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Career and Education Opportunities for Correctional Officers in Palm Bay, Florida

For those living in the Palm Bay, Florida area, there are many career and education opportunities for correctional officers. There are currently 36,860 working correctional officers in Florida; this should grow by 16% to about 42,780 working correctional officers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for correctional officers are expected to grow by about 9.4%. In general, correctional officers guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institution in accordance with established regulations and procedures.

The average wage in the general category of Correctional jobs is $21 per hour or $43,350 per year in Florida, and an average of $18 per hour or $38,100 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: cottage supervisor, custodial officer, and youth corrections officer.

The Palm Bay area is home to five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Palm Bay where you can get a degree as a correctional officer. Given that the most common education level for correctional officers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a correctional officer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Correctional Officer

Correctional Officer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, correctional officers guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institution in accordance with established regulations and procedures. They also may guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, or other point.

Correctional officers perform head counts to insure that each prisoner is present. They also track conduct of prisoners in housing unit, or during work or recreational efforts, in line with established policies and procedures, to inhibit escape or violence. Equally important, correctional officers have to examine conditions of locks and gates at correctional facilities to insure security and help avoid escapes. They are often called upon to search prisoners and vehicles and conduct shakedowns of cells for valuables and contraband. They are expected to record data, such as prisoner identification and incidences of inmate disturbance, and keep daily logs of prisoner efforts. Finally, correctional officers take prisoners into custody and escort them to locations within and outside of facilities, such as visiting rooms or airports.

Every day, correctional officers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to speak clearly. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for correctional officers to drive passenger vehicles and trucks used to move inmates to other institutions and work sites. They are often called upon to serve meals, distribute commissary items, and dispense prescribed medication to prisoners. They also guard facility entrances to screen visitors. They are sometimes expected to manage records of prisoners' identification and charges. Somewhat less frequently, correctional officers are also expected to participate in required job training.

Correctional officers sometimes are asked to arrange daily schedules for prisoners including library visits and counseling appointments. They also have to be able to use nondisciplinary tools and equipment such as computers and settle disputes between inmates. And finally, they sometimes have to record data, such as prisoner identification and incidences of inmate disturbance, and keep daily logs of prisoner efforts.

Like many other jobs, correctional officers must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Palm Bay include:

  • Bailiff. Maintain order in courts of law.
  • Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
  • Customs Inspector. Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
  • Police Officer. Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
  • Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
  • Private Investigator. Detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.
  • Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Correctional Officer Training

Brevard Community College - Cocoa, FL

Brevard Community College, 1519 Clearlake Rd, Cocoa, FL 32922. Brevard Community College is a large college located in Cocoa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,607 students. Brevard Community College has a less than one year program in Corrections which graduated 105 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Corrections Executive: This category includes individuals at the highest level of adult and juvenile corrections who oversee the development and implementation of policies and procedures.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Manager: This category includes individuals who manage major units or programs within a correctional setting.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Supervisor: This certification is for indifviduals who works with both staff and offenders in a correctional setting.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Officer: This category includes all personnel who work directly with offenders.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Executive/Juvenile: This category includes individuals at the highest level of juvenile corrections who oversee the development and implementation of policies and procedures.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Manager/Juvenile: This category includes individuals who manage major units or programs within a Juvenile correctional setting.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Supervisor/Juvenile: This category includes individuals who work with both staff and offenders in a Juvenile correctional setting.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Officer/Juvenile: All personnel who work directly with offenders.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Supervisor - Security Threat Groups: The American Correctional Association and the National Major Gang Task Force have collaborated to develop within the Corrections Certification Program a Security Threat Group specialization.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Corrections Officer/Provisional: Individuals in this category will work directly with offenders.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

LICENSES

Corrections Officer

Licensing agency: Fl. Department of Law Enforcement
Address: P. O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, FL 32302

Phone: None
Website: Fl. Department of Law Enforcement

Corrections Probation Officer

Licensing agency: Fl. Department of Law Enforcement
Address: P. O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, FL 32302

Phone: None
Website: Fl. Department of Law Enforcement

LOCATION INFORMATION: Palm Bay, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida photo by Cwolfsheep

Palm Bay is located in Brevard County, Florida. It has a population of over 100,786, which has grown by 26.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Palm Bay, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Palm Bay are priced at $195,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred ninety-two new homes were built in Palm Bay, down from seven hundred thirty-nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Palm Bay are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 16.7% of Palm Bay residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Palm Bay is 11.9%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Palm Bay residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.2%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Palm Bay is home to the Country Club Plaza and the Port Malabar Plaza. Shopping malls in the area include Palm Bay Shopping Center and Port Malabar Shopping Center. Visitors to Palm Bay can choose from Bay Breeze Restaurant and Bleachers Sports Bar & Grill for temporary stays in the area.