Correctional Officers and Jailers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Correctional Officers and Jailers 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.

  • Conduct head counts to ensure that each prisoner is present.
  • Inspect conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.
  • Monitor conduct of prisoners in housing unit, or during work or recreational activities, according to established policies, regulations, and procedures, to prevent escape or violence.
  • Search prisoners and vehicles and conduct shakedowns of cells for valuables and contraband, such as weapons or drugs.
Read more about what does a Correctional Officer and Jailer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$49300 per year

Average hourly wage
$24 per hour

Correctional Officers with little to no experience tend to make between $31140 and $36180 while the more experienced ones can earn over $59550 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $36 $75,400
NJ $34 $70,280
RI $33 $68,710
MA $33 $67,920
AK $31 $64,670

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Correctional Officer and Jailer is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Correctional Officers are CA, NJ, RI, MA and AK.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Correctional Officer and Jailer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Correctional Officers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a Post-Secondary Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Juvenile Corrections
Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other
Read more about how to become a Correctional Officer and Jailer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Correctional Officer and Jailer.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Normal working hours (40 hours per week)
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Salary is below average

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

55% of Correctional Officers said they were satisfied with their job and 62% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Hic Jacet Moesta
A county jail
Source: Quora

Chuck Thompson
Source: Quora

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Entrepreneurs

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like 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..

They 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.

Learn more about Correctional Officers

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Job Description

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Related career information

Correctional Officers job description, Correctional Officers salary, Correctional Officers information, what is the job of a Correctional Officer and Jailer like, pros and cons about Correctional Officers and Jailers, colleges and universities for Correctional Officers and Jailers, is Correctional Officers and Jailers the right career for me, careers in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

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Booking Officer, Certified Detention Deputy, Community Services Officer, Convict Guard, Correction Officer, Correctional Corporal, Correctional Guard, Correctional Officer, Correctional Sergeant, Corrections Corporal

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