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What Qualifications Do I Need to be a Corrections Officer?

Corrections OfficerAmerica has, by far, more prisoners than any country on earth. With just five percent of the world’s population, the U.S. has 25 percent of its prisoners, according to the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.* As of April 2008, America’s total prison population was approximately 2.3 million. This is far ahead of second-place China, which has a criminal population estimated at about 1.6 million.**

While some people may find such grim statistics disheartening, it’s good news for people who work in the prison industry, including people looking for jobs as corrections officers.

What Corrections Officers Do

Corrections/correctional officers are responsible for keeping order and safety in prisons, jails and reformatories. Usually working as uniformed guards, they work with people arrested for crimes and awaiting trial as well as convicted criminals. Their job is to provide security, avert and halt prisoner violence and prevent escapes.

Corrections Officer Qualifications

In most states, qualifications for employment as a corrections officer include:

  • Being 18 or 21 years old (depending on the state)
  • Having a high school diploma or GED
  • Cannot be a convicted felon
  • Must have held a job for at least two years prior
  • Must meet local requirements for height, weight, eyesight, hearing, strength, etc.
  • Must be able to pass drug and background checks
  • Must be able to demonstrate sound judgment and decision-making skills

In addition, any post-secondary education, such as a degree in criminal justice, is often an advantage in getting employment and securing future promotions.

Earn an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice at Everest University Online

If you are interested in a corrections officer career, you can get a head start by earning an associate degree in Criminal Justice through Everest University Online, a division of Everest University. The 24-month program covers a wide range of subjects relevant to the criminal justice field, including:

  • Criminology
  • Criminal Evidence
  • Criminal Procedure and the Constitution
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Policing in America
  • Criminal Justice Communications
  • Introduction to Interviews and Interrogations

Your own hard work, professionalism, experience, work attitude, local market and other factors will impact your personal employment opportunities and pay.

Advantages of Online Learning

The Everest University Online associate degree in Criminal Justice program offers many advantages for people who don’t have the time or opportunity to attend a traditional ground campus. These include:

  • Being able to study at the time and pace of your choosing
  • Small classes that allow close one-on-one interaction with your instructors
  • No time wasted commuting
  • Freedom to earn your degree while working and/or attending to family obligations

Contact Everest University Online Today

For more information on the Criminal Justice online associate degree program, contact Everest University Online today!

Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

* New York Times, April 23, 2008,
** Does not include political prisoners.

Tagged with: Articles, Criminal Justice

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