The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) operates facilities that are structured into 6 regions within the United States; three are located in the eastern part of the U.S, two are located in the Central U.S, and one is located in the Western U.S, which includes Alaska and Hawaii.
Typically there are multiple vacancies within various duty locations at Federal prison facilities nationwide.
If you have the ability to supervise others, effectively communicate verbally, and properly react in a crisis situation, then you possess the basic skills required to become a correctional officer for the federal government.
In addition to the skills listed above you will also need to meet minimum requirements in order to qualify for selection to a correctional officer position. These minimum requirements are listed below.
- Must Be a U.S. Citizen
- Must Be Registered with Selective Service if you are a Male born after 12/31/1959
- Do not exceed the Max Age of 37 years old. If you are older but have previous law enforcement coverage, you can submit your SF-50 for verification.
- Submit to a Drug Screening (Urinalysis), and Physical Examination
- Pass a Background Investigation & All Screening Requirements related to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC)
- Have a favorable Financial History Verified by Credit Check
Required Education & Experience
Correctional Officer positions with the BOP are offered at two levels, GS-05 & GS-06. Both of these levels require a different level of education or experience to be met by the application in order to qualify for the position. Below is a basic breakdown of the level of education and experience needed to qualify for the job.
GS-05: Completed a Full 4-Year Course of Study to a Bachelors Degree from an accredited college or university. OR;
Have at least 3 years of full time experience performing the duties related to:
- Supervising, Managing, Providing Assistance, Providing Guidance, Counseling
- Directing Individuals, Teaching or Instructing, Selling Products or Services
- Responding to Emergency Situations
GS-06: Must have at least nine (9) semester hours or fourteen (14) quarter hours of Graduate Level Study in Criminal Justice, Criminology, Social Science, or any other field of study related to the position. OR;
Have the equivalent of at least 1 full year of Full-Time specialized experience performing duties related to:
- Apprehending & Arresting individuals violating the law
- Responding to Domestic Disturbances
- Verifying individuals confined in correctional, detention, or mental health facilities obey to established rules and regulations
Federal Correctional Officer Salary
A federal correctional officer hired by the BOP can expect to earn an annual salary in the ranges between $38,619 to $51,193. The Federal Government GS Pay Scale at the GS-05 and GS-06 level establishes the rate of pay.
Initial Correctional Officer Training
To become a Federal Correctional Officer you will be required to successfully complete the Introduction to Correctional Techniques course, which is three weeks of correctional officer training held at Glynco, Georgia.
If you haven’t already done so, you may want to ensure your competency level in the following areas:
- Writing & Oral Communication
- Interpersonal Skills
- Stress Tolerance
- Organizational Awareness
- Managing Human Resources
In order to apply for any recently announced Correctional Officer position with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you must go to usajobs.gov and create an account. After creating your account, you will need to locate the BOP Correctional Officer job announcements listed on the website.
Next you will need to locate the “Apply Online” button on the job announcement, then you will be instructed to upload your resume and any other requested documentation, when done, click the “Apply for this position now!” button which will then transfer over to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website called “BOP-Careers”.
At this point you’ll need to create an account for the BOP-Careers website, update your personal information, click “Apply for this Vacancy” for the job announcement you are interested in, complete the remaining information then click the “Finish” button to conclude the application process and submit your application.