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Career and Education Opportunities for Correctional Officers in Fort Worth, Texas

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for correctional officers in the Fort Worth, Texas area. There are currently 46,550 jobs for correctional officers in Texas and this is projected to grow 28% to about 59,710 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.

Correctional officers earn about $13 per hour or $28,870 yearly on average in Texas and about $18 hourly or $38,380 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Correctional, people working as correctional officers in Texas earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Correctional nationally. Jobs in this field include: correctional corporal, deputy jailer, and cottage master.

The Fort Worth area is home to ninety-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Worth where you can get a degree as a correctional officer. The most common level of education for correctional officers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Fort Worth 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

Paul Quinn College - Dallas, TX

Paul Quinn College, 3837 Simpson Stuart Rd, Dallas, TX 75241. Paul Quinn College is a small college located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 362 students and an admission rate of 11%. Paul Quinn College has a bachelor's degree program in Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other Specialties which graduated four 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: Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas photo by Chin tin tin

Fort Worth is situated in Tarrant County, Texas. It has a population of over 703,073, which has grown by 31.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Worth, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Worth are valued at $145,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 3,790 new homes were constructed in Fort Worth, down from 5,669 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Worth are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 22.3% of Fort Worth residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Worth is 8.3%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Fort Worth residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, Pentecostal Water of Life Church and Petra Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Worth. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Worth is home to the Hurst Sewage Disposal and the Hart Spur as well as Trinity Valley School Softball Field and Circle Park. Shopping malls in the area include Overton Park Plaza Shopping Center, Ridgmar Town Square Shopping Center and Fair Oaks Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Worth can choose from Azalea Plantation Bed & Breakfast, Central Motel and Best Western Fort Worth Inn for temporary stays in the area.