The state of Nebraska has county, state, and federal facilities that all fall under state jurisdiction for staffing and maintenance. Currently, there are 2 federal correctional facilities such as the United States Penitentiary at McCreary, and 10 state penitentiaries such as Lincoln Correctional Center, Nebraska Correctional Center for Women, and the Nebraska State Penitentiary, as well as numerous county jails. The Department of Corrections' current staff are sworn to create and maintain an atmosphere of firm guidance, integrity, and empathy with incarcerated persons; this mandate lowers rates of recidivism and eases community transitions while ensuring safety throughout the state. The state currently employs 5026 officers and with the modest growth in the field, predictions for new jobs created by 2022 are expected to exceed 250 (BLS.gov). Alongside vacancies created by retirement, attrition, and advancement of senior personnel positions, the field of corrections will continue to be a pivotal player in the state's economy. Want more information about this lucrative and challenging role? Read on!
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).
Peru State College
Peru State College ranks first in our latest rankings with thirty-eight students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 934 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
University of Nebraska at Omaha
University of Nebraska at Omaha ranks second in our rankings with 209 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total six thousand students from the 2012-2013 school year.
Midland University ranks third in our latest rankings with sixteen students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 478 graduates.
Wayne State College
Wayne State College ranks 4th in our latest rankings with forty-eight students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 1,458 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
Western Nebraska Community College
Western Nebraska Community College ranks 5th in our rankings with 19 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 702 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in Nebraska
Chadron State College
1000 Main St, Chadron, NE 69337-2690
Phone: (308) 432-6000
1125 E 8th St, York, NE 68467-2699
Phone: (402) 363-5600
Metropolitan Community College
30 & Fort Street, Omaha, NE 68111-1610
Phone: (402) 457-2400
Northeast Community College
801 E Benjamin, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469
Phone: (402) 371-2020
Doane College-Lincoln Grand Island and Master
303 N 52nd St, Lincoln, NE 68504
Phone: (402) 466-4774
University of Nebraska at Kearney
905 W 25th St, Kearney, NE 68849-1212
Phone: (308) 865-8441
Southeast Community College Area
301 South 68th Street Place, Lincoln, NE 68510-2449
Phone: (402) 471-3333
1000 Galvin Rd S, Bellevue, NE 68005-3098
Phone: (402) 291-8100
Central Community College
3134 West Hwy 34, Grand Island, NE 68802-4903
Phone: (308) 398-4222
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Nebraska Correctional Officer Certification Requirements
The Nebraska Department of Corrections recruits through a number of channels for intelligent and professional men and women who are looking to start a rewarding career as a correctional officer. With vacancies available in county jails, state and federal penitentiaries, there are many opportunities for advancement, however, the Nebraska DOC is committed to hiring only those candidates that fulfill all of the eligibility and aptitude requirements for the job. The process starts with several documents that are submitted as a preliminary application package. These are:
- High school diploma or GED
- Proof of age and U.S. citizenship
- No felony convictions
- Valid drivers license for the state of Nebraska
- If applicable, honorable discharge papers from military
Having satisfied the basic eligibility requirements for the correctional officer application process, further testing is required to determine if the applicant is a good fit for the demands of the corrections officer role. The state of Nebraska requires correctional officer candidates to provide these additional qualifications:
- Medical screening
- Fitness testing
- Psychological screening
- Background check and fingerprinting
- In-person interview
Recruits who have successfully passed all requirements and screenings up to this point will be placed in a hiring pool and enrolled in new hire training. Training at this stage focuses on practical tactics for the job, as well as policies and procedures that are applicable to the role. Personnel that have completed this last phase of the hiring process will be posted to job vacancies as the need arises.
Nebraska Department of Correctional Services
P.O. Box 94661
Lincoln, NE 68509-4661
Phone: (402) 471-2654
Nebraska Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook
Correctional Officer Salary: Nebraska vs National Salary Comparison
Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011
One of the ways that the state of Nebraska strives to serve and support correctional officers is through strong job growth and salary opportunities. Currently, the median income for front-line correctional officers throughout the state is higher at $53,000 than that of the national median income of $39,800. According to the occupational profile for the state of Nebraska found at http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=011000000&jobfam=33&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=333012&menuMode=&stfips=31&x=44&y=10 published by CareerInfoNet.org, state and national trends predict a 4% and 5% increase in correctional officer jobs by 2022 respectively. For residents of Nebraska this rate translates into 70 job openings per year.
Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm)
Nebraska Correctional Officer Salaries By Area
The table below lists career information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for correctional officers in Nebraska. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Omaha, Council Bluffs||810||$19.53||$40,620|