Correctional Officer Job Search Tips

Now is a great time to consider a correctional officer job. The population of correctional institutions such as prisons and jails is continuing to increase, so the demand to fill these jobs is great. These jobs also offer excellent benefits and compensation. If you are looking into how to get a position as a correctional officer, here are some tips to keep in mind.

First, determine if this position is really for you. Being a correctional officer requires a lot of tact and patience as well as a willingness to work in stressful situations. It may seem obvious, but you will be dealing with some dangerous individuals, so a cool head is necessary. A certain amount of physical stamina is required for this job. You will need to meet some fitness standards.

If you think you have what it takes for the job, then determine where you would like to work. Correctional facilities can range from the small local jail up to huge federal prison complexes housing thousands of inmates. Consider the pluses and minuses of the facility carefully. Large prisons have stable populations of inmates, whereas jail populations are constantly changing. If you wouldn't mind relocating to a different part of the country, chances are you can find a correctional facility of the type that interests you looking for officers. Do some research on what type of facility you would like to work at and where you might consider moving.

A great online source to look for potential correctional jobs is the website You can look for jobs anywhere in the United States using the search engine there.

Once you've identified a prison or jail, contact that facility directly. Most of them have a recruiter who will send you a career packet. The packet contains the details of the duties you will be expected to perform, as well as specific salary and benefit information. Many will also contain an application to become a correctional officer. These applications are much longer and more involved than the typical applications you might fill out for other jobs.

The application will ask for a thorough work and educational history. A complete background check will be run, so be absolutely honest. If there are criminal or credit issues in your background, they will be found, so it is no use concealing them. You will be given the opportunity to explain them. There will also be a psychological test to determine how you would react in certain situations. Again, answer as completely and honestly as possible. Some of the questions may not even have true "right" or "wrong" answers.

If your application is successful, you will be called in for an interview. Dress conservatively and expect to be asked some hard questions such as these: "How would you enforce an unpopular rule?" or "Give an example of a situation you had to respond quickly and decisively to." Before going into the interview, you may want to rehearse with somebody to "get the kinks out."