Becoming a Correctional Officer in North Dakota

The Department of Corrections in North Dakota has 4 state-run adult prison facilities throughout the state, and no federal penitentiaries. Facilities like ND State Penitentiary, the Dakota Women's CRC, the James River CC, and the Missouri River CC house adult offenders and are one gender only, underscoring the state's need for recruiting both male and female correctional officers. Officers are sworn to act in their role to enhance public safety while reducing risk of future criminal behavior. Additionally, the state also has a number of county jails for pre-sentencing containment. Due to changing needs within the industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports steady growth in corrections over the next decade, even as populations are declining. For the state of North Dakota, this means that the current 813 positions are poised to grow to 850 by 2022. The state plans on additional recruitment efforts in order to fill vacancies left by officer retirements, promotions, and career changes. If a lucrative and challenging career helping people interests you, read on for more information about corrections in North Dakota.


Lake Region State College

1801 College Dr N, Devils Lake, ND 58301-1598
Phone: (701) 662-1600

United Tribes Technical College

3315 University Dr, Bismarck, ND 58504
Phone: (701) 255-3285 x1216

University of Jamestown

608 6th St NE, Jamestown, ND 58405
Phone: (701) 252-3467

Minot State University

500 University Ave W, Minot, ND 58707
Phone: (701) 858-3000

University of North Dakota

264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193, Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
Phone: (800) 225-5863

North Dakota State University-Main Campus

1301 12th Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Phone: (701) 231-8011

Sitting Bull College

9299 Hwy 24, Fort Yates, ND 58538-9721
Phone: (701) 854-8000

University of Mary

7500 University Dr, Bismarck, ND 58504
Phone: (701) 255-7500

Bismarck State College

1603 Edwards Ave., Bismarck, ND 58506-5587
Phone: (701) 224-5400

North Dakota Correctional Officer Certification Requirements

The North Dakota Department of Corrections often recruits for the role of correctional officer to work in the state's many penitentiaries and county jails. The DOC is committed to hiring professional men and women who are looking for a rewarding career opportunities and is committed to hiring only those candidates to demonstrate that they are the best fit for the position. The initial eligibility requirements for the job are:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Proof of age (21+) and U.S. citizenship or naturalization status
  • No felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Valid North Dakota driver's license
  • If applicable, honorable discharge papers from military

Once the basic eligibility requirements have been verified, candidates should prepare to be contacted for further assessment. The state of North Dakota requires correctional officer recruits to undergo the following testing:

  • Medical assessment
  • Fitness testing by age and gender
  • Psychological screening
  • Extensive background check and fingerprinting
  • In-person interview to determine professional and personal history and values

Recruits who have passed all requirements and screenings up to this point will be selected to enrol in basic training for correctional officer new hires. Passing this weeks-long phase of training is the final step before official certification as a correctional officer. Personnel that have completed this last phase of the hiring process will be posted to job vacancies as the need arises.

North Dakota Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

3100 Railroad Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58501
Phone: (701) 328-6390

North Dakota Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook

Correctional Officer Salary: North Dakota vs National Salary Comparison

Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011

North Dakota's State Department of Justice is committed to growth and development for the state's correctional field. Median income for this role throughout the state is $37,800, compared to the national median income level of $39,800, however professional development and seniority in the field can boost salary. According to the employment profile for the state, published by at state trends predict a 9% increase in correctional jobs by the year 2022. In the state of North Dakota, this translates to 30 jobs per year, both in newly created and existing vacancies.

Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (

North Dakota Correctional Officer Salaries By Area

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

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary