Becoming a Correctional Officer in Washington

The Department of Corrections in Washington State has a mandate to foster success through competency, accountability and ethics in the workplace. The state funds and controls prison facilities at the county, state, and federal tiers (Federal Penitentiary at SeaTac). County jails like Ferry County Jail and the Kent City Jail exist to intake pre-sentenced offenders and to manage short-term incarcerations. Whereas state prisons like Airway Heights, Cedar Creek, and the Washington Corrections Center are designed to accommodate more security measures and longer incarcerations. Currently through all facilities, there are 16,488 inmates supervised by 8,870 male and female correctional officers. As the field of corrections evolves toward crime prevention by avoiding re-offense, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be an increase of almost 450 new jobs in the industry by the year 2022. If a dynamic career with advancement opportunities interests you, read on for more information regarding the corrections industry in Washington State.

24
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

Central Washington University

400 East University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7501

Central Washington University ranks 1st in our latest rankings with 239 students graduating from programs in corrections and criminal justice out of a total six thousand students from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.76%
  • Program Graduates: 239
  • Total Graduates: 6,356
  • Programs:
    • Corrections
    • Criminal Justice
    • Police Science

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website: cwu.edu
  • School Size: 10,000 - 20,000
2

Saint Martin's University

5000 Abbey Way SE, Lacey, WA 98503-7500

Saint Martin's University ranks 2nd in our latest rankings with thirty students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 934 graduates.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.21%
  • Program Graduates: 30
  • Total Graduates: 934

School Details

  • School Type: Private, 4-year
  • Website: stmartin.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
3

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom

9401 Farwest Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98498-1999

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom ranks 3rd in our latest rankings with eighty-three students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 2,782 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 2.98%
  • Program Graduates: 83
  • Total Graduates: 2,782

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website: pierce.ctc.edu
  • School Size: 5,000 - 10,000
4

University of Washington-Tacoma Campus

1900 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA 98402-3100

University of Washington-Tacoma Campus ranks 4th in our latest rankings with 66 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total two thousand students from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 2.42%
  • Program Graduates: 66
  • Total Graduates: 2,730

School Details

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

Wenatchee Valley College

1300 Fifth St, Wenatchee, WA 98801-1799

Located in Wenatchee, Washington, Wenatchee Valley College is a 2-year public college with an enrollment of 3,350 students. Offering a variety of certifications and degree options, students choose Wenatchee in order to prepare for career transitions, or to further their education. the Department of Criminal Justice at Wenatchee invites those students interested in a correctional officer career to contact the department to learn more about the combination of practical and academic learning that makes Wenatchee graduates so successful in the workplace.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 2.17%
  • Program Graduates: 46
  • Total Graduates: 2,124
  • Programs:
    • Corrections
    • Police Science

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website: wvc.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
6

Heritage University

3240 Fort Rd, Toppenish, WA 98948

Heritage University ranks sixth in our latest rankings with 12 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 612 students in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 1.96%
  • Program Graduates: 12
  • Total Graduates: 612

School Details

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

Yakima Valley Community College

South 16th Ave. & Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima, WA 98907-2520

Yakima Valley Community College ranks seventh in our latest rankings with 41 students graduating from programs in criminal justice and law enforcement administration out of a total two thousand students.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 1.71%
  • Program Graduates: 41
  • Total Graduates: 2,392
  • Programs:
    • Law Enforcement Administration
    • Police Science

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website: yvcc.edu
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000
8

Centralia College

600 Centralia College Blvd., Centralia, WA 98531-4099

Centralia College ranks eighth in our rankings with 24 students completing programs in criminal justice and law enforcement administration out of a total a thousand students in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 1.48%
  • Program Graduates: 24
  • Total Graduates: 1,618
  • Programs:
    • Law Enforcement Administration
    • Police Science

School Details

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

Washington State University

French Administration Building, Pullman, WA 99164-5910

Washington State University ranks 9th in our rankings with 180 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 13,686 graduates.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 1.32%
  • Program Graduates: 180
  • Total Graduates: 13,686

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website: crmj.wsu.edu
  • School Size: More than 20,000
10

Seattle University

900 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122-4340

Seattle University ranks tenth in our rankings with 61 students completing programs in criminalistics and criminal science and criminal justice out of a total four thousand graduates.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 1.28%
  • Program Graduates: 61
  • Total Graduates: 4,760
  • Programs:
    • Criminal Justice
    • Criminalistics And Criminal Science

School Details

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

Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in Washington

ProgramWebsite

Spokane Community College

1810 North Greene Street, Spokane, WA 99217-5399
Phone: (509) 533-8020

Gonzaga University

E 502 Boone Ave, Spokane, WA 99258-0001
Phone: (509) 328-4220

Grays Harbor College

1620 Edward P Smith Drive, Aberdeen, WA 98520-7599
Phone: (360) 532-9020

Skagit Valley College

2405 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: (360) 416-7600

Lower Columbia College

1600 Maple Street, Longview, WA 98632-0310
Phone: (360) 442-2311

Columbia Basin College

2600 N 20th Ave, Pasco, WA 99301
Phone: (509) 547-0511

Green River Community College

12401 SE 320th St, Auburn, WA 98092-3622
Phone: (253) 833-9111

Shoreline Community College

16101 Greenwood Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133-5696
Phone: (206) 546-4101

Peninsula College

1502 E Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles, WA 98362
Phone: (360) 452-9277

Highline Community College

2400 S 240th St, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800
Phone: (206) 878-3710

Bellevue College

3000 Landerholm Cir SE, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484
Phone: (425) 564-1000

Whatcom Community College

237 W Kellogg Rd, Bellingham, WA 98226
Phone: (360) 383-3000

Pierce College at Puyallup

1601 39th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98374-2222
Phone: (253) 840-8400

Olympic College

1600 Chester Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337-1699
Phone: (360) 792-6050

Washington Correctional Officer Certification Requirements

The Department of Corrections in Washington State has an continual recruitment campaign in order to connect qualified men and women with dynamic careers as corrections officers. The state commits to ensuring that only the most successful applicants are awarded positions - this ensures personal, workplace, and community safety. In order to ensure candidate best matches, the state starts with basic eligibility requirements:

  • Proof of age (21+)
  • Possess a Washington State driver's licence
  • Possess a High School Diploma or GED
  • Have no felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Proof of DD-214 discharge if applicable

Applicants who are successful at this point will continue to the testing portion of the hiring process, engaging in:

  • Written test
  • Physical assessment
  • Fitness testing
  • Drug screening
  • Fingerprinting
  • Background and profession checks that may span a candidate's entire work history
  • An in-person interview with correctional personnel

Applicants whose scores meet the DOC criteria will be invited to enrol in the DOC Basic Officer Training program. Hiring is conditional upon successful completion of the program; candidates who are not successful are not able to secure a position with the state but are welcome to reapply.

Washington State Department of Corrections

7345 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501-6504
Phone: (360) 725-8213
http://www.doc.wa.gov/

Washington Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook

Correctional Officer Salary: Washington vs National Salary Comparison

Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011

Washington's State Department of Justice is committed to ensuring growth and development for the state's correctional officers. Median income for this role throughout the state is $46,700 compared to the national median income level of $39,800. According to the employment profile for Washington 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=53&x=70&y=18 state and national trends predict a 5% increase in correctional jobs by the year 2022. In the state of Washington, this nets a positive growth curve of 200 jobs from year to year, both in newly created vacancies and in vacancies from senior officers who advance or retire.

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

Washington Correctional Officer Salaries By Area

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

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Seattle, Bellevue, Everett1,900$26.65$55,430
Tacoma530$26.70$55,530
Kennewick, Pasco, Richland490$21.90$45,550
Yakima200$29.01$60,350
Bremerton, Silverdale120$26.07$54,220
Wenatchee, East Wenatchee90$21.11$43,920