Corrections Degree Overview
Listed below are colleges and universities that offer online degrees, certificates, and diplomas in the major of Corrections and a detailed list of the programs offered. Tuition, financial aid, course offerings, online classes, adult education, and distance learning options are available by request.
What You Don’t See From Outside a Prison
For many of us, the only time weve seen the inner workings of prison is on TV crime dramas, illustrating metal bars as the sole protection given to inmates. However, what most people dont realize is the dozens of people working behind the scenes to restrain inmates and prison in order. Thats where corrections officers come into the picture, brave men and women who risk their health to insure inmates remain under control.
Criminal Justice and Legal Study Areas
Corrections Career Outlook
A Career in Demand
Though its unfortunate, there will never be a shortage of criminals or prisoners. However, that means there will never be a shortage of jobs within a career in corrections. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings as corrections officers are expected to grow over 9% by 2012. Because of continuing budget restraints, careers in corrections may start shifting to the private sector, but the job will still be in demand as long as prisoners need to be watched, protected, admitted and released.
Fast Emotional and Physical Wear and Tear
Another reason corrections officers will always be in demand is because of the stress that comes with the job. Many people cant handle the emotional and physical wear and tear that comes with the first years of the job, especially when assigned difficult night shifts. Turnover is frequent within the industry, but those who stick with it are rewarded for their dedication and commitment.
When entering into a career in corrections, keep in mind that it may start out rough. Those who attain and keep jobs in corrections are hardworking, dedicated, and thick-skinned, so if you can make it past the initial training and shock of the career, corrections can be very rewarding and exciting.
Featured Online Corrections Colleges
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Corrections Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, corrections officers make about $38,280 annually at the state, city and county levels. However, many corrections officers make upwards to $51,000 to $64,110 a year, often depending on seniority and experience. Corrections officers at the federal level make slightly higher wages than others in the career, averaging at about $50,830.
Though there are not certain certifications that would raise your salary in as a corrections officer per se, showing a desire to move up into management or supervisor positions is a sure way to aid you in a higher salary and a potentially less hazardous position.
Being a corrections officer dons opens the door for higher positions within prisons and custody institutions. With experience and aptitude for the career, entry-level corrections officers often move up in the chain to be supervisors or managers of shifts at the prison.
Those in higher positions at corrections facilities between $41,740 and $73,630, so as more experience and responsibility is appointed to those within the corrections career, the added responsibilities are matched with a higher salary.
Corrections Required Job Skills and Knowledge
Bachelors Degrees for Corrections Officers
At city, county and state levels, most institutions only require a high school diploma or graduation equivalency degree. However, the Federal Bureau of Prisons requires its officers to have bachelors degrees. Theres no requirement as to what degree prospective corrections officers should attain, but criminal justice, psychology or behavioral studies are often recommended.
Training is absolutely essential in a career in corrections, and many facilities provide their own training designed for their prison which extends over several months, adding up to about 200 hours. However, physical and mental strength are impeccable to a career in corrections, as well as endurance and the ability to catch onto behavioral trends quickly. People in corrections are naturally perceptive of human behavior and should be able to foresee or predict dangerous situations.
Important Skills to Bring to the Job
However, one of the most valuable skills to bring to the job is the ability to work within a team. Oftentimes inmates are bigger, more violent or deceiving than their corrections counterparts, so officers must play off each other’s strengths and work together to prevent potentially dangerous scenarios.
In an article on Corrections.com, Gary Cornelius gave the example of an inmate who was transferred to another facility because of his familys concern of a suicide attempt. As Cornelius kept this in mind as he interviewed the inmate, other officers dug around and found a suicide note in the inmate’s cell.
Had it not been for teamwork and the thorough search by the confinement staff, our attempt to keep this young man safe would have been in vain, Cornelius said. First and foremost is that there is no room for the lone expert in the field of corrections. We all come into this line of work with various levels of expertise and corrections works best when all professions are involved and respected.
Colleges For Corrections Degrees
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