Correctional Careers

Serve the community and keep the public safe with one of the many careers in the field of Corrections.


Criminal Justice Degrees

A degree in criminal justice opens doors in a wide variety of fields. Explore programs that are best suited for your chosen career.


Correctional Officer Test

Prepare for the correctional officer exam and review helpful tips about the application process.

Correctional Agencies- Protecting Our Communities

It’s an unfortunate fact - the prison population in the United States is the largest in the world - by a wide margin. United States prisons alone, account for over 25% of the world's prison population.

Correctional Officers, who are the center piece of the correctional system, are responsible for protecting the public by ensuring that federal inmates serve their sentences, that correctional facilities are secure, and that inmates are able to successfully re-enter the community upon release. With the number of people under supervision- either as inmates or parolees- expected to remain near record levels across the country, the impact of correctional officers on the criminal justice system is immeasurably large.



Finding Correctional Officer Degrees & Programs

Correctional departments and law enforcement agencies like to see candidates with some formal education and training. Programs catering to aspiring correctional officers combine principles of the criminal justice system, sociology, psychology and the legal system with practical training in techniques for crime detection and the handling of inmates. With potentially hundreds of programs available nationwide, we aim to help students find programs by offering in-depth school rankings for important criteria, such as popularity, affordability and return on investment. See rankings.


Careers in Corrections

Often the face of a correctional facility, the correctional officer is one of the most recognizable career choices for those who want to make a difference in the justice system or in the field of public safety. And while a large percentage of those employed by correctional departments are officers responsible for the custody of inmates, an equally large number come from professional backgrounds outside of criminal justice or law enforcement, including areas like health care, legal services, administration, social services, and engineering. Explore information about the wide array of careers available in both the community correctional arena and institutional correctional facilities:
  • +Loss Prevention Agent

    A loss prevention manager, also known as a loss prevention agent, works to protect a company’s assets against theft or other loss. In a corporate setting, a manager may be in charge of detecting and reducing employee theft. In a retail setting, the agent may be in charge of programs to reduce or diminish losses or theft such as shoplifting. The minimum educational requirements needed to be employed as a loss prevention manager vary depending upon the employer, but rarely include any formal education beyond the high school level.

    In 2019, the estimated annual wage for security guards was $33,030. The top 10 percent in the field earned more than $50,310.

    (May 2019, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics salary estimates for loss prevention agents are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed November 2020.)

    Additional Resources:
    Loss Prevention Manager- Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Loss Prevention Foundation


Life on the Job: Expert Advice for Seasoned Officers and New Candidates

We provide the answers -sourced from experts in the field- to a full array of important questions posed by candidates seeking employment and officers already progressing in their career. If you only have a few minutes to spend reading about the profession, start here.

+Q.What is the formal approach to resolving issues in the workplace?


If an officer is dealing with an issue in the workplace, what is the formal approach to finding resolution? Read more...

+Q.How to address a co-worker's use of your first name around offenders...


Frankly, there is no place for informality in the corrections setting (other than perhaps locker-room banter among colleagues who tacitly agree to the casual nature). Read more...

+Q.What is it like to work as a correctional officer?


Spend a day shadowing an officer, or listen to the stories from officers in the field, and you will quickly learn that working in corrections is a tough job.  Read more...

+Q.How do I get hired as a correctional officer?


Candidates for correctional officer positions face a rigorous selection process that includes a written examination, physical test, and several other components intended to verify the applicants’ eligibility. Applicants must pass all components of the selection process to be hired.  Read more...

+Q.What are the education requirements to become a Correctional Officer?


Correctional officers are employed by federal, state, and local governments. This is meaningful because the educational requirements to become a correctional officer vary depending upon what level of government or state in which you wish to work.  Read more...

+Q.What are the minimum requirements to become a correctional officer?


If you are considering a career as a correctional officer, it is essential that you become familiar with the minimum requirements of the system in which you wish to work.  The Federal Prison System and each state all have different employment standards.  Read more...

+Q.What are the duties of a correctional officer?


In 2012, there were approximately 469,500 correctional officers in the United States according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The majority of these workers are employed by federal, state or local governments, and work in our country’s prisons and jails.  Read more...