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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: Correctional Officer, Corrections Officer (CO), Jailer, Detention Deputy, Detention Officer, Correctional Sergeant, Deputy Jailer, Booking Officer, Jailor, Public Safety Officer

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • 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.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Body armour — Lower body armor; Upper body armor
Flashlight — Law enforcement flashlights
Handguns — Electroshock weapons; Law enforcement handguns
Radio frequency identification devices — Radio frequency identification RFID devices
Security cameras — Surveillance cameras
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

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Knowledge

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.

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Skills

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.

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Abilities

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.

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Work Activities

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.

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Work Context

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.”

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Job Zone

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)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
57   High school diploma or equivalent Help
22   Some college, no degree
15   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses Find Apprenticeships

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Interests

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.

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Work Styles

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.

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Work Values

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.

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Related Occupations

21-1093.00 Social and Human Service Assistants Bright Outlook
29-2053.00 Psychiatric Technicians
29-2061.00 Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Bright Outlook
33-1011.00 First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers
33-3021.01 Police Detectives
33-3021.02 Police Identification and Records Officers
33-3021.03 Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
33-3051.01 Police Patrol Officers   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
33-3051.03 Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Bright Outlook
39-9041.00 Residential Advisors

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $19.02 hourly, $39,550 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 453,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 142,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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 external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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