Correctional Officer

Job Series Number: 0007

BOP Correctional Officers

At the Federal Bureau of Prisons, being a Correctional Officer goes beyond the uniform and a set of keys. You're building a rewarding career that goes beyond benefits, to help those inside prepare for and succeed at a new life on the outside.

We are immediately hiring in the North Central and Western regions.  Please visit Openings to learn more about priority hiring institutions.

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.


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


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 immediately hiring in the North Central and Western regions.

Correctional Officer's are a critically important role at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. To fill these high priority positions, we keep a nation-wide job announcement open year-round and are immediately prioritizing hiring for locations with current openings. If you want to begin your career at the BOP as soon as possible, follow these steps: 

  1. Apply for this position on
  2. Select two locations from facilities with immediate openings: USP Thomson, IL; USP Florence Admax, CO; FCI Englewood, CO; FCI Terre Haute, IN; FCI Oxford, WI; FCI Victorville, CA; MDC Los Angeles, CA; USP Atwater, CA; FCI Mendota, CA; FCI Lompoc, CA.
  3. After your application is accepted, you will be added to a standing register of qualified candidates.
  4. 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. 

For helpful tips on how to complete your application, check out the Application Process.

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.