Becoming a Correctional Officer in Colorado

Colorado correctional officers take pride in maintaining area security and inmate accountability to keep order both in the facility and the surrounding area. Colorado currently has 20,371 incarcerated persons housed in 21 public facilities and a lesser number of privately contracted facilities. Some, like the Denver Correctional Center, consist of several facilities in one mega complex - which facilitates staff professional development, administration, and inmate care. Smaller facilities throughout the state, like Fremont Correctional Facility, Limon Correctional Facility, and the Rifle Correctional Center house fewer inmates. Over the next 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that Colorado will experience steady growth in the industry on par with the rest of the country as the corrections field expands, and existing officers retire. The state and its private contractors will hire for approximately 500 new jobs created from this growth, coupled with other positions that will be filled. To learn more about the role of correctional officer in Colorado, continue reading.

Schools Analyzed
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).


Delta Montrose Technical College

1765 US Hwy 50, Delta, CO 81416

Delta Montrose Technical College ranks first in our latest rankings with twenty-two students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 336 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 6.55%
  • Program Graduates: 22
  • Total Graduates: 336

School Details

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

Remington College-Colorado Springs Campus

6050 Erin Park Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80918-3401

Remington College-Colorado Springs Campus ranks 2nd in our rankings with twelve students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 200 students.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 6.00%
  • Program Graduates: 12
  • Total Graduates: 200

School Details


Community College of Aurora

16000 E CentreTech Pky, Aurora, CO 80011-9036

Community College of Aurora ranks third in our latest rankings with 69 students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total a thousand students from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.10%
  • Program Graduates: 69
  • Total Graduates: 1,682

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website:
  • School Size: 5,000 - 10,000

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Speer Blvd and Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80217-3362

Metropolitan State University of Denver ranks 4th in our rankings with 204 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 6,336 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.22%
  • Program Graduates: 204
  • Total Graduates: 6,336

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website:
  • School Size: More than 20,000

Colorado Mesa University

1100 North Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81501-3122

Colorado Mesa University ranks 5th in our rankings with 73 students completing programs in criminal justice and law enforcement administration out of a total two thousand students.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 3.04%
  • Program Graduates: 73
  • Total Graduates: 2,404
  • Programs:
    • Law Enforcement Administration
    • Criminal Justice
    • Police Science

School Details

Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in Colorado


Pikes Peak Community College

5675 S Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906-5498
Phone: (719) 502-2000

Arapahoe Community College

5900 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, CO 80160-9002
Phone: (303) 797-4222

Otero Junior College

1802 Colorado Ave, La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-6831

Red Rocks Community College

13300 W Sixth Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228-1255
Phone: (303) 914-6600

Trinidad State Junior College

600 Prospect St, Trinidad, CO 81082
Phone: (719) 846-5011

Pueblo Community College

900 West Orman Avenue, Pueblo, CO 81004-1499
Phone: (719) 549-3200

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Phone: (719) 255-3000

Colorado Mountain College

802 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601-0233
Phone: (800) 621-8559

University of Northern Colorado

Carter Hall - Rm 4000, Greeley, CO 80639
Phone: (970) 351-1890

Aims Community College

5401 W. 20th St., Greeley, CO 80632
Phone: (970) 330-8008

Johnson & Wales University-Denver

7150 Montview Blvd, Denver, CO 80220
Phone: (303) 256-9300

University of Colorado Denver

1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400, Denver, CO 80217-3364
Phone: (303) 556-5600

University of Denver

2199 S. University Blvd, Denver, CO 80208
Phone: (303) 871-2000

Colorado Christian University

8787 West Alameda Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80226
Phone: (303) 963-3000

Colorado Correctional Officer Certification Requirements

The Department of Corrections in Colorado has a targeted recruitment campaign whenever a new position becomes available eon order to staff state, federal and county corrections facilities with staff that are fit, able, and committed to helping criminals rehabilitate within the justice system. Work in corrections is challenging, with lots of opportunity for advancement as other corrections staff are promoted or retire. In order to have a valid application, candidates must submit proof of the following in addition to their application paperwork:

  • Must be 21 years of age;
  • Possess a driver's licence valid in Colorado
  • Possess a High School Diploma or equivalent;
  • Have no felony convictions

Upon successful submission of these requirements, successful applicants will be subject to

  • Comparative Analysis
  • Physical assessment
  • Fitness testing
  • Initial drug screening
  • Fingerprinting
  • Background and profession checks for the last 10 years of employment

Hiring is conditional upon completion of the Department of Corrections Basic Training, random drug screening and assessment as to whether or not they are able to learn and perform the PPCT (Pressure Point Control Tactics) used by the state. Tuberculosis screening is also required of all newly hired staff. Applicants that are dissatisfied with their disqualification may appeal in writing to the state for assessment and adjudication.

Colorado Department of Corrections

2862 S Circle Dr
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Phone: (719) 579-9580

Colorado Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook

Correctional Officer Salary: Colorado vs National Salary Comparison

Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011

The state Department of Corrections in Colorado encourages civic-minded citizens to look toward the corrections field for fulfilling and lucrative career opportunities. At this time, the median income for correctional officers throughout Colorado is higher than the national average at $43,700, with the national median income at $39,800. and according to occupational data for the state of Colorado, available at and published by, state trends are predicted to experience a 16% growth curve from now until 2022 as compared to the national growth rate of 5%. This predicted growth pattern translates into 370 new openings and existing vacancies annually.

Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (

Colorado Correctional Officer Salaries By Area

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

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Denver, Aurora, Broomfield2,060$25.55$53,140
Colorado Springs520$25.23$52,470