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Correctional Officers and Jailors

Earnings Potential

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average annual earnings of Correctional Officers and Jailors are $33,600. The top officers make upwards of $55,000 while the lowest distribution makes less than $23,000 on an annual basis.

Facts at a glance

  • If you have a criminal record, you will have a lot of trouble getting into this career for obvious reasons
  • The work can be stressing and annoying
  • It can be dangerous at times
  • You need to be physically fit and healthy


In the hit TV show Prison Break on Fox, a few wrongfully accused criminals try to break out of jail.  The job of the correctional officer or jailor would be to make sure that never happens.  Almost like watching a caged animal, the jailor has to make sure everything is fine within and possibly outside the cell.  If an actual prison break happens, the blame will fall mostly on the jailor.  It may not be the friendliest job, but it allows you to feel empowered and controlling.

Details of work

Correctional officers and jailors report to a specific correctional facility and do not leave the grounds.  Their types of work typically involve enforcing and upholding the rules of the facility.  Constant monitoring is necessary, either by camera surveillance or by personal appearance.  They have to be 18 or 21 years of age along with having a valid U.S. citizenship; have at least a high school education and no felony convictions.  After a full physical examination and a drug test, training for the position starts.