Michigan Corrections Officer Job Description

Michigan’s prisons date back to the 1870s when the Michigan Reformatory in Ionia was built. Today, the state houses one Federal Correction Institution in Milan and many state-operated jails and prisons, so correctional officer jobs in Michigan may found at either the federal or state level.  The Michigan Department of Corrections notes that in 1950, the total prison population in the state was 8727. By 2009, that number had grown to 45,478.

The Basic Requirements for Becoming a Correctional Officer in Michigan


  • Federal
    • Bachelor’s degree for GS5 (beginner) positions (or experience – see below)
    • Nine graduate semester hours for GS 6 positions in social science, criminal justice, law, criminology, or a related field (or experience – see below)
  • State
    • Michigan’s educational requirement for corrections officers may be met through any of the following:
      • Completion of 15 hours of college coursework in any of the following areas:
        • Law enforcement
        • Pastoral counseling
        • Family relations
        • Educational psychology
        • Guidance/counseling
        • Sociology
        • Social work
        • Psychology
        • Criminology
        • Criminal justice
        • Correctional administration
      • Bachelor’s degree in any field, or
      • Completion of 30 semester hours of college education, or
      • Completion of another state or jurisdiction’s corrections officer training program (for those who are currently/were recently employed in a correctional officer position elsewhere)
    • Depending upon a candidate’s education, part or all of the Corrections Officer Exam may be waived


  • Federal
    • Working for three years, full-time, doing these activities may be substituted for the education requirement at the GS5 level:
      • Selling
      • Guiding others
      • Supervising others
      • Teaching others
      • Emergency response  
      • Counseling others
    • Working for one-year, full –time doing any of these activities may be substituted for the education requirement at the GS6 level:
      • Management of inmates in mental health or correctional institution
      • Apprehension and arresting of those breaking the law
      • Responding to domestic disturbances
  • State
    • No experience is required unless a candidate is already a correctional officer and using that training to satisfy the educational requirement – then, completing two years of full-time work as a correctional officer is necessary

Other Requirements

  • Federal
    • Must be under age 37
    • Must be a citizen of the U.S.
  • State
    • Must be at least 18
    • Must have no misdemeanor convictions
    • Must have no controlled substance violations
    • Must have no domestic violence convictions

Applying to Become a Correctional Officer in Michigan

  • Federal
    • Available federal correctional officer jobs are posted at USAjobs.gov, where online applications are also taken.
    • All applicants must pass a background check and oral interview.
    • All applicants must pass drug tests and physical exams.
  • State
    • State of Michigan Job Opportunities for correctional officers are listed here.
    • Complete the State of Michigan Entry-Level Corrections Officer Exam Application.
    • Notifications of exam date, time and location are sent to applicants two weeks before the exam. Exams are held in Sault Ste Marie, Lansing, Detroit, Ironwood and Marquette. Education may waive parts or all of the exam requirement.
    • Those who pass the exam may be contacted for an interview. A thorough background check, physical exam, drug test and physical fitness test will be performed prior to hire.

Training for Correctional Officers in Michigan


Training for new Federal Correctional Officers in Michigan takes place both at the state’s federal facility and at the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Glynco, GA. The basics of supervision of inmates, policies, procedures, orientation to the facility, self-defense and firearms will be taught to all new recruits.


New correctional officers in Michigan take 640 hours of training. Continuing education is also required on a yearly basis to remain employed.

Michigan’s Correctional Institutions

Michigan has many state-run correctional institutions, as well as one federal correctional institution. Correctional officer jobs are based in the following locations in Michigan:


  • Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), Milan


  • Northern Region:
    • Saginaw Correctional Facility, Freeland
    • St. Louis Correctional Facility, St. Louis
    • Central Michigan Correctional Facility, St. Louis
    • Carson City Correctional Facility, Carson City
    • West Shoreline Correctional Facility, Muskegon Heights
    • Muskegon Correctional Facility, Muskegon
    • Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility, Muskegon Heights
    • Oaks Correctional Facility, Manistee
    • Pugsley Correctional Facility, Kingsley
    • Kinross Correctional Facility, Kincheloe
    • Chippewa Correctional Facility, Kincheloe
    • Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry
    • Alger Correctional Facility, Munising
    • Marquette Branch Prison, Marquette
    • Baraga Correctional Facility, Baraga
    • Ojibway Correctional Facility, Marenisco
  • Southern Region:
    • Gus Harrison Correctional Facility, Adrian
    • Lakeland Correctional Facility, Coldwater
    • Woodland Center Correctional Facility, Whitmore Lake
    • Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, Ypsilanti
    • Special Alternative Incarceration Facility, Chelsea
    • Cooper Street Correctional Facility, Jackson
    • Parnall Correctional Facility, Jackson
    • Charles E. Egeler Reception & Guidance Center, Jackson
    • G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility, Jackson
    • Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven
    • Thumb Correctional Facility, Lapeer
    • Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, Ionia
    • Michigan Reformatory, Ionia
    • Ionia Correctional Facility, Ionia
    • Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility, Ionia
    • Detroit Reentry Center, Detroit

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