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How to become a Correctional Officer?

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Top Answer
Talent.com talent.com
Answered July 12 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
The requirements for becoming a correctional officer may differ from state to state, even from county to county. At a minimum, Corrections Officers require a secondary school diploma, or the successful completion of equivalency tests, i.e., GED. Additional corrections or law-related courses are often not looked at as advantageously for the job itself or by those recruiting for these types of positions. They may, however, aid in the completion of mandatory training and assessment programs.   
Additionally, Correctional Officers must attempt, complete, and pass occupational fitness tests to ensure that the physical job capabilities do not pose a problem to those interested. Duties that may be tested and required can consist of several factors to determine medical readiness and include thoroughly searching inmate cells, emergency responsiveness, and aerobic preparedness. Correctional Officer roles are physically demanding, and considerable preparation is required. Those applying for an opening in this profession should improve their muscular strength and endurance to pass their assessment. Some may consider consulting a personal trainer or fitness professional to build a program to help prepare and maintain fitness goals, as this type of career can at times be highly physically demanding. 

What can help you become a Correctional Officer
The educational background necessary to become a Correctional Officer includes completing secondary education and having a college or university degree in Law Enforcement, Correctional Services, Police Sciences, or Criminology. Applicants may need to complete a training course provided by their employer, but most states require that the candidate complete a training course. Correctional Officers should consider the following before getting started on this career path:   
  • Obtaining a high-school diploma. 
  • Training for and passing physical fitness/endurance exams. 
  • Possessing excellent interpersonal and communication skills and working within a team setting. 
  • Having the ability to work with aggressive and violent personalities. 
  • Treating inmates with respect and dignity. 
  • Projecting a sense of authority with the ability to convey instructions clearly and authoritatively.  
  • Possessing proficiency in the use of non-lethal and lethal weapons and outstanding levels of integrity, morality, honesty, and responsibility. 
Applicants may be recruited by correctional centers to receive further training, including, but not limited to, first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), handling weapons, and other necessary skills to maintain order and safety in a correctional center. Recruits must also be subject to physical and psychological evaluations, according to state or territorial laws. Many correctional institutions also require their recruits to have a clean criminal record.