Occupation Summary

Correctional Officers and Jailers

O*NET 33-3012.00


Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institutions in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, prison, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by %.
Education Level:
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED). According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.
Public Service

  1. Guard facility entrances to screen visitors.
  2. Search for and recapture escapees.
  3. Inspect mail for the presence of contraband.
  4. Take prisoners into custody and escort to locations within and outside of facility, such as visiting room, courtroom, or airport.
  5. Use weapons, handcuffs, and physical force to maintain discipline and order among prisoners.
  6. Conduct fire, safety, and sanitation inspections.
  7. Provide to supervisors oral and written reports of the quality and quantity of work performed by inmates, inmate disturbances and rule violations, and unusual occurrences.
  8. Settle disputes between inmates.
  9. Drive passenger vehicles and trucks used to transport inmates to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals, and work sites.
  10. Arrange daily schedules for prisoners, including library visits, work assignments, family visits, and counseling appointments.
  11. Assign duties to inmates, providing instructions as needed.
  12. Issue clothing, tools, and other authorized items to inmates.
  13. Investigate crimes that have occurred within an institution, or assist police in their investigations of crimes and inmates.
  14. Maintain records of prisoners' identification and charges.
  15. Supervise and coordinate work of other correctional service officers.
  16. Sponsor inmate recreational activities, such as newspapers and self-help groups.
  17. Conduct head counts to ensure that each prisoner is present.
  18. Monitor conduct of prisoners in housing unit, or during work or recreational activities, according to established policies, regulations, and procedures, to prevent escape or violence.
  19. Inspect conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.
  20. Record information, such as prisoner identification, charges, and incidents of inmate disturbance, keeping daily logs of prisoner activities.
  21. Search prisoners and vehicles and conduct shakedowns of cells for valuables and contraband, such as weapons or drugs.
  22. Process or book convicted individuals into prison.
  23. Participate in required job training.
  24. Serve meals, distribute commissary items, and dispense prescribed medication to prisoners.
  25. Counsel inmates and respond to legitimate questions, concerns, and requests.
  26. Use nondisciplinary tools and equipment, such as a computer.

National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Correctional Officers and Jailers employed Annual Growth Rate
Facilities support services 5.4 -1.45

Labor Market Information

2022 Statewide average hourly wage $21.42
2022 National average hourly wage $26.33

Region Employment Projected Employment 2030 Projected
Annual Openings 2030
Growth Rate
Average Income
Texas (all regions) Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable Unavailable
* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Far Vision
The ability to see details at a distance.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

  • Getting Information
    -- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
    -- Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information
    -- Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
    -- Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
    -- Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Other Activities

  • Relationships
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.


Anti cut gloves: Cut resistant gloves;

Body armour: Upper body armor; Lower body armor;

Desktop computers: Desktop computers;

Ear plugs: Hearing protection plugs;

Extremity restraints: Leg irons;

Fire breathing apparatus: Firefighting respirators;

Fire extinguishers: Emergency fire extinguishers;

Fire hoses or nozzles: Emergency fire hoses;

Flashlight: Law enforcement flashlights;

Gas masks: Protective gas masks;

Handcuffs: Metal handcuffs;

Handguns: Law enforcement handguns; Electroshock weapons;

Military rifles: Law enforcement rifles;

Notebook computers: Laptop computers;

Personal computers: Personal computers;

Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers: Data collectors;

Police or security shotguns: Law enforcement shotguns;

Radio frequency identification devices: Radio frequency identification RFID devices;

Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories: Air-supplying respirators;

Riot batons: Expandable batons;

Riot helmets: Riot protection helmets;

Riot shields: Tactical riot shields;

Safety glasses: Protective safety glasses;

Safety vests: Stab proof vests;

Security cameras: Surveillance cameras;

Tablet computers: Tablet computers;

Torso and belt restraints: Prisoner transport belts;

Two way radios: Mobile radios;


Data base management system software: Corrections housing software;

Data base user interface and query software: 3M Electronic Monitoring; Guardian RFID; Jail management software; Microsoft Access;

Document management software: Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat;

Electronic mail software: Microsoft Outlook;

Internet browser software: Web browser software;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office software;

Presentation software: Microsoft PowerPoint;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel;

Web page creation and editing software: Facebook;

Word processing software: Microsoft Word; Word processing software;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Correctional Officers and Jailers include:
  • 33-3011.00 Bailiffs
  • 33-3021.00 Detectives and Criminal Investigators
  • 33-1011.00 First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers
  • 33-1012.00 First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
  • 33-1091.00 First-Line Supervisors of Security Workers
  • 33-3051.00 Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers
  • 33-9021.00 Private Detectives and Investigators
  • 21-1092.00 Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
  • 33-9032.00 Security Guards
  • 33-3052.00 Transit and Railroad Police

Sources of Additional Information
  • For more information about Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), visit: International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training
  • For more information about career opportunities for correctional officers at the federal level, visit: Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • For more information about federal government requirements for correctional officers, visit: U.S. Office of Personnel Management
  • Bailiffs
  • Correctional Officers and Jailers

  • Contact Texas Workforce Commission
    Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
    Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

    ** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.