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Career and Education Opportunities for Correctional Officers in North Las Vegas, Nevada

Correctional officer career and educational opportunities abound in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Currently, 2,710 people work as correctional officers in Nevada. This is expected to grow 23% to about 3,340 people 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%. Correctional officers generally guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institution in accordance with established regulations and procedures.

A person working as a correctional officer can expect to earn about $24 hourly or $51,640 annually on average in Nevada and about $18 hourly or $38,380 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Correctional, people working as correctional officers in Nevada earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Correctional nationally. Jobs in this field include: gate watch, guard, and cottage master.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the North Las Vegas area, including two within twenty-five miles of North Las Vegas where you can get a degree to start your career 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 North Las Vegas 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

University of Phoenix-Las Vegas Campus - Las Vegas, NV

University of Phoenix-Las Vegas Campus, 7455 W. Washington Street, Las Vegas, NV 89128-4337. University of Phoenix-Las Vegas Campus is a small university located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,625 students. University of Phoenix-Las Vegas Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other Specialties which graduated fifty-six students in 2008.

College of Southern Nevada - Las Vegas, NV

College of Southern Nevada, 6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146-1164. College of Southern Nevada is a large college located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 27,035 students. College of Southern Nevada has 2 areas of study related to Correctional Officer. They are:

  • Corrections, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Juvenile Corrections, associate's degree which graduated 2 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: North Las Vegas, Nevada

North Las Vegas, Nevada
North Las Vegas, Nevada photo by Meridethmyers

North Las Vegas is situated in Clark County, Nevada. It has a population of over 217,253, which has grown by 88.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in North Las Vegas, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in North Las Vegas cost $207,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, eight hundred thirty-four new homes were built in North Las Vegas, down from 2,365 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in North Las Vegas are accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and health care. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 10.2% of North Las Vegas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in North Las Vegas is 14.3%, which is greater than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of North Las Vegas residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

North Las Vegas is home to the Craig Ranch Country Club and the Craig Road Speedway as well as Valley View Park and Highland Valley Park. Shopping malls in the area include Cheyenne Shopping Center and College Park Shopping Center. Visitors to North Las Vegas can choose from Starlite Motel, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites and Texas Station for temporary stays in the area.