The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is divides their inmate population based on the needs and offences of the incarcerated offenders. If permitted, inmates are placed in the facility that may remedy the underlying causes of their offense in the hope that they can be effectively rehabilitated. Once there, they are supervised by the state's 14,893 correctional officers who oversee educational, health, confinement, and leisure activities. As well as placement in a state prison like SCI Huntingdon or SCI Rockview, inmates may be placed in federal custody at Federal Correctional Institution, Schuylkill or in the state's extensive network of county jails. All use state resources to function and communicate effectively between facilities. As of recent figures, the state of Pennsylvania has 50,312 incarcerated inmates across 27 state prisons; because of the growing prison population and its diverse needs, state and federal economists predict that the demand for qualified personnel will continue to rise by approximately 5% over the next decade to reach 2,799 officers. As such, the state Department of Correction is recruiting men and women for front line correctional officer positions. Interested parties must meet the department's hiring criteria, and be prepared for intensive on-the-job training. Read further on this page about how correctional officers can make a difference while advancing through a dynamic career.
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).
Valley Forge Military College
Valley Forge Military College ranks 1st in our rankings with nineteen students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total eighty-six graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
Lackawanna College ranks 2nd in our latest rankings with 117 students completing programs in criminal justice and criminal justice out of a total 812 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Wilkes-Barre
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Wilkes-Barre ranks 3rd in our rankings with 31 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 216 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
Mercyhurst University-North East Campus
Mercyhurst University-North East Campus ranks 4th in our rankings with ninety-nine students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 758 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center
Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center ranks 5th in our rankings with thirty-one students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 546 students.
Thiel College ranks 6th in our latest rankings with twenty students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 358 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
Keystone College ranks 7th in our rankings with 33 students completing programs in corrections, criminal justice, and law enforcement administration out of a total 596 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
Delaware County Community College
Delaware County Community College ranks 8th in our rankings with 161 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 3,216 graduates.
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania ranks 9th in our latest rankings with 62 students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 1,404 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Lock Haven University
Lock Haven University ranks tenth in our latest rankings with ninety-nine students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total two thousand graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
University of Pittsburgh-Bradford
University of Pittsburgh-Bradford ranks 11th in our latest rankings with twenty-nine students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 702 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Point Park University
Point Park University ranks twelfth in our rankings with seventy-three students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total a thousand graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
Lincoln University ranks thirteenth in our rankings with 37 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 972 students from the 2012-2013 school year.
Northampton County Area Community College
Northampton County Area Community College ranks 14th in our rankings with 135 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 3,550 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania ranks 15th in our latest rankings with 143 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total three thousand students.
York College of Pennsylvania
York College Pennsylvania ranks sixteenth in our rankings with 78 students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 2,142 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is a public, 2-year college located in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The college offers associate's degrees as well as certificates in a variety of disciplines and focuses on offering affordable and accessible education options to its students. Applicants who are seeking a career in law enforcement or corrections are encouraged to apply to the college's department of Criminal Justice. Successful graduates will be able to apply to the state's recruitment departments for corrections and other law enforcement career paths.
Alvernia University ranks 18th in our latest rankings with forty-seven students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total a thousand graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
Community College of Beaver County
Community College of Beaver County ranks 19th in our rankings with 33 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 948 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg
University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg ranks 20th in our rankings with eighteen students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 544 students from the 2012-2013 school year.
Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in Pennsylvania
133 N River St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711-0801
Phone: (570) 208-5900
2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034-9568
Phone: (610) 282-1100
Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
1 HACC Dr., Harrisburg, PA 17110-2999
Phone: (717) 780-2300
Lehigh Carbon Community College
4525 Education Park Dr, Schnecksville, PA 18078-2598
Phone: (610) 799-2121
Luzerne County Community College
1333 South Prospect Street, Nanticoke, PA 18634-3899
Phone: (570) 740-0200
One Neumann Drive, Aston, PA 19014-1298
Phone: (610) 459-0905
Chestnut Hill College
9601 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118-2693
Phone: (215) 248-7000
Community College of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130-3991
Phone: (215) 751-8000
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Fayette- Eberly
2201 University Drive, Lemont Furnace, PA 15456-1025
Phone: (724) 430-4100
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
15200 Kutztown Rd, Kutztown, PA 19530-0730
Phone: (610) 683-4000
501 E 38th St, Erie, PA 16546
Phone: (814) 824-2000
Butler County Community College
107 College Drive, Butler, PA 16002
Phone: (724) 287-8711
La Roche College
9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5898
Phone: (412) 367-9300
Westmoreland County Community College
145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895
Phone: (724) 925-4000
Reading Area Community College
10 S Second St, Reading, PA 19603-1706
Phone: (610) 372-4721
California University of Pennsylvania
250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394
Phone: (724) 938-4400
Bucks County Community College
275 Swamp Rd, Newtown, PA 18940-4106
Phone: (215) 968-8000
Mount Aloysius College
7373 Admiral Peary Hwy, Cresson, PA 16630-1999
Phone: (814) 886-4131
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
219 Meadville Street, Edinboro, PA 16444-0001
Phone: (814) 732-2000
109 W Sixth St, Erie, PA 16541-0001
Phone: (814) 871-7000
51 W College St, Waynesburg, PA 15370-1257
Phone: (724) 627-8191
Holy Family University
9801 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114-2009
Phone: (215) 637-7700
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
400 E Second St, Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Phone: (570) 389-4000
Delaware Valley College
700 E Butler Ave, Doylestown, PA 18901-2697
Phone: (215) 345-1500
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
University Avenue and High Street, West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: (610) 436-1000
750 Montgomery Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-3470
Phone: (610) 525-4100
Montgomery County Community College
340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422-0796
Phone: (215) 641-6300
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
200 Prospect Street, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301-2999
Phone: (570) 422-3211
Gwynedd Mercy University
1325 Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437-0901
Phone: (215) 646-7300
2300 Adams Ave, Scranton, PA 18509-1598
Phone: (570) 348-6211
1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096
Phone: (215) 204-7000
Community College of Allegheny County
800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895
Phone: (412) 323-2323
1400 Montgomery Ave, Rosemont, PA 19010-1699
Phone: (610) 527-0200
La Salle University
1900 W Olney Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19141-1199
Phone: (215) 951-1000
University of Scranton
800 Linden Street, Scranton, PA 18510-4629
Phone: (570) 941-7400
One College Ave, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Phone: (717) 766-2511
Seton Hill University
1 Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601
Phone: (724) 834-2200
Widener University-Main Campus
One University Place, Chester, PA 19013-5792
Phone: (610) 499-4000
84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
Phone: (570) 408-5000
Saint Francis University
117 Evergreen Dr, Loretto, PA 15940
Phone: (814) 472-3000
800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085-1699
Phone: (610) 519-4500
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
840 Wood St, Clarion, PA 16214
Phone: (814) 393-2000
1145 King Rd, Immaculata, PA 19345-0702
Phone: (610) 647-4400
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus
4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: (412) 624-4141
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
1 Morrow Way, Slippery Rock, PA 16057-1383
Phone: (724) 738-9000
3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 895-2000
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Pennsylvania Correctional Officer Certification Requirements
The Department of Corrections in Pennsylvania advertises on a regular basis for is continually advertising for qualified men and women to fulfill the role of corrections officer. This is a challenging position and thus the state government is committed to ensuring that only those candidates who meet or exceed all requirements should be awarded with positions. The process begins with eligibility requirements to determine if a candidate can even apply. Candidates should be ready to submit:
- A complete and accurate application
- Proof of age
- No felony convictions
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status
- Valid Michigan driver's license
- Proof of military honorable discharge
- High school diploma or GED
- Fluent in all aspects of the English language
Having met the above eligibility criteria, candidates may prepare themselves for more rigorous assessments, designed to determine if a candidate is physically and mentally able to fill the role of corrections officer. They are as follows:
- Physical agility test
- Physical assessment
- Mental health assessment
- Written test of knowledge
Background check to disclose personal, education, work and military experience
Candidates who have passed the assessments may be offered up to a year of on the job training in order to learn skills such as inmate behaviour, facility policy, and emergency procedures. Only candidates who pass all aspects of training will be retained after the training period is finished.
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Phone: (717) 728-5357
Pennsylvania Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook
Correctional Officer Salary: Pennsylvania vs National Salary Comparison
Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011
The state Department of Corrections in Pennsylvania encourages civic-minded citizens to look toward the field of corrections for fulfilling and lucrative career opportunities. At this time, the median income for correctional officers throughout Pennsylvania is higher than the national average at $48,000, with the national median income at $39,800. According to occupational data for the state, available at http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=011000000&jobfam=33&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=333012&menuMode=&stfips=42&x=64&y=9 and published by CareerInfoNet.org, state trends are predicted to experience a 2% growth curve from now until 2022 as compared to the national growth rate of 5%. This predicted growth pattern translates into 500 new openings and existing vacancies to be filled annually.
Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm)
Pennsylvania Correctional Officer Salaries By Area
The table below lists career information obtained from the BLS for correctional officers in Pennsylvania. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Scranton, , Wilkes, Barre||910||$25.12||$52,250|
|Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton||540||$23.80||$49,510|