Correctional Officers and Jailers


Salary Median (2020)


Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)

-7.5% (decline)

Most Common Level of Education

High school diploma or equivalent


What Correctional Officers and Jailers Do

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.

Other Job Titles Correctional Officers and Jailers May Have

Correctional Officer, Correctional Sergeant, Corrections Officer (CO), Deputy Jailer, Detention Deputy, Detention Officer, Jail Officer, Jailer, Jailor

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Corrections Sergeant

A great day for me working in the Department of Corrections consists of not having to deal with issues that pose a threat to the institution or the department. A typical day in the prison for me includes supervising inmates in housing units and those segregated for administrative or punitive measures along with instructing them in housekeeping and sanitation. After the offenders return to their housing units from their assigned jobs for the day, we have to conduct a head count every hour.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • Conduct head counts to ensure that each prisoner is present.
  • Inspect conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.
  • 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.
  • Search prisoners and vehicles and conduct shakedowns of cells for valuables and contraband, such as weapons or drugs.
  • Maintain records of prisoners' identification and charges.

This page includes information from theO*NET 26.1 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.