What Do Correctional Officers Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

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daily life of a Correctional Officer and Jailer
are Correctional Officers and Jailers happy with their job

Correctional Officers and Jailers

Other names for this job might include Booking Officer, Certified Detention Deputy, Community Services Officer, Convict Guard, Correction Officer, Correctional Corporal, Correctional Guard, Correctional Officer, Correctional Sergeant, Corrections Corporal

  • $45320
  • 55%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
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Being A Correctional Officer: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Correctional Officers and Jailers do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Correctional Officer and Jailer or not.

Job summary

Correctional Officers guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institutions in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, prison, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.

We asked Correctional Officers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


55% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 62% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

Become one

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Correctional Officers Guard facility entrances to screen visitors. They Inspect mail for the presence of contraband.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Correctional Officer is to Take prisoners into custody and escort to locations within and outside of facility, such as visiting room, courtroom, or airport.

Some may also Use weapons, handcuffs, and physical force to maintain discipline and order among prisoners.

In a normal work day, another thing that Correctional Officers do is they Conduct fire, safety, and sanitation inspections.

In addition to that, they Provide to supervisors oral and written reports of the quality and quantity of work performed by inmates, inmate disturbances and rule violations, and unusual occurrences..

A typical day for A Correctional Officer look like this:

Guard facilities.
Inspect cargo to identify potential hazards.
Escort prisoners to courtrooms, prisons, or other facilities.

We asked some Correctional Officers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?92% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?20% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?79% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?89% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?56% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?53% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?83% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?67% said yes

Other responsibilities

Working life

Working hours

40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Correctional Officer, you can expect to work 40 hours per week.

Do Correctional Officers work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Correctional Officers work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Correctional Officers work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Persuaders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

You also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Rank: C
Salary: $35160

They care for individuals with mental or emotional conditions or disabilities, following the instructions of physicians or other health practitioners. Monitor patients’ physical and emotional well-being and report to medical staff. May participate in rehabilitation and treatment programs, help with personal hygiene, and administer oral or injectable medications.
Rank: C+
Salary: $59560

They patrol assigned area to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, control crowds, prevent crime, and arrest violators.
Rank: B+
Salary: $61790

They directly supervise and coordinate activities of correctional officers and jailers.
Rank: B+
Salary: $80540

They investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
Rank: C
Salary: $31860

They assist in providing client services in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, including support for families. May assist clients in identifying and obtaining available benefits and social and community services. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, rehabilitation, or dependent care.

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Career type

Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement
Correction Services, Emergency and Fire Management Services, Law Enforcement Services

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Related to Correctional Officers and Jailers Job Description

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Additional resources


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Correctional Officers and Jailers
Written by: Stanley Tan
Correctional Officers guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institutions in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, prison, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.
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