Correctional Officers and Jailers
SOC: 33-3012.00


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
457,600 employed

Projected (2024):
474,700 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Booking Officer
  • Certified Detention Deputy
  • Community Services Officer
  • Convict Guard
  • Correction Officer
  • Correctional Captain
  • Correctional Corporal
  • Correctional Guard
  • Correctional Lieutenant
  • Correctional Officer
  • Correctional Sergeant
  • Corrections Corporal
  • Corrections Officer (CO)
  • Corrections Specialist
  • Cottage Master
  • Cottage Parent
  • Cottage Supervisor
  • Custodial Officer
  • Custody Assistant
  • Deputy
  • Deputy Jailer
  • Deputy Sheriff
  • Detention Deputy
  • Detention Enforcement Officer
  • Detention Officer
  • Gang Pusher
  • Gate Guard
  • Gate Watch
  • Gate Watchman
  • Guard
  • Immigration Guard
  • Immigration Services Officer
  • Jail Guard
  • Jail Officer
  • Jail Supervisor
  • Jailer
  • Jailer/Training Officer
  • Jailkeeper
  • Jailor
  • Juvenile Corrections Officer
  • Juvenile Detention Officer
  • Lock Up Keeper
  • Matron
  • Patrol Conductor
  • Penal Officer
  • Police Matron
  • Police Officer
  • Prison Guard
  • Prison Officer
  • Public Safety Officer
  • Reformatory Attendant
  • Security Guard
  • Security Officer
  • Turnkey
  • Youth Corrections Officer

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. 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.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Guard facility entrances to screen visitors.
  • Search for and recapture escapees.
  • Inspect mail for the presence of contraband.
  • Take prisoners into custody and escort to locations within and outside of facility, such as visiting room, courtroom, or airport.
  • Use weapons, handcuffs, and physical force to maintain discipline and order among prisoners.
  • Conduct fire, safety, and sanitation inspections.
  • 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.
  • Settle disputes between inmates.
  • Drive passenger vehicles and trucks used to transport inmates to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals, and work sites.
  • Arrange daily schedules for prisoners including library visits, work assignments, family visits, and counseling appointments.
  • Assign duties to inmates, providing instructions as needed.
  • Issue clothing, tools, and other authorized items to inmates.
  • Investigate crimes that have occurred within an institution, or assist police in their investigations of crimes and inmates.
  • Maintain records of prisoners' identification and charges.
  • Supervise and coordinate work of other correctional service officers.
  • Sponsor inmate recreational activities such as newspapers and self-help groups.
  • Conduct head counts to ensure that each prisoner is present.
  • 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.
  • Inspect conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.
  • Record information, such as prisoner identification, charges, and incidences of inmate disturbance, and keep daily logs of prisoner activities.
  • Search prisoners and vehicles and conduct shakedowns of cells for valuables and contraband, such as weapons or drugs.
  • Process or book convicted individuals into prison.
  • Participate in required job training.
  • Serve meals, distribute commissary items, and dispense prescribed medication to prisoners.
  • Counsel inmates and respond to legitimate questions, concerns, and requests.
  • Use nondisciplinary tools and equipment such as a computer.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Air-supplying respirators
  • Cut resistant gloves
  • Data collectors
  • Desktop computers
  • Electroshock weapons
  • Emergency fire extinguishers
  • Emergency fire hoses
  • Expandable batons
  • Firefighting respirators
  • Hearing protection plugs
  • Laptop computers
  • Law enforcement flashlights
  • Law enforcement handguns
  • Law enforcement rifles
  • Law enforcement shotguns
  • Leg irons
  • Lower body armor
  • Metal handcuffs
  • Mobile radios
  • Personal computers
  • Prisoner transport belts
  • Protective gas masks
  • Protective safety glasses
  • Radio frequency identification RFID devices
  • Riot protection helmets
  • Stab proof vests
  • Surveillance cameras
  • Tablet computers
  • Tactical riot shields
  • Upper body armor
  • 3M Electronic Monitoring software
  • Corrections housing software
  • Guardian RFID Correction System software
  • Jail management software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Web browser software

  • protective service

    industry stats

    SOC: 33-0000

    Total Employed: 3,351,620

    Average Annual Salary: $44,610