Correctional Officer

Job Series Number: 0007

BOP Correctional Officers
Correctional Officers are the largest part of the workforce. All BOP institutions routinely have vacancies for this position. Correctional Officers enforce the regulations governing the operation of a correctional institution, serving as both a supervisor and counselor of inmates.

Pay Levels GS-05, GS-06

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs)

  • Ability to supervise others
  • Ability to communicate verbally
  • Ability to react in crisis situations

For consideration at the GS-05 level

A full 4-year course of study in any field leading to a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited school.


At least 3 years of full-time general experience performing duties such as:

  • Providing assistance, guidance, and direction to individuals
  • Counseling individuals
  • Responding to emergency situations
  • Supervising or managing
  • Teaching or instructing individuals
  • Selling products or services (persuasive commissioned sales)

Examples of occupations where this general experience may have been gained:

  • Teacher or Instructor
  • Counselor
  • Worker with juvenile delinquents
  • Parole/Probation Worker
  • Welfare/Social Worker
  • Firefighter
  • Nurse
  • Clergyman
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Supervisor or Manager
  • Persuasive salesperson in commissioned sales (automobile, insurance, etc.)
  • Security Guard
  • Children's day care facility worker

For consideration at the GS-06 level

Nine semester hours or 14 quarter hours of graduate study from an accredited school in:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Social Science
  • Another field of study related to the position such as law


The equivalent of at least 1 year of full-time specialized experience performing duties such as:

  • Ensuring that individuals confined in a correctional or mental health facility adhere to rules and regulations
  • Responding to domestic disturbances
  • Apprehending and arresting individuals violating the law

Examples of occupations where specialized experience may have been gained:

  • Correctional Officer
  • Detention Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • State Trooper
  • Sheriff
  • Park Ranger
  • Deputy Sheriff
  • Supervising inmates in a jail
  • Mental health residential facility worker

Age Requirement

At time of appointment, applicants must not have reached their 37th birthday unless they previously served in a Federal civilian law enforcement position covered by special civil service retirement provisions, including early or mandatory retirement.

We are hiring for this position at many locations across the country.

Normally when a vacancy is announced, it's for a job opening at a specific location. However, because this position is in high demand it's considered an "open-continuous" announcement. That means you get to choose your top two facilities that you want to work at. Here's how it works:

  • Apply for this position using the website as you would do with any other federal job.
    Correctional Officer Open-Continuous Announcement
  • Select any two locations that you want to work at.
    View all of our locations
  • After your application is accepted, you will be added to a standing register of qualified candidates.
  • When a position becomes available at one of the facilities that you selected, you will be considered for that position, and if you are selected we will contact you with an offer.

It's that simple!

Do your career justice

Come and work for a one of the most unique agencies in the United States Department of Justice where each employee's day-to-day performance makes a difference. Our family and career-oriented agency promotes integrity, diversity, and professional development.

We offer:

  • A supportive, safe, and secure environment with opportunity for growth and advancement.
  • A competitive federal government salary and benefits, including health care and retirement.
  • Potential for recruitment incentives.
  • Flexible work options.

Learn what has motivated more than 38,000 people to join the BOP

This position has non-standard application procedures.

You can find out how to apply to a specific opportunity by reviewing the "Qualifications" tab.