety of necessary skills for the role of corrections officer. Completion of the training phase allows candidates to graduate as certified corrections officers and seek postings within the state.

South Carolina Department of Corrections

P. O. Box 21787, 4444 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC 29210
Phone: (803) 896-8500
http://www.doc.sc.gov/pubweb/

South Carolina Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook

Correctional Officer Salary: South Carolina vs National Salary Comparison

Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011

South Carolina's State Department of Justice is committed to ensuring growth and development for the state's correctional officer field. The median income for this role throughout the state is $29,700, compared to the national median income level of $39,800; that is, considerably lower. According to the employment profile for the state, published by CareerInfoNet.org at http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=011000000&jobfam=33&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=333012&menuMode=&stfips=45&x=69&y=12 state and national trends predict a 2% increase and 5% increase respectively in correctional jobs by the year 2022. In South Carolina, this translates to 220 jobs per year, in both newly created roles and existing vacancies.

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

South Carolina Correctional Officer Salaries By Area

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

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Columbia1,970$14.54$30,240
Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville800$15.68$32,610
Greenville, Mauldin, Easley480$15.14$31,490
Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Conway200$12.30$25,580
Florence100$13.45$27,970