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Correctional Officer Requirements for Iowa

To become a Correctional Officer with the Iowa Department of Corrections, certain minimum qualifications must be met: possess a high school diploma or GED, have a valid driver’s license, be able to pass a urinalysis drug screen test, and pass a background investigation.

As part of the application process, you will be given a series of tests and each must be completed satisfactorily to obtain employment.

You will take an observation test that involves watching a video scenario and answering questions to test your judgment and observational abilities. A psychological exam will gauge your propensity and capability for this line of work.

You will have an interview with DOC staff where you will be asked questions to determine your willingness and ability to be a good fit as a correctional officer.

Under certain circumstances, the general testing requirements may be altered or waived for candidates who meet specific criteria. Correctional officers from other jurisdictions are eligible for direct transfer consideration. To explore whether you meet the qualifications for transfer, go to the DOC transfer webpage.

The position of correctional officer can be physically demanding. You must pass a medical examination and have a physician certify that you are physically able to perform all the essential functions necessary in the occupation. In the event of an emergency, it is necessary to act quickly to stabilize volatile and dangerous situations. You may be required to lift and carry inmates, put prisoners in restraints, and defend yourself and others.

To apply, visit the Iowa Department of Administrative Services employment page, where you can search for open positions and apply online.

Upon conditional hire, you will attend the Corrections Training Academy at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility. The 5-week program involves both classroom and hands on training. You will learn topics such as diversity training, how to manage security threats, communication, use of force, legal issues, report writing, and how to restrain inmates and conduct searches. After completion of pre-service training, you will have a 6-month probation period while you are working at your assigned facility.

For more information, visit the Iowa DOC website at

One Response to Correctional Officer Requirements for Iowa

  1. Kory Haas June 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    When is the next Iowa correctional officer qualification class near Manchester Iowa.