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

Basic Requirements

  • Oral Communication
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Writing
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Managing Human Resources
  • Stress Tolerance

For consideration at the GS-05 level

Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in any field leading to a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

OR

At least 3 years of full-time general experience, one of which is equivalent to the GL-04 grade level, or one year of specialized experience. This experience must have demonstrated the aptitude for acquiring knowledge, skills, and abilities required for correctional work, and, in addition, demonstrate the possession of personal attributes important to the effectiveness of correctional officers, such as:

  • Ability to meet and deal with people of differing backgrounds and behavioral patterns
  • Ability to be persuasive in selling and influencing ideas
  • Ability to lead, supervise, and instruct others
  • Sympathetic attitude towards the welfare of others
  • Ability to reason soundly and to think out practical solutions to problems
  • Ability to make decisions and act quickly, particularly under stress
  • Poise and self-confidence, and ability to remain calm during emergency situations

General experience may have been gained in work such as:

  • Social case work in a welfare agency or counseling in other types of organizations
  • Classroom teaching or instructing
  • Responsible rehabilitation work, e.g., in an alcoholic rehabilitation program
  • Supervising planned recreational activities or active participation in community action programs
  • Management or supervisory work in a business or other organization that included directing the work flow and/or direct supervision of others
  • Persuasive sales work or commissioned sales work, other than taking and filing orders as in over the-counter sales

For consideration at the GS-06 level

Nine (9) semester hours or fourteen (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

OR

One year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and complexity to the next lower grade level in federal service. This experience must have equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, 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

Some examples of this qualifying experience are:

  • Providing supervision, care and security of inmates and guidance to lower-graded Correctional Officers.
  • Supervising inmates in living quarters and instructing them in proper housekeeping and sanitation.
  • Experience working as a Police Officer responding to domestic disturbances and issuing citations for law violations.
  • Experience in investigating crime scenes as a State Trooper.
  • Experience as a Mental Health Worker in a Mental Health Lockdown facility.
  • Enforcing rules and regulations governing facility security, inmate accountability and inmate conduct to ensure judicial sanctions are carried out and inmates remain in custody.

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. Qualified Preference Eligible Veterans may be exempt from meeting the maximum entry age of 37.

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 usajobs.gov 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.