What is a Federal Correction Officer?

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A Federal Correction Officer is a law enforcement jobs position where a person is employed to oversee incarcerated individuals housed in a federal correctional institution. Qualified candidates for this position must possess a bachelor's degree as well as receiving on-the-job training. A typical degree held by a Federal Corrections Officer is a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Other candidates pursue undergraduate degrees that deal with substance abuse, psychology, or concentrate obtaining course work dealing with specific inmate populations such as youth offenders or mentally ill. In some instances, previous military training can substitute for college experience. Additionally, other law enforcement job experience, including employment as a State Corrections Officer, can substitute for college coursework.

Eligibility Requirements

A candidate for a Federal Corrections Officer position in law enforcement must be a citizen of the United States having attained the age of 18 with no background possessing any felony convictions. Candidates must be physically fit, possessing normal eyesight and hearing. All applicants for this law enforcement job must pass a background check and a pre-employment drug screening. Any candidate with prior military experience is given job preferential treatment when applying for a Federal Corrections Officer position. All candidates for one of these law enforcement jobs must pass a written examination as well.

Job Training Necessary

Each candidate for a Federal Corrections Officer position must complete a 120-hour training course at a US Federal Bureau of Prisons Residential Training Center. This training includes instruction in self-defense and firearms usage. Additional training will cover such topic areas as institutional policies, rules and regulations, operations and custody and security procedures. A Federal Corrections Officer begins a career working carefully under the supervision of more experienced law enforcement personnel for a probationary period until they have passed qualifying requirements.

Job Duties

Job duties for Federal Corrections Officers are similar to those conducted by other individuals engaged in law enforcement jobs in jails, reformatories and penitentiaries throughout the country. A Federal Corrections Officer helps maintain law and order enforcing behavioral rules and regulations needed to keep an inmate population safe and secure when incarcerated in a federal facility. It can sometimes be quite a dangerous job having to monitor and then modify inmate behavior when necessary. Therefore, it is extremely important that a Federal Corrections Officer maintains a high level of physical fitness that will help execute physically-demanding or pop job duties. Other job duties include a certain amount of record keeping and maintaining. Additionally, correctional officers are responsible for overseeing any inmate-to-visitor interaction making sure that these contact situations are kept secure. Part of a Federal Corrections Officer's job assignment is to oversee the proper personal hygiene of inmates making sure that they are conducting themselves in a healthy manner in a safe and secure environment.

Job Outlook

The job title Federal Corrections Officer is the largest employment segment of the United States Bureau of Prisons and as such, has a steady amount of opportunity available especially if potential candidates are willing to relocate. Federal Corrections Officer salaries range from $45,250 to $60,380 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The outlook in the near future according to government reports is for an increased need to fill positions of Federal Corrections Officers.
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