what degree do you need to become a Correctional Officer and Jailer
majors for Correctional Officers and Jailers

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
OwlGuru Rank


Be A Correctional Officer: What You Really Need

In this requirements guide for Correctional Officers and Jailers, you will find out what do you need to become a Correctional Officer and Jailer and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Correctional Officer and Jailer.

Degree required

Recommended degree level

High School Diploma

High School Diploma

Some college courses


Associates degree

No degree

Generally, employers are looking for Correctional Officers who have a High School Diploma. They also prefer someone who is good in Active Listening and Speaking.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Correctional Officer or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Correctional Officers what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Juvenile Corrections
Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other

Correctional officers and jailers must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some state and local corrections agencies require some college credits. For employment in federal prisons, the Federal Bureau of Prisons requires entry-level correctional officers to have at least a bachelor’s degree; 3 years of full-time experience in a field providing counseling, assistance, or supervision to individuals; or a combination of the two.


schools for Correctional Officers

Interested in becoming A Correctional Officer? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming a Correctional Officer and Jailer

How long does it take


You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be A Correctional Officer.

For example: An electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

To become A Correctional Officer, you will usually need 1 to 2 years of training which includes both on-the-job experience and training with experienced workers.

How long does it take
7 to 15 months

Work experience
6 months to 1 year

No experience

6 months to 1 year

4 to 6 years

1 to 2 years

2 to 4 years

Job training
1 to 3 months

1 to 3 months

3 to 6 months

6 months to 1 year

0 to 1 month

2 to 4 years

Most Correctional Officers have 6 months to 1 year work experience and 1 to 3 months job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Must be at least 18 to 21 years old and have no felony convictions

Correctional officers usually must be at least 18 to 21 years of age, must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and must have no felony convictions. New applicants for federal corrections positions must be appointed before they are 37 years old.

Skills required

We asked other Correctional Officers if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Active Listening what does this mean
2.Speaking what does this mean
3.Social Perceptiveness what does this mean
4.Critical Thinking what does this mean
5.Monitoring what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Correctional Officers have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Self Control and Stress Tolerance.

1.Self Control
2.Stress Tolerance
5.Attention to Detail

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Correctional Officers you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Public Safety and Security what does this mean
2.Law and Government what does this mean
3.Psychology what does this mean
4.English Language what does this mean
5.Computers and Electronics what does this mean

As A Correctional Officer, you may also be required to know how to use certain Data base user interface and query software, Data base management system software and Data base user interface and query software tools.

3M Electronic Monitoring software (Data base user interface and query software)
Corrections housing software (Data base management system software)
Guardian RFID Correction System software (Data base user interface and query software)
Jail management software (Data base user interface and query software)
Microsoft Access (Data base user interface and query software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

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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 Requirements

Correctional Officers and Jailers requirements, how to become Correctional Officers, degree required to be a Correctional Officer and Jailer, Correctional Officers and Jailers license and certifications, majors to be a Correctional Officer and Jailer, is it hard to become a Correctional Officer and Jailer and how long does it take

Additional resources

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