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Career and Education Opportunities for Correctional Officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Correctional officers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 17,250 jobs for correctional officers in Pennsylvania and this is projected to grow by 15% to 19,800 jobs 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 income of a correctional officer is about $20 per hour or $41,600 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 per hour or $38,380 annually on average. Correctional officers earn the same as people working in the category of Correctional generally in Pennsylvania and more than people in the Correctional category nationally. Jobs in this field include: gate watch, cottage master, and turnkey.

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can study to be a correctional officer, among 156 schools of higher education total in the Philadelphia area. Correctional officers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Philadelphia 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.
  • Lifeguard. Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.
  • 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.
  • Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.
  • 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

Lansdale School of Business - North Wales, PA

Lansdale School of Business, 201 Church Rd, North Wales, PA 19454. Lansdale School of Business is a small school located in North Wales, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 394 students. Lansdale School of Business has a one to two year program in Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.

Camden County College - Blackwood, NJ

Camden County College, College Drive, Blackwood, NJ 08012. Camden County College is a large college located in Blackwood, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,951 students. Camden County College has a one to two year program in Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Community College of Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA

Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130-3991. Community College of Philadelphia is a large college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,293 students. Community College of Philadelphia has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other Specialties which graduated sixty-one and sixty-nine students respectively in 2008.

Wilmington University - New Castle, DE

Wilmington University, 320 Dupont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720. Wilmington University is a medium sized university located in New Castle, Delaware. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 8,980 students. Wilmington University has a master's degree program in Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other Specialties which graduated three students in 2008.

Bucks County Community College - Newtown, PA

Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Rd, Newtown, PA 18940-4106. Bucks County Community College is a large college located in Newtown, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,260 students. Bucks County Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Corrections which graduated one and ten students respectively in 2008.

University of Phoenix-Philadelphia Campus - Wayne, PA

University of Phoenix-Philadelphia Campus, 170 South Warner Road, Ste. 200, Wayne, PA 19087-2121. University of Phoenix-Philadelphia Campus is a small university located in Wayne, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 678 students. University of Phoenix-Philadelphia Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other Specialties which graduated five students in 2008.

Villanova University - Villanova, PA

Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085-1699. Villanova University is a large university located in Villanova, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,295 students and an admission rate of 39%. Villanova University has a bachelor's degree program in Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other Specialties which graduated six 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: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.