Summary Report for:
33-3012.00 - 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.
Sample of reported job titles: Booking Officer, Correctional Officer, Correctional Sergeant, Corrections Officer (CO), Deputy Jailer, Detention Deputy, Detention Officer, Jailer, Jailor, Public Safety Officer
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Use weapons, handcuffs, and physical force to maintain discipline and order among prisoners.
- Inspect mail for the presence of contraband.
- Guard facility entrances to screen visitors.
- Maintain records of prisoners' identification and charges.
- Process or book convicted individuals into prison.
- Settle disputes between inmates.
- 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.
- Participate in required job training.
- Take prisoners into custody and escort to locations within and outside of facility, such as visiting room, courtroom, or airport.
- Serve meals, distribute commissary items, and dispense prescribed medication to prisoners.
- Counsel inmates and respond to legitimate questions, concerns, and requests.
- Drive passenger vehicles and trucks used to transport inmates to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals, and work sites.
- Use nondisciplinary tools and equipment such as a computer.
- Assign duties to inmates, providing instructions as needed.
- Investigate crimes that have occurred within an institution, or assist police in their investigations of crimes and inmates.
- Issue clothing, tools, and other authorized items to inmates.
- Arrange daily schedules for prisoners including library visits, work assignments, family visits, and counseling appointments.
- Search for and recapture escapees.
- Supervise and coordinate work of other correctional service officers.
- Sponsor inmate recreational activities such as newspapers and self-help groups.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Anti cut gloves — Cut resistant gloves
- Body armour — Lower body armor; Upper body armor
- Desktop computers
- Ear plugs — Hearing protection plugs
- Extremity restraints — Leg irons
- Fire breathing apparatus — Firefighting respirators
- Fire extinguishers — Emergency fire extinguishers
- Fire hoses or nozzles — Emergency fire hoses
- Flashlight — Law enforcement flashlights
- Gas masks — Protective gas masks
- Handcuffs — Metal handcuffs
- Handguns — Electroshock weapons; Law enforcement handguns
- Military rifles — Law enforcement rifles
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Data collectors
- Police or security shotguns — Law enforcement shotguns
- Radio frequency identification devices — Radio frequency identification RFID devices
- Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories — Air-supplying respirators
- Riot batons — Expandable batons
- Riot helmets — Riot protection helmets
- Riot shields — Tactical riot shields
- Safety glasses — Protective safety glasses
- Safety vests — Stab proof vests
- Security cameras — Surveillance cameras
- Tablet computers
- Torso and belt restraints — Prisoner transport belts
- Two way radios — Mobile radios
Technology used in this occupation:
- Data base management system software — Corrections housing software
- Data base user interface and query software — 3M Electronic Monitoring software; Guardian RFID Correction System software; Jail management software; Microsoft Access
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Explosive Strength — The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Detailed Work Activities
- Inspect cargo to identify potential hazards.
- Search individuals for illegal or dangerous items.
- Count prison inmates or personnel.
- Escort prisoners to courtrooms, prisons, or other facilities.
- Maintain surveillance of individuals or establishments.
- Use weapons or physical force to maintain security.
- Investigate crimes committed within organizations.
- Discuss performance, complaints, or violations with supervisors.
- Inspect equipment to ensure safety or proper functioning.
- Apprehend criminal suspects.
- Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with fire regulations.
- Record information about suspects or criminals.
- Locate suspicious objects or vehicles.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Guard facilities.
- Direct operations of correctional facilities.
- Drive vehicles to transport individuals or equipment.
- Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with security or safety regulations.
- Attend training to learn new skills or update knowledge.
- Resolve interpersonal conflicts.
- Inspect facilities for cleanliness.
- Prepare activity or work schedules.
- Supervise inmate activities.
- Contact With Others — 85% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 92% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 77% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 79% responded “Extremely important.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 61% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 68% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Physical Proximity — 51% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 42% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 52% responded “Very important results.”
- Letters and Memos — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 54% responded “40 hours.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 36% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Consequence of Error — 47% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 28% responded “High responsibility.”
- Spend Time Standing — 38% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 28% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 34% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 29% responded “More than half the time.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 30% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 37% responded “Less than half the time.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||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.|
|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.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|57||High school diploma or equivalent|
|22||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: REC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$19.12 hourly, $39,780 annual|
|Employment (2014)||458,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Slower than average (2% to 4%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||143,000|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "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.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Correctional officers and bailiffs . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.