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Correctional Officer Requirements for Texas

Correctional Officer Jobs in TexasThere are over 100 prisons throughout Texas under the control of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, employing over 25,000 Correctional Officers.

To be eligible to become a Correctional Officer with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the following requirements must be met:


  • You must be a citizen of the U.S, or an alien authorized to work in the U.S., at least 18 years old, and possess a High School Diploma from an accredited senior high school or equivalent, or a state or military-issued General Education Development (GED) certificate. Male applicants, age 18 through 25, must provide proof of Selective Service registration or exemption from Selective Service registration.
  • You cannot be on active duty in the military, unless on terminal leave, but you may apply and screen if you are within 6 months of eligibility. You must not have been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
  • Must never have been convicted of a felony, a drug-related offense, or an offense involving domestic violence. You cannot have had a Class A misdemeanor conviction within the past 10 years, or a Class B misdemeanor conviction within the past 5 years. You cannot be on probation for any criminal offense, have any criminal charges pending, or have an outstanding warrant. You must pass the TDCJ Drug Test.
  • Must be able to perform the essential functions of a Correctional Officer, with or without reasonable accommodation. Essential functions for Correctional Officer I can be found at the following link:
  • Pass the TDCJ Pre-Employment Test. Questions cover areas, including: memory and observation, situational reasoning, reading comprehension/deductive reasoning, verbal reasoning, and arithmetic. You can take the pre-employment test twice in a one-year period. If you do not pass on your second attempt, you must wait one year from the date of your original test to be eligible to reapply. Sample test questions can be found here:

Additional Requirements With or Without Reasonable Accommodation can be found at the following link:

Continued employment is contingent upon passing exams and skill tests in the TDCJ Correctional Officer Pre-service Training Academy.


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11 Responses to Correctional Officer Requirements for Texas

  1. NeKa May 29, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    What if I had a warrant but I’m on a payment plan now for a traffic ticket will I still be able to work for tdcj

    • COTHQ May 30, 2013 at 6:23 am #

      Make sure that you don’t have any open or current issues that have not been addressed prior to you submitting an application. A past warrant shouldn’t be an issue as long as you made the proper arrangements and the warrant isn’t in an active status that may show up during a background investigation.

  2. Bella January 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    I’m about to go to the training to become a correctional officer and I wanted to get back on my medication. I have an anti-depressant and ADHD pills that I was prescribed and I wanted to get back on them to help me with my, hopefully, future career as a CO. So I’m not sure what to do at this point? I’ll be leaving for training in just a few days..

  3. Tim February 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    I have a class a misdemeanor from 18 yreas ago can i still work for as a correction officer

  4. jabreisha l lighten June 24, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    what if I have had misdemeanors as a juvenile would that effect me I’m 19 now

  5. Fred Schnebly October 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    I have attended 3 corrections academies. 2 in az. and 1 in Washington State. I have also completed Washington State Criminal Justice Training academy Reserve Police Academy.
    Would I still need to go thur the texas academy?

    • Matthew November 28, 2014 at 4:41 am #

      Yes you do. Every state has its own rules and guidelines. I work for TDCJ currently

  6. dawn treveal March 5, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

    I am a new york state correction officer of 13 years.To apply for a correction officer position in Houston Texas do i have to start the process from the beginning again? Or can i apply to the state of Houston with my prior training ?

  7. Nae July 16, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

    What score do I need for it to be passing?

  8. Jasmine Jenkins July 19, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

    I Recently Took My Test June 21 Or 30 And They Said Everything Been Approved , Imm Just Waiting For A Phone Call To Start The Training And The Next Training Start July 23 Do Anybody Know How Long Do It Take To Receive A Phone Call ?

  9. polycarp October 24, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

    Please, what’s the duration and cost for C.O?