To become a correction officer in NYS, you must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Be 21 years old on or before your appointment date.
- You must be a U.S. Citizen.
- Be a High School graduate or its educational equivalent.
- Reside in New York State to meet the residency requirement.
- Successfully pass the written Civil Service Exam with a minimum final score of 70%.
Your current physical and medical condition will be assessed to determine if you can successfully perform the duties of a correctional officer. The physical and medical assessment will consist of a physical fitness test, a medical evaluation, and a drug test / substance abuse screening.
You will be responsible for the cost of the clinical laboratory test fees related to the medical examination and drug screening.
In addition to the physical and medical examinations, you will also be required to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine your ability to perform the fundamental duties of a corrections officer.
As a condition of employment, prospective correction officers are required to submit to a background investigation to determine the eligibility for appointment to a corrections officer position. A felony conviction will bar you from consideration while misdemeanor convictions may also bar you from consideration but this is determined on a case-by-case basis. A $75.00 fee is required for fingerprint processing.
For your correctional officer training as a correction officer trainee, you must successfully complete a 12-month trainee program. This process begins what you attending the New York State Department of Corrections & Community Supervision (DOCCS) Training Academy.
For 8-weeks, from Sunday evenings through Friday afternoons, you will live inside the academy receiving paid training within a paramilitary environment learning the ins and outs of corrections, while undergoing physical fitness training, firearms proficiency training, defensive tactics techniques, and specialized certifications.
Once you successfully meet all requirements and graduate from the correction officer training academy program, which is worth as much as (16) college credits towards a degree, you will then be considered a NYS Peace Officer and begin 3-weeks of on-the-job training prior to you being assigned to full-duty at a NYS correctional facility.
A probationary period of 1 year (52 weeks) will be in place where your performance will be periodically evaluated against the department standards. At the conclusion of your probation period, you will then be advanced to the level of (G-14) Correction Officer.
The Application Process
The New York Department of Civil Service Examination handles the application process and testing for NYS civil service jobs. Correction Officer Job openings are generally published through correction officer exam announcements and include the examination number, job title, hiring rate, salary, test dates, and the deadline to apply.
The most recent correction officer job announcement is for:
25-626 Correction Officer Trainee
25-627 Correction Officer Trainee (Spanish Language)
The job announcements will provide links to the required application forms.
A $35.00 Non-Refundable Application Processing Fee is required unless you are a member of NYS CSEA or you qualify for a waiver. The application form will provide detailed information on how to qualify for the fee waiver.
The Correction Officer Exam is administered by the Department of Civil Service, and can be reached at 1-877-697-5627.
A guide to the written civil service exam for entry-level correctional officers can be downloaded here.
The requirements to become a correctional officer in New York City differ from those in New York State.