What does a Correctional Officer do?

Correctional officers are law enforcement professionals who serve in state prisons, local jails and federal reformatories making certain prisoners are safe. They help to maintain law and order in the prisons by stopping fierce hostilities and also helping to rehabilitate prisoners.

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Working as a Correctional Officer

The operations of correctional officers may involve the following:

  • Conducting searches in the cell and for inmates
  • Keeping proper record of the behaviors of inmates and any unusual happenings in the prison
  • Making sure prisoners don't escape
  • Carrying out inspection duties in all aspects of the facility
  • Ensuring the protection of other correctional officers from assaults by prisoners
  • Prevent conflicts between inmates
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How much does a Correctional Officer make in the United States?

6k salaries reported, updated at June 19, 2021
$33,523
per year

The average salary for a correctional officer is $33,523 per year in the United States.

Most common benefits

  • Military leave
  • Credit union membership
  • Loan forgiveness
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development assistance
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Where can a Correctional Officer earn more?

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Frequently asked questions

Common questions about being a Correctional Officer

Is being a correctional officer dangerous?

It can be dangerous to work as a correctional officer as they can be injured during confrontations with inmates and exposed to illnesses through close ocntact with other people.

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What is the difference between a correctional officer and a police officer?

Correctional officers and police officers are both uniformed officials. Correctional officers work in prisons and jails and guard people who have been convicted of crimes committed while police officers work in the community and seek to identify perpetrators of crimes.

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Do correctional officers carry guns?

Correctional officers may carry guns when guarding the perimeter of a facility or transporting prisoners. Most prisons keep weapons in safe armories in the event of riots or hostage situations. In instances where correction officers need to suppress someone physically, they usually use tasers, gas, physical force.

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What does a correctional officer do?

What is the work schedule like for correctional officers?

What is the job outlook for correctional officers?

Are correctional officers required to take drug tests?