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Nevada Corrections Officer Job Description

Although the number of indexed offenses in Nevada decreased by more than 7% from 2010 to 2011, the state’s rate of violent crime per 1,000 residents in 2010 was higher than the nation’s average for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.

In early May 2013, Nevada’s prison population was 12,695.

How to Become a Correctional Officer in Nevada

Correctional officers in Nevada work for the state’s Department of Corrections, which employs over 2,400 people.  The primary requirement to become a correctional officer in Nevada is to have at least a high school diploma or GED and two years of full time experience working in any field.  A combination of experience and education that is equivalent will satisfy this requirement.

Applicants with an associate’s degree in criminal justice, corrections, or a related field only need to have one and a half year’s work experience.  Additional requirements include:

  • Being 21 years when appointed
  • Being a U.S. citizen
  • Not having used a controlled substance (including prescription drugs) within a year of the application’s date
  • Not having any of the following convictions:
    • DUI/DWI
      • Within 7 years of the application
      • Twice or more
    • Felony
    • Domestic violence
    • Having been honorably discharged (if applicable)
 

To apply for a position as a correctional officer in Nevada, start with the instructions page.  Before searching job announcements, applicants must create an account and complete a profile.  After applying for a position, there is a list of prescreening questions that need to be answered.  With those complete, an application can be submitted.

Applicants can expect to:

  • Have a background check from Nevada/FBI
  • Be tested for controlled substances
  • Undergo a criminal history check
  • Be fingerprinted
  • Be tested for physical fitness
    • Vertical jump:  15 inches
    • Agility run:  in 20.4 seconds
    • 300 meter run:  in 1:14 minutes
    • 1.5 mile run/walk:  in 17:37 min
  • Undergo a medical and physical examination
  • Undergo a psychological examination
  • Take part in a structured interview

Correctional Officer Training in Nevada

Once applicants have gone this process and been accepted as correctional officers, they are known as correctional officer trainees.  Trainees have a minimum of 160 hours of pre-service training to learn how to become corrections officers and get POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification.  The DOC provides this Correctional Employee Basic Training at the following locations several times a year:

  • Carson City:  the Nevada Department of Corrections Training Academy
  • Lovelock:  Lovelock Correctional Center
  • Ely:  Ely State Prison
  • Indian Springs:  High Desert State Prison

Correctional officer trainees learn the abilities, knowledge, and skills necessary to effectively serve as correctional officers in Nevada.  Areas of study include:

  • Institutional and environmental safety
  • Defensive tactics
  • Critical issues in justice administration
  • Administration
  • Institutional operations
  • Controlled substances and legal issues
  • Correctional officer success and retention

Once they are established in their careers, correctional officers in Nevada take part in a refresher-training program.

Corrections Officer Salary in Nevada

The following list identifies the corrections officer salary in Nevada as provided by the Nevada Department of Administration, Human Resource Management and includes the various levels of correctional occupations in the state.

Correctional Officer Trainee:

  • Minimum: $37,563
  • Maximum: $55,207

Correctional Officer:

  • Minimum: $40,862
  • Maximum: $60,405

Senior Correctional Officer:

  • Minimum: $42,553
  • Maximum: $63,099

Correctional Sergeant:

  • Minimum: $46,416
  • Maximum: $69,029

Correctional Lieutenant:

  • Minimum: $52,847
  • Maximum: $79,114

Correctional Captain:

  • Minimum: $57,712
  • Maximum: $86,735

The data shown here represents correctional officer salaries by region in Nevada, as published in 2012 by the US Department of Labor:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Las Vegas-Paradise NV
1750
60400
Western Central Nevada nonmetropolitan area
40
43820
Other Nevada nonmetropolitan area
440
47200

Carson City, Nevada Corrections Officer Job Description

Carson City is the location of the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) administrative offices, as well as two of the state’s prisons.  They include the Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) and the Warm Springs Correctional Center (WSCC).  Both are medium custody facilities.

The NNCC has room for 1,619 inmates.  It is a key facility in the northern region of Nevada, since it is the Intake Center for this region.  It is also the Regional Medical Facility for the NDOC.

A large number of staff is required to maintain control of this institution, and 373 people work there, including correctional officers as well as medical and mental health professionals.

Eighty correctional officers work at the WSCC.  Originally, a women’s correctional center, it was converted to an institution for male inmates in 2008 capable of housing 532 inmates.

Becoming a Correctional Officer in Carson City

In Nevada, correctional officers are sworn peace officers.  Applicants for these jobs must be able to obtain POST status to be considered for open jobs.

Two years of relevant experience is also required. Having an associate’s degree in an area such as criminal justice or corrections can substitute for six months of the two-year experience requirement.

Basic Requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Being at least 21 years old at the time of appointment
  • Honorable military discharge (if applicable)
  • Not having used an illegal controlled substance within the past year
  • No convictions in the following:
    • Domestic Violence
    • Illegal controlled substance manufacture or sale
    • Felony
    • DUI/DWI
      • Two in their lifetime
      • Within seven years of applying

Required Skills:

  • Being able to read, understand, and follow instructions
  • Knowledge of the following:
    • Mathematics
    • Operating motor vehicles
  • Being physical fit to perform the following activities:
    • Stand for long periods
    • Search for escaped inmates
    • Patrol on foot

Physical Fitness Test:

This is the first part of the hiring process and involves meeting the following standards:

  • Jumping 15 inches vertically
  • Running for 20.4 seconds
  • Doing 20 push-ups
  • Running 300 meters in 1:14
  • Running/walking 1.5 miles in 17:37

Selection Process: 

The NDOC performs an extensive background check on its applicants including fingerprinting.  The department checks both Nevada state and FBI databases as part of this background check.  Applicants must also pass a drug test and both physical and psychological examinations before they are considered for an interview.

Academy Training:

Candidates who are selected are sent to the Correctional Officer Training Pre-Service Academy for six weeks of training.  This takes place from Monday through Friday starting at 7 AM.  Part of their academic studies involves preparing to pass the POST examination.

Trainees are thoroughly instructed in how to use firearms, including rifle, semi-automatic pistol, and shotgun.  They are also trained in tactical skills, including self-defense techniques.  This includes both mat work and using a baton.  Graduates of this academy are well prepared to work as correctional officers in Nevada’s prison system.

Ely, Nevada Corrections Officer Job Description

The Nevada Department of Corrections completed construction of Ely State Prison in 1989.  Originally designed to hold 1,054, the prison was expanded to capacity of 1,150 male inmates in later years. In 2010, this facility reported a population of 1,077.  Ely State Prison currently supports a staff of 406 employees who supervise maximum, general population, and minimum custody inmates.  Nevada’s death row is also found at this facility, which held 83 inmates in 2013.

How to Become a Correctional Officer in Ely, Nevada

Correctional officer jobs in Ely, Nevada are a prime source of employment for residents in the area and are offered through the Nevada Department of Corrections.  Applicants should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be 21 year of age or older
  • Must have valid driver’s license
  • Must meet annual physical examination standards
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must have at least two years of full time work experience or an associate’s degree in corrections, criminology or related subject
  • Cannot possess any felony or domestic violence convictions

In order to become a correctional officer in Ely, Nevada, candidates must have obtained or possess the ability to obtain a Peace Officer Standards & Training Certification.  Candidates must successfully complete the POST physical fitness test, which includes:

  • Agility run
  • 1.5 mile run
  • 20 push ups
  • 300 meter run
  • 15 inch vertical jump

The 800-hour POST training is conducted at a state certified law enforcement training academy.  After graduation, correctional officers must receive at least 24 hours of additional training annually in order to maintain POST certification.

Ely’s State Prison Under Fire

An ACLU lawsuit filed in 2008 resulted in the introduction of independent medical professionals to monitor conditions.  More timely distribution of prescription medications, treatment plans for chronically ill patients and access to qualified physicians and nurses were part of the settlement.

The current execution chamber used at Ely State Prison is utilized for lethal injections. Although litigation is expected to be filed in the near future, the Nevada Assembly denied funds for a proposed new execution facility at Ely.  In refusing the $700,000 necessary to build a new execution chamber, the legislative panel suggested using the execution facility at the shuttered Nevada State Prison.

Las Vegas, Nevada Corrections Officer Job Description

Fifty miles northwest of Las Vegas is the state’s largest prison, High Desert State Prison.  Operated by the Nevada Department of Corrections, High State Prison opened with a capacity of 2,671, but in 2009, additional construction added 1,344 beds, bringing the total to 4,176.  Ten lieutenants and 13 sergeants, in addition to an executive staff that includes four associate wardens and the warden, supervise a staff of 400 correctional officers.

Training and Requirements to Become a Correctional Officer in Las Vegas, Nevada

All correctional officer jobs in Las Vegas, Nevada require that candidates have the capacity to complete Peace Officer Standard & Training certification.  POST requirements include

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Possession of a high school diploma or GED
  • Nomination by an employing agency

Basic POST certification training programs are more than 800 hours in length and are designed to prepare recruits with some basic skills need to become correctional officers in Las Vegas.  An additional 24 hours of training and requalification with firearms is required annually to maintain this certification.

Nevada Department of Corrections

To become a correctional officer with the Nevada Department of Corrections, candidates must possess the following education and experience requirements.

  • A high school diploma or GED and at least two years of full time work experience; or
  • An associate’s degree in corrections, criminology or similar field

Applicants will be required to take a physical fitness test that includes:

  • 15 vertical jump
  • Agility run
  • Push ups
  • 300 meter run
  • 1.5 mile run

The salary for entry level correctional officers is between $37,563 and $55,207.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Correctional officer jobs in Las Vegas, Nevada are also offered by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.  The only educational requirement for LVMPD correctional officers is a high school diploma or GED. Candidates should also present a Nevada POST category II certification along with application. The salary for entry-level correctional officers is between $48,516 and $69,024.  Training is conducted at the DSD Training Academy.

Serving as a High Desert State Prison Correctional Officer

High Desert State Prison was designed to be the most secure prison in Nevada.  The 12 housing units within the facility each house 336 inmates.  A control center and staff office is assigned to two units each.  The entire facility is surrounded by seven armed towers, a lethal electrified fence and a mobile perimeter patrol unit.

High Desert State Prison also supports a Prison Industries building complex which includes six 10,000 square feet work bays.  Each bay employs up to 80 inmates an may be utilized by contracting companies like T.J. Wholesale, Alpine Steel or Clark County School District to manufacture products.  There are also facilities for vocational training in automotive repair, carpentry, and heating and air conditioning.

The primary jail in Las Vegas is the Clark County Detention Center, operated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.  This facility holds on average 3,500 inmates and books almost 80,000 offenders annually.  There are two main facilities; the North facility houses high security inmates, while the South unit holds medium to low security offenders.

Pershing County, Nevada Corrections Officer Job Description

Lovelock Correctional Center is located in an unincorporated part of Pershing County.  It has received a substantial amount of media coverage for its most famous prisoner—O.J. Simpson.  He was sentenced to serve his prison sentence in Lovelock in 2008.

The inmates at Lovelock Correctional Center are mostly medium security general population inmates.  The prison also houses a smaller number of inmates in maximum and minimum security.  About 1,680 inmates total are incarcerated at Lovelock.

A total of 213 staff members work at Lovelock Correctional Center including a large number of correctional officers.  The officers maintain and supervise the inmates in a controlled and humane environment.

Requirements to Become a Correctional Officer at the Lovelock Correctional Center

The correctional officers at Lovelock Correctional Center are employees of the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC).  As law enforcement officers, they are held to high standards and are rigorously screened for these positions.

Education and Experience:

Applicants for correctional officer jobs with the state of Nevada must have at least a high school education.  The minimum qualification also includes at least two years of full time work experience in any field.

An associate’s degree in a field such as corrections or criminal justice can substitute for six months of experience.

Special Requirements:

The NDOC requires that applicants for correctional officer jobs meet the POST requirements to become a peace officer. The following general requirements must also be met:

  • Being at least 21 years old when appointed
  • Being a U.S. citizen
  • Having a valid driver’s license
  • Must not have used an illegal controlled substance within a year of the application date
  • Must have been honorably discharged from the military (if applicable)
    • Felony
    • DUI/DWI
      • Within 7 years of their application
      • Two or more within their lifetimeMust not have had any of the following convictions:
        • Illegal sale or manufacture of controlled substances
        • Domestic violence

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Applicants:

  • Basic mathematics
  • Being able to read, understand, and follow instructions
  • Being able to communicate well:  both orally and in writing
  • Knowing how to operate motor vehicles
  • Being able to perform the following activities:
    • Patrol on foot
    • Stand for long periods
    • Search for escaped inmates

Selection Process: 

Applicants that meet the department’s standards will undergo the following selection process:

  • Physical fitness test
    • Vertical jump:  15 inches
    • Agility run:  20.4 seconds
    • Push-ups:  20
    • 300 meter run:  1:14 minutes
    • 1.5 mile run/walk:  17:37 minutes
  • Extensive background check
    • Fingerprinting
    • Both Nevada state and FBI criminal history check
    • Drug test
    • Physical examination
    • Psychological examination
    • Structured interview

Training: 

Successful candidates undergo their training at the NDOC’s Correctional Officer Trainee Pre-Service Training Academy (PST).  This program runs six weeks at eight hours a day Monday through Friday.  Trainees must successfully complete five training categories that include:

  • Academic instruction
    • Including the POST examination
  • Firearms training:
    • Ruger mini-14 rifle
    • Glock 22 semi-automatic
    • Remington 12 gauge shotgun
  • Physical training
  • Tactical skills
  • Institutional application

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