Jailer Career Field


Jailers are also known as correctional officers. It is their job to maintain order within a correctional institution, jail or prison. They ensure that inmates are orderly and obey rules. They monitor daily activities, supervise inmate work assignments, do searches for contraband items, settle inmate disputes, and enforce general discipline. They may inspect facilities for unsanitary conditions, fire hazards, and any evidence of rule breaking. They also inspect facilities to ensure that inmates are safely kept inside. They keep daily logs of all activities and work with local authorizes in the event of an inmate escape. This work can be stressful and dangerous. At maximum security facilities, correctional officers may be the only outside contact that inmates have for months at a time.

Educational Requirements

 High School Diploma or equivalent
Correctional Officers at Federal Prison-A Bachelor’s Degree and 3 years full-time experience in law enforcement, military experience, corrections, counseling, or supervision to individuals

All correctional officers must meet the age requirement to be hired of being at least 18 to 21 years of age. They must also have a high school diploma. For local agencies, new hires must also successfully complete a local or state training program that generally takes several weeks to complete.

The requirements to work in a federal correctional institution are much more stringent then a state or local institution. All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and applicable job experience.  New federal correctional officers must complete 200 hours of training the first year they are hired. They must also complete 120 hours of specialized training at the US Federal Beau of Prisons in Glynco, Georgia within 60 days of getting hired.

Educational Courses

Firearms Usage and Safety
Law Enforcement
Correctional Facility Management
Dealing with Hostile and Dangerous Confrontations

Employment Statistics

Number Employed in 2008: 474,800
Projected Employment through 2018: 519,400
Average Annual Pay for jailer/correctional officers in 2008: $38,380

Great Colleges

Capella University
Walden University
University of Phoenix
Ashford University
Colorado Technical University 

Related Careers
Police and detectives
Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists
Security guards and gaming surveillance officers

Aricle Reference: bls.gov

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