Aspiring jailers, detention and corrections officers often pursue a corrections officer certificate program at a community college or vocational school, where they will learn imprisoning institution protocols and procedures. They'll also learn how to handle weapons, use defensive tactics, effectively communicate with prisoners, and deal with unexpected emergency situations.
The curriculum also covers theories of criminal justice and the basics of the U.S. legal system. Program length varies. To enroll, applicants must be U.S. citizens and have a high school diploma or its equivalent. They should also be physically fit and, in some cases, pass a Basic Abilities Test (BAT).
Corrections Officer Certificate
In addition to useful and supplemental elements like training in physical fitness, first aid and interpersonal skills, corrections officer certificate program courses include:
- Correctional facility operations
- Criminal justice system
- Emergency preparedness
- Search and seizure procedures
- Defensive tactics
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Jailers and correctional officers work in prisons, reformatory institutions and other correctional facilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals are expected to see a 7% decline in employment over 2018-2028, with a mean annual salary of $49,300 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov).
The American Correctional Association offers certification for professional jailers and correctional officers through an examination for the designation of Certified Corrections Officer (CCO). Individuals must pay a program fee and have at least one year of experience in the field to be eligible.
Corrections officer certificate programs prepare students for work as jailers and correctional officers. Graduates may pursue professional certification.