The Tennessee State Department of Corrections is the umbrella over all the state county and private prisons; transitional and detention centers; parole, outreach and county jails. This 'umbrella' is divided into three geographic jurisdictions and includes the state's 14 state prisons such as South Central Correctional Facility, Tennessee Prison for Women, and Nashville Turney Center Industrial Complex, as well as federal facilities like the Federal Correctional Institution, Memphis. Altogether, there are 5,354 correctional officers in the state of Tennessee; the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this number will increase by a steady 5% or 267 new jobs by 2022. Not included in this forecast are significant factors such as jobs opening due to retirement, attrition, and promotion. Due to this steady upward trend, the state of Tennessee is continually posting for accredited candidates who possess integrity and professionalism. To learn more about the field of corrections and how you may become involved, 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).
Bethel University ranks first in our latest rankings with 213 students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration and criminal justice out of a total 2,300 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Lane College ranks 2nd in our rankings with thirty-nine students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 562 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
Walters State Community College
Walters State Community College ranks 3rd in our rankings with 168 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 3,878 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Remington College-Memphis Campus
Remington College-Memphis Campus ranks fourth in our latest rankings with forty-two students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 1,022 graduates.
Cleveland State Community College
Cleveland State Community College ranks 5th in our latest rankings with sixty-seven students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total two thousand students from the 2012-2013 school year.
Le Moyne-Owen College
Le Moyne-Owen College ranks 6th in our latest rankings with 8 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 250 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
Volunteer State Community College
Volunteer State Community College ranks 7th in our latest rankings with 64 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 2,418 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Martin Methodist College
Martin Methodist College ranks eighth in our rankings with nine students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 360 students from the 2012-2013 school year.
Austin Peay State University
Austin Peay State University ranks 9th in our rankings with 97 students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total four thousand students.
Hiwassee College ranks tenth in our rankings with 2 students completing programs in corrections out of a total 90 graduates.
Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in Tennessee
The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598
Phone: (423) 425-4111
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209-1561
Phone: (615) 963-5111
158 E Main St, Henderson, TN 38340-2399
Phone: (800) 348-3481
East Tennessee State University
Address Unknown, Johnson City, TN 37614-0000
Phone: (423) 439-1000
Middle Tennessee State University
1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Phone: (615) 898-2300
Tennessee Wesleyan College
204 East College Street, Athens, TN 37303
Phone: (423) 745-7504
Roane State Community College
276 Patton Lane, Harriman, TN 37748
Phone: (865) 354-3000
University of Memphis
Southern Avenue, Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: (901) 678-2000
1 Cumberland Square, Lebanon, TN 37087
Phone: (615) 444-2562
The University of Tennessee-Martin
544 University Street, Martin, TN 38238-0002
Phone: (731) 881-7000
Nashville State Community College
120 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, TN 37209-4515
Phone: (615) 353-3333
Dyersburg State Community College
1510 Lake Rd, Dyersburg, TN 38024-2411
Phone: (731) 286-3200
Southwest Tennessee Community College
737 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 333-5000
Columbia State Community College
1665 Hampshire Pike, Columbia, TN 38401
Phone: (931) 540-2722
Lincoln Memorial University
6965 Cumberland Gap Pkwy, Harrogate, TN 37752-9900
Phone: (423) 869-7089
Northeast State Community College
2425 Hwy 75, Blountville, TN 37617-0246
Phone: (423) 323-3191
Trevecca Nazarene University
333 Murfreesboro Rd, Nashville, TN 37210
Phone: (615) 248-1200
721 Bryan Drive, Dayton, TN 37321-7000
Phone: (423) 775-2041
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Tennessee Correctional Officer Certification Requirements
Tennessee's Department of Corrections has a continual hiring process for the role of Corrections Officer. Due to great career opportunities for advancing officers, there is often vacancies for front-line corrections staff. Because of the job's specific challenges, the state is committed to hiring only the best personnel for the vacancy - there is a multi-phase process in order to ensure qualified applicants are filling the state's vacancies. Along with a completed application, candidates must provide proof of the following:
- Proof of age (21+)
- Proof of United States citizenship or naturalization
- Possess a valid Tennessee driver's license
- Are without felony or domestic violence convictions
- Possess good moral character
- Possess a high school diploma or GED
- Military veterans to have proof of honorable discharge
- Proof of negative drug test
Once the basic eligibility criteria have been met, suitable candidates will be invited to advance to the next round of assessments. Applicants will be tested for their aptitude for the role. Testing will include:
- Fitness testing
- Physical assessment
- Written test
- Mental health assessment
- Personal and professional background check including fingerprinting
Candidates who pass the assessment portion of the hiring process will be shortlisted and contacted by the DOC's Human Resources staff as positions throughout the state become available. Upon hire, corrections officers must attend and pass specialized hands-on training at the state's training academy to be prepared for the rigors of working in a corrections environment. Candidates who fail this final portion of the hiring process are welcome to reapply at a later time.
Tennessee Department of Correction
320 Sixth Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37243-0465
Phone: (615) 741-1000
Tennessee Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook
Correctional Officer Salary: Tennessee vs National Salary Comparison
Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011
One of the ways that the state of Tennessee serves and support correctional officers is with strong growth and competitive salaries throughout the state. As such, the median income for front-line correctional officers throughout the state is currently much lower at $28,700 than the national median income at $39,800. However, professional development can remediate this gap. According to the occupational profile for the state of Tennessee 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=47&x=48&y=8 and published by CareerInfoNet.org, state and national trends predict a 22% and 5% increase in correctional officer jobs by 2022 respectively, indicating that state job growth is very rapid. For residents of Tennessee, this rate translates into 380 job openings per year.
Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm)
Tennessee Correctional Officer Salaries By Area
The table below lists career information organized by the BLS for correctional officers in Tennessee. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Nashville, Davidson, , Murfreesboro, , Franklin||2,280||-||-|
|Kingsport, Bristol, Bristol||260||$15.29||$31,810|