Becoming a Correctional Officer in West Virginia

The Department of Corrections is one of West Virginia's largest employers - with current staffing of approximately 3,351 male and female correctional officers throughout the state, officers commit to performing their duties with a professionalism and ethics at all times. West Virginia's 6,824 offenders are contained in the state's 6 federal penitentiaries like Federal Prison Camp, Alderson and Federal Correctional Institution, McDowell, or in one of the state's numerous prisons like Parkersburg Correctional Center or the Saint Marys Correctional Center. Offenders awaiting incarceration may be held in a county jail. According to national economic forecasts, job growth in the industry is stable at 5%, meaning that by 2022 there will be approximately 3,728 jobs in the field, not including vacancies due to retiring or advancing officers. To learn more about this challenging career choice, read below for more information.

Schools Analyzed
Schools Ranked

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:

Data Sources

  • 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).


Glenville State College

200 High Street, Glenville, WV 26351-1292

With 1,850 students, Glenville State College is located in Glenville, West Virginia. Founded in 1872, Glenville State College has a strong history of providing academic excellence in the form of its 2- and 4-year degree programs. Students who are interested in pursuing a career as a correctional officer are encouraged to apply to Glenville's Department of Criminal Justice, who's programs can set a course for career excellence in the field of corrections.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 6.57%
  • Program Graduates: 28
  • Total Graduates: 426
  • Programs:
    • Corrections
    • Criminalistics And Criminal Science

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website:
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000

Potomac State College of West Virginia University

101 Fort Ave, Keyser, WV 26726

Potomac State College of West Virginia University ranks 2nd in our latest rankings with twenty-two students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 414 students in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 5.31%
  • Program Graduates: 22
  • Total Graduates: 414

School Details


West Virginia State University

Rte 25, Institute, WV 25112-1000

West Virginia State University ranks 3rd in our rankings with thirty-six students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 822 students in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.38%
  • Program Graduates: 36
  • Total Graduates: 822

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website:
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000

Mountwest Community and Technical College

One Mountwest Way, Huntington, WV 25701

Mountwest Community and Technical College ranks 4th in our latest rankings with 32 students completing programs in criminal justice and criminal justice out of a total 740 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.32%
  • Program Graduates: 32
  • Total Graduates: 740
  • Programs:
    • Criminal Justice
    • Police Science

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website:
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000

Fairmont State University

1201 Locust Ave, Fairmont, WV 26554-2470

Fairmont State University ranks 5th in our rankings with seventy-one students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total a thousand students in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.20%
  • Program Graduates: 71
  • Total Graduates: 1,692

School Details

Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in West Virginia


West Virginia University at Parkersburg

300 Campus Drive, Parkersburg, WV 26104
Phone: (304) 424-8000

West Virginia Wesleyan College

59 College Ave, Buckhannon, WV 26201-2994
Phone: (304) 473-8000

New River Community and Technical College

221 George Street, Suite 2, Beckley, WV 25801
Phone: (304) 929-6736

West Liberty University

208 University Drive, West Liberty, WV 26074
Phone: (304) 336-5000

West Virginia University Institute of Technology

405 Fayette Pike, Montgomery, WV 25136
Phone: (304) 442-1000

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

13650 Apple Harvest Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25403
Phone: (304) 260-4380

Bluefield State College

219 Rock St, Bluefield, WV 24701
Phone: (304) 327-4000

West Virginia Northern Community College

1704 Market St., Wheeling, WV 26003-3699
Phone: (304) 233-5900

Marshall University

1 John Marshall Dr, Huntington, WV 25755
Phone: (800) 642-3463

Pierpont Community and Technical College

1201 Locust Ave, Fairmont, WV 26554
Phone: (304) 367-4692

Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College

2001 Union Carbide Drive, South Charleston, WV 25303
Phone: (304) 205-6600

Academy of Careers and Technology

390 Stanaford Rd, Beckley, WV 25801
Phone: (304) 256-4615 x302

Wheeling Jesuit University

316 Washington Ave, Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone: (304) 243-2000

Ohio Valley University

#1 Campus View Drive, Vienna, WV 26105-8000
Phone: (304) 865-6000

West Virginia Correctional Officer Certification Requirements

The State Department of Corrections in West Virginia has continuous job postings for corrections officers. Due to changing demand as well as veteran officers' promotions and retirements, the state is continually seeking career-minded men and women for these roles. The DOC is committed to hiring only the best candidates for these roles, and a multi-phase hiring process ensures this. Candidates will first be required to show the following:

  • High School Graduate or GED Certificate
  • Valid Driver's License for the state of West Virginia
  • Proof of age (21+)
  • No Felony or domestic violence convictions
  • U.S. Citizenship or proof of naturalization
  • If former military, a discharge "Under Honorable Conditions"

When candidates have submitted the aforementioned proof along with a completed application, the are eligible for the following state tests:

  • Written Examination
  • Fingerprinting and extensive background check
  • Drug Screening
  • Medical Examination
  • Physical Ability Test based on sex and age

If all assessment scores are satisfactory, candidates will be invited for an interview, and to enroll in Correctional Officer Training. COT is designed to assist new officers acquire the skills that they will need to work in the corrections environment. Successfully passing the final training phase means that recruits will be will be awarded the status of correctional officer and be assigned a duty location.

West Virgina Division of Corrections

P.O. Box 850, 100 High Street
Glenville, WV 26351
Phone: (304)

West Virginia Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook

Correctional Officer Salary: West Virginia vs National Salary Comparison

Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011

The state of West Virginia is committed to serve and support correctional facilities in the state by encouraging growth in the field. At this time, the median income for front-line correctional officers throughout the state is considerably lower at $29,200 than the median national income of $39,800, however professional development opportunities can remediate this gap. has published state and national trends at which predict that growth in West Virginia at par with national averages from now until 2022. This predicted rate of growth translates into positive job growth in the form of newly created openings and existing vacancies over the next decade.

Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (

West Virginia Correctional Officer Salaries By Area

The table below lists career information obtained from the BLS for correctional officers in West Virginia. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Huntington, Ashland320$17.92$37,270
Parkersburg, Marietta, Vienna250$14.02$29,170