Iowa Corrections Officer Jobs Description

Iowa Workforce Development projects that between the years of 2010 and 2020, 55 corrections officer jobs will be available annually statewide. Iowa Workforce Development lists active listening, social perceptiveness, speaking, critical thinking and monitoring among the top skills necessary for correctional officers. As of May 2013, Iowa’s nine correctional facilities housed 8145 prisoners, at 12.98 percent above their capacity. Just 640 of these inmates were female. To learn how to become a correctional officer in Iowa, read on.

How to Qualify for Correctional Officer Jobs in Iowa

Education and Experience

In order to become a correctional officer in Iowa, candidates must have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. No specific experience is necessary to become a correctional officer in Iowa. All correctional officer candidates in Iowa must possess a valid driver’s license

Transferring from Another State

For candidates who have worked as a correctional officer in another state or jurisdiction for at least one year within the past two years, some of the regular hiring requirements may be waived if:

  • The candidate passed a four-week correctional officer training academy
  • The candidate was not disciplined on the job in the past year

Becoming a Correctional Officer in Iowa

Application Process

  • Search for open correctional officer jobs in Iowa at the State of Iowa Jobs page
  • Apply online at the above-referenced website, stating the preferred institution, if any
  • If contacted to continue in the hiring process, pass a thorough background investigation, psychological testing, and drug test
  • Pass an observation test, which consists of watching a video of a mock scenario and answering questions that will test a candidate’s judgment and powers of observation
  • Pass an interview with members of the Iowa Department of Corrections staff
  • Pass a medical examination to ensure that the candidate can handle the physical aspects of the job


If hired, a new correctional officer in Iowa must complete five weeks of pre-service training. This is held at the Iowa Corrections Learning Center at the Department of Corrections Central Office in Des Moines. Courses will include:

  • Searches
  • Substance abuse
  • Fire safety
  • Rules and regulations
  • Report writing
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Firearms
  • Offender victimization
  • Offender supervision
  • Interpersonal communication
  • First aid
  • Professional issues/ethics/codes of conduct
  • Hands-on personal safety
  • Suicide prevention
  • Mental health

Once on the job, a new correctional officer in Iowa will receive an additional 80 hours of training with an assigned mentor. New Iowa correctional officers are considered to be on probation for the first six months of employment.

In-service trainings are conducted each year for professional development of correctional officers in Iowa. Depending upon a correctional officer’s job site and requirements, professional development training may vary from one job to another.

Iowa’s Department of Corrections

As of 2010, Iowa Department of Corrections statistics states that its staff of 2800 served 8800 inmates statewide. Once hired, correctional officer jobs in Iowa may be based at any of the nine correctional institutions in Iowa and prison farms and industries.

These facilities and the number of correctional officers working at each as of 2010 are listed below:

  • Prison industries farms – 9
  • Prison industries – 81
  • Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, Fort Dodge – 287
  • Correctional Institution for Women, Mitchellville – 182
  • Clarinda Correctional Facility, Page County – 277
  • North Central Correctional Facility, Rockwell City – 102
  • Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility, Mt. Pleasant – 291
  • Newton Correctional Facility, Newton – 278
  • Iowa Medical and Classification Center, Oakdale – 538
  • Anamosa State Penitentiary, Anamosa – 318
  • Iowa State Penitentiary, Fort Madison – 451

Correctional officers in Iowa are hired on an ongoing basis each year, with about 250 new correctional officers being hired annually.

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