The Florida Department of Corrections is divided into three jurisdictions in order to best serve the needs of inmates, employees, and communities throughout the state. Like most other states, Florida operates most of its own facilities like the Baker Correctional Institution, the Glades Correctional Institution, and the Dade Correctional Institution. The state does have a number of privately run facilities as well - commonly called "Correctional Facilities", these include the Gadsden Correctional Facility, the Lake City Correctional Facility, and the Moore Haven Correctional Facility. Currently, there are approximately 103,028 incarcerated inmates contained in over 60 state prisons and less than 10 federal prisons throughout the state. As of the last data year, 23,835 corrections officers work in front line support with inmates and national statistics forecast that by 2022, that number will grow by almost 1,200 new recruits, not including additional open positions to meet retirement, advancement, and attrition demands. There's lots to learn about becoming a correctional officer in Florida - read on for more information.
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:
- 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).
Remington College-Heathrow Campus
Remington College-Heathrow Campus ranks first in our latest rankings with twenty-three students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 124 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
George Stone Technical Center
Located in Pensacola, Florida, George Stone Technical Center offers certificate and associate's degree programs for corrections officers. With a commitment to excellence GSTC has developed a comprehensive program to make sure that graduates have the skills they need to enter the corrections workforce. Included in the course of study are communications, working with special persons, and supervision aspects of the role.
Fort Myers Institute of Technology
Fort Myers Institute of Technology is located in the heart of Fort Myers, Florida and is a public, two-year college that provides certifications and associates degrees to students. The Institute is certified to train recruits to become Florida State Certified Correctional Officers. Additionally, the facility provides specialized training in order to meet the professional development needs of officers in the field. The FMIT staff work hard to imbue students with the tools to ensure a safe, secure, and humane corrections environment.
Florida Memorial University
Florida Memorial University ranks 4th in our rankings with 58 students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 458 graduates.
Florida Panhandle Technical College
The Florida Panhandle Technical College is located in Chipley, Florida, and is a public, 2-year college offering certifications and associate's degrees to students. Washington-Homes is committed to providing exactly the amount of training that student need in order to start their career. With coursework focused on the fundamentals of correction, including Criminal Justice, Ethics, Defensive Tactics and Physical Fitness, successful graduates are ready to pursue recruitment as a corrections officer.
Edward Waters College
Edward Waters College ranks sixth in our latest rankings with 19 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 184 students from the 2012-2013 school year.
Withlacoochee Technical Institute
Located in Inverness, Florida, Withlacoochee Technical Institute is a public, 2-year college serving hundreds of area and online students. Fully accredited, WTC offers certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs, as well as a wide variety of industry certifications. WTC offers Law Enforcement and Corrections programs as well as advanced training and professional development to veterans in the criminal justice field at the Citrus County Public Safety Training Center. WTC core courses train criminal justice students to exemplary levels of academic and practical preparedness for future graduates to the field.
South Florida State College
Established in 1965, South Florida State College is located in Avon Park, Florida. With four campuses to serve its student body, SFSC is a public, 4-year college with certificate, bachelor's and associate's degree options. Students interested in pursuing and education in corrections are encouraged to apply to the college's Correctional Officer certification program. The program meets all state requirements for potential recruits and focuses on a combination of academic and practical knowledge to give future corrections officers the skills for success in their career.
Florida Keys Community College
Florida Keys Community College is located in the heart of Key West, Florida. Founded in 1965 and with a student body of just over 1,200, FKCC offers degrees at the certificate, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree levels. Many students enrol in FKCC's criminal justice studies programs and upon graduation may enter corrections directly, or through other similar career paths like security, crime analyst, and emergency communications specialist. FKCC's rigorous core courses and flexibility in accepting transfer credits, make the program a viable option for students looking to transition to a new career.
Bethune-Cookman University ranks 10th in our rankings with sixty-six students graduating from programs in corrections out of a total 950 graduates.
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University ranks 11th in our rankings with 678 students graduating from programs in criminal justice and law enforcement administration out of a total 10,186 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
Suncoast Technical College
Founded in 1967, Suncoast Technical College is a fixure in the Sarasota area. The college's mandate is to excel in offering technical education to area students that meets the community and state need for an exemplary workforce. Students interested in pursuing a career in corrections are advised to consult Suncoast's Criminal Justice Academy to peruse requisites, and other important data. The Academy offers training for both law enforcement and corrections.
Saint Johns River State College
Saint Johns River State College, founded in 1958, is an acclaimed institution in the city of Palatka, Florida. As a public 4-year college, SJR State offers a wide variety of certificate programs, as well as associate's and bachelor's degrees. Students enrolled under the Criminal Justice Department can expect state-of-the-art equipment and seasoned instructors that help prepare them for their chosen career.
Technical Education Center-Osceola
Technical Education Center-Osceola ranks 14th in our rankings with 50 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 898 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale ranks 15th in our rankings with 456 students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration, criminalistics and criminal science, and criminal justice out of a total 9,366 graduates.
Founded in 1947, Chipola College is a public, 4-year college located in Marianna, Florida. Chipola College offers a wide range of certificate, associate's and bachelor degrees. Students who are interested in pursuing a career in corrections are encouraged to apply to the college's law enforcement or corrections programs. With unwavering emphasis on academic and practical skill acquisition as well as physical fitness, graduates from the program may apply directly to a corrections recruitment agency.
Hodges University ranks 17th in our latest rankings with 57 students graduating from programs in criminal justice and law enforcement administration out of a total a thousand graduates.
North Florida Community College
North Florida Community College ranks 18th in our latest rankings with thirty students graduating from programs in corrections and law enforcement administration out of a total 708 graduates.
City College-Altamonte Springs
City College-Altamonte Springs ranks nineteenth in our rankings with 5 students completing programs in securities services administration and management out of a total 118 students.
Tallahassee Community College
With just under 20,000 undergraduate students, Tallahassee Community College is a well-respected institution in the city of Tallahassee, Florida. A public 2-year college, TCC offers a range of certification and associate's degrees in order to prepare students for further study, direct entry to the workforce, or advanced professional development. Students interested in the field of corrections should note that TCC's Corrections program is certified by the Florida Public Safety Institute in keeping with state standards. Students will benefit from a mix of practical and academic programming to prepare them for their future career.
Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in Florida
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
1500 S Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Tallahassee, FL 32307
Phone: (850) 599-3000
Hillsborough Community College
39 Columbia Drive, Tampa, FL 33606-3584
Phone: (813) 253-7000
Lake Technical Center
2001 Kurt Street, Eustis, FL 32726
Phone: (352) 589-2250 x1800
Polk State College
999 Avenue H NE, Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299
Phone: (863) 297-1000
Northwest Florida State College
100 College Blvd, Niceville, FL 32578-1295
Phone: (850) 678-5111
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 Fgcu Blvd S, Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
Phone: (239) 590-1000
Pasco-Hernando Community College
10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654-5199
Phone: (727) 847-2727
Indian River State College
3209 Virginia Ave, Fort Pierce, FL 34981-5596
Phone: (772) 462-4772
Florida Institute of Technology-Online
150 West University Blvd, Melbourne, FL 32901
Phone: (321) 674-8000
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991
Phone: (561) 297-3000
College of Central Florida
3001 SW College Rd, Ocala, FL 34474
Phone: (352) 873-5800
Florida International University
11200 S. W. 8 Street, Miami, FL 33199
Phone: (305) 348-2000
University of North Florida
1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224-7699
Phone: (904) 620-1000
Eastern Florida State College
1519 Clearlake Rd, Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone: (321) 632-1111
Florida State University
222 S. Copeland Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1037
Phone: (850) 644-2525
Daytona State College
1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Phone: (386) 506-3000
Seminole State College of Florida
100 Weldon Blvd, Sanford, FL 32773-6199
Phone: (407) 708-4722
St Thomas University
16401 NW 37th Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33054-6459
Phone: (305) 625-6000
University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, FL 32816
Phone: (407) 823-2000
Gulf Coast State College
5230 West U.S. Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401
Phone: (850) 769-1551
The University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL 32514-5750
Phone: (850) 474-2000
Webber International University
1201 N Scenic Hwy, Babson Park, FL 33827-0096
Phone: (863) 638-1431
3601 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL 33431-5598
Phone: (561) 237-7000
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33132-2204
Phone: (305) 237-8888
Santa Fe College
3000 Northwest 83rd Street, Gainesville, FL 32606-6210
Phone: (352) 395-5000
St Petersburg College
6021 142nd Ave N, Clearwater, FL 33760-2822
Phone: (727) 341-4772
190 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 299-2187
Johnson & Wales University-North Miami
1701 NE 127th St, North Miami, FL 33181
Phone: (305) 892-7000
Palm Beach State College
4200 Congress Ave, Lake Worth, FL 33461-4796
Phone: (561) 967-7222
Florida SouthWestern State College
8099 College Pky SW, Fort Myers, FL 33919-0000
Phone: (239) 489-9300
1000 Longfellow Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33801-6034
Phone: (863) 667-5000
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
Phone: (954) 262-7300
111 East Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: (954) 201-7400
Florida State College at Jacksonville
501 W State St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: (904) 359-5433
State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota
5840 26th St W, Bradenton, FL 34207
Phone: (941) 752-5000
University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee
8350 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243-2049
Phone: (941) 359-4200
Lake-Sumter State College
9501 US Hwy 441, Leesburg, FL 34788-8751
Phone: (352) 787-3747
Pensacola State College
1000 College Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32504-8998
Phone: (850) 484-1000
University of South Florida-Main Campus
4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620-9951
Phone: (813) 974-2011
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Florida Correctional Officer Certification Requirements
Florida's state Department of Corrections recruits men and women on a continuing schedule for the role of Corrections Officer. Motivated individuals who possess a strong sense of ethics and willingness to serve the state's most vulnerable people may find fulfillment in the state's many penitentiaries and county jails. While the state is looking for individuals that thrive in a challenging and dynamic environment, candidates must meet all of the requirements in order to be considered for the position, due to the demands of the job and its environment. In order to ensure that candidates are the best match for the job, the state has established a multi-stage process. Candidates must provide the following for a valid application:
- Minimum 21 years of age
- United States citizen
- Possess a valid Florida driver's license
- Have no convicted felonies or domestic violence convictions
- Possess a high school diploma/GED or college diploma
- Honorable discharge papers if applicable
- Proof of drug test
with basic eligibility requirements fulfilled, candidates will continue with in-depth testing to assess whether they are the best fit for the role of Corrections Officer. These assessments include:
- Written test of knowledge
- Psychological evaluation
- Background check
Candidates who pass the assessment portion of the hiring process contacted by Florida's Department of Corrections as postings become available, however final hiring decisions are made after candidates complete a practical training component at a state facility.
Florida Department of Corrections
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2500
Phone: (850) 488-5021
Florida Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook
Correctional Officer Salary: Florida vs National Salary Comparison
Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011
The state of Florida is committed to serve and support correctional facilities in the state by encouraging personnel in the field. At this time, the median income for front-line correctional officers throughout the state is slightly lower than the national median at $36,600 than the median national income of $39,800, however individuals committed to professional development will have salary increases to mitigate this salary. CareerInfoNet.org has published state and national trends at http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=011000000&jobfam=33&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=333012&menuMode=&stfips=12&x=67&y=17 which predict that growth in Florida is in decline until 2022, while national figures represent a 5% growth. The predicted curve translates into approximately 560 vacancies per year over the next decade.
Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm)
Florida Correctional Officer Salaries By Area
The table below lists career information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for correctional officers in Florida. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Miami, Miami Beach, Kendall||5,050||$26.23||$54,560|
|Orlando, Kissimmee, Sanford||2,740||$18.83||$39,170|
|Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach||1,920||$29.00||$60,310|
|Pensacola, Ferry Pass, Brent||1,670||$17.15||$35,660|
|West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach||1,560||$24.11||$50,150|
|Port St. Lucie||730||$19.86||$41,310|
|Deltona, Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach||520||$17.31||$36,000|
|North Port, Bradenton, Sarasota||500||$22.05||$45,860|
|Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, Destin||360||$17.28||$35,930|
|Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater||-||$23.84||$49,590|