Becoming a Correctional Officer in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Corrections is consists of three main adult institutions and three minimum-security units in order to best serve the needs of inmates and employees throughout the state. In addition, South Dakota has Federal Prison Camp, Yankton and numerous county jails - all which rely on the Department of Corrections for funding and support. Like most other states, South Dakota operates its own facilities, though hiring third-party contractors to oversee the running of facilities can sometimes be a cost-effective option. Recent numbers show that there is currently 3,651 incarcerated inmates contained in facilities throughout the state, and overseen by 743 correctional officers. National economic statistics forecast that by 2022, the number of officers will grow by 5% or 35 new jobs, not including additional positions opening to meet retirement, advancement, and attrition demands. There's lots to learn about becoming a correctional officer in South Dakota - read on for more information.


Dakota Wesleyan University

1200 W University Ave, Mitchell, SD 57301-4398
Phone: (605) 995-2600

Mount Marty College

1105 W. 8th Street, Yankton, SD 57078-3724
Phone: (800) 658-4552

Western Dakota Technical Institute

800 Mickelson Dr, Rapid City, SD 57703-4018
Phone: (605) 394-4034

University of Sioux Falls

1101 W 22nd St, Sioux Falls, SD 57105-1699
Phone: (605) 331-5000

University of South Dakota

414 E Clark St, Vermillion, SD 57069-2390
Phone: (605) 677-5301

Kilian Community College

300 E. 6th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57103-7020
Phone: (605) 221-3100

Southeast Technical Institute

2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57107-1301
Phone: (605) 367-7624

Sinte Gleska University

E. Highway 18, 101 Antelope Lake Circle, Mission, SD 57555-0105
Phone: (605) 856-8100

South Dakota Correctional Officer Certification Requirements

The South Dakota Department of Corrections has an ongoing recruitment campaign to hire professionally minded men and women for the position of corrections officer. To safeguard employees, prisons, and surrounding communities however, the South Dakota DOC only employs those candidates who are the best fit for the job. In order to ensure that this is the case, the state has in place a multiple stage hiring process that begins with basic eligibility. Do you have proof of the following?

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proof of age (21+) and U.S. citizenship/naturalization
  • No felony convictions
  • No domestic violence convictions
  • Valid South Dakota driver's license
  • If military, DD-214
  • Capability to possess and use a firearm or other weapon

After meeting basic eligibility requirements, the DOC will further subject those successful candidates with a battery of other tests to determine their aptitude for the role of corrections officer:

  • Medical assessment
  • Fitness assessment based on sex and age
  • Mental health assessment
  • Extensive personal, professional, and criminal background check which includes fingerprinting

Applicants who the department's requirements up to this point will be scheduled for an interview and then invited to enrol in the state's training facility for several weeks. Personnel that complete the final training stage will be certified as corrections officers and can be posted to job vacancies as the need arises.

South Dakota Department of Corrections

3200 East Highway 34, c/o 500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3478

South Dakota Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook

Correctional Officer Salary: South Dakota vs National Salary Comparison

Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011

The state Department of Corrections in South Dakota wants growth by citizens who are pursuing careers in state service, namely as front-line correctional officers. At this time, the median income for correctional officers throughout South Dakota is lower at $33,800 than the national median income at $39,800, however professional development can boost base salary quickly. According to occupational data for the state of South Dakota, available at and published by, state trends are predicted to experience an 3% growth rate from now until 2022 as compared to the national growth rate of 5%. This predicted growth pattern translates into 40 new and existing openings annually over the next decade.

Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (

South Dakota Correctional Officer Salaries By Area

The table below lists career information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for correctional officers in South Dakota. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Rapid City200$19.88$41,360