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Corrections Officer Jobs in North Carolina

Federal correctional officers in North Carolina may serve in a diverse number of facilities.  The Federal Correctional Complex in Butner is comprised of a Federal Medical Center, two medium security Federal Correctional Institutions and a low security Federal Correctional Institution.  FCC Butner held 3,339 inmates in its latest population count. The Federal Bureau of Prisons also contracts out supervision of the Correctional Institution in Winton, which held 1,416 inmates in 2013.  The BOP also operates a Community Corrections Management Field Office in Raleigh.

The state of North Carolina has 79 prisons and employs thousands of correctional officers. As of 2011, there were 36, 678 prisoners housed in North Carolina prisons, and the number has been slightly decreasing since.

In total, about 62 percent of all the prisoners in the state are serving sentences stemming from drug possession (17%,) larceny (12%,) breaking and entering (11%,) and assault (11%.) All prison activity is supervised by the North Carolina Department of Corrections.

Correctional Officer Duties in North Carolina

It is the responsibility of correctional officers to supervise inmate activity while in prison and to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Officers must apprehend and organize inmates while in prison, which means conducting searches, performing audio and visual surveillance work, transporting inmates both inside and outside of the prison, performing emergency services, and a host of other duties and responsibilities.

Qualifications and Requirements

Federal Correctional Officers

The basic requirements necessary to join the BOP as a correctional officer are

  • No felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
  • A good credit history
  • Be a U.S. citizen (may be waived for institutions with strong need)
  • Be between 20 and 37 years of age
  • Physically capable of
    • Dummy drag—drag 75 pound dummy across 694 feet
    • Obstacle course
    • Climb and grasp—ascend a latter and retrieve object in 7 seconds
    • Run and cuff—run a quarter mile and handcuff a target in 2 minutes and 35 seconds
    • Stair climb-ascend 108 steps in 45 seconds while carrying 20 pounds

The two pay grades for entering correctional officers are GS-5 and GS-6.  Eligibility for GS-5 includes:

  • Possession of a bachelor’s degree; or
  • At least three years of experience in management, sales, teaching, counseling or emergency response

Eligibility for GS-6 includes

  • At least one year of service in law enforcement, corrections or mentally ill patient care; or
  • At least nine semester hours of graduate study in law, social science or criminal justice

North Carolina Department of Corrections

Applicants with an associate or bachelors degree are given special consideration during the application process, as are applicants that have military experience, as long as they have an honorable discharge on their record. Also, those with work experience in a closely related field (law enforcement, criminal justice, security, etc.) will also be given preference during the hiring process.

There are a host of basic requirements that applicants must meet first in order to be considered for a correctional officer job in North Carolina. Some of the most important requirements are as follows:

  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must have a valid drivers license
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent level of education
  • Must have a clean criminal record

How to Become a Correctional Officer: The Recruitment Process

If an applicant is deemed worth of a career as a correctional officer in North Carolina, they will then be required to complete a series of examinations and certification tests. All correctional officers in North Carolina are required to pass a physical examination test, known as the COPAT. There is also a written examination, a situational and psychological judgment test, a series of interview with officials from the North Carolina Department of Corrections and CPR and emergency rescue training, among other processes.

Training Academy

Staff Training Academy for Federal Correctional Officers

Federal corrections officers must attend the three week training program held at the Staff Training Academy in Glynco, GA. This program provides instruction in firearms, self-defense, bus operations, witness security and correctional procedures.  After the first year, officers must obtain between 16 and 40 hours of training annually.

North Carolina Department of Corrections

During the first year of employment at a state prison, correctional officers are required to complete 200 hours of training at a regional training academy. At the end of the training, they will receive their criminal justice certification and will be allowed to work full-time as a correctional officer in North Carolina. After the first year of employment with the Department of Corrections, employees are then required to complete 40 hours of additional training each year that they work at a state prison in North Carolina.

Corrections Officer Salary in North Carolina

During 2012, the average corrections officer salary in North Carolina was $32,150 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Corrections officers in the 90th percentile, however, earned an average of roughly 15% more, at $37,900.

The following outline of the correctional officer salary structure is taken from the North Carolina Office of State Personnel:

Correctional Officer:

  • Minimum: $28,826
  • Midpoint: $36,462
  • Maximum: $44,099

Correctional Sergeant:

  • Minimum: $30,904
  • Midpoint: $39,352
  • Maximum: $47,800

Correctional Lieutenant:

  • Minimum: $33,190
  • Midpoint: $42,626
  • Maximum: $52,063

Correctional Unit Manager:

  • Minimum: $34,474
  • Midpoint: $44,467
  • Maximum: $54,460

Correctional Captain:

  • Minimum: $35,761
  • Midpoint: $46,384
  • Maximum: $57,006

Here is a look at some of the salaries among correctional officers in North Carolina, as published in 2012 by the Department of Labor:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Asheville NC
370
31620
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC
2230
34970
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton NC
1410
30010
Raleigh-Cary NC
1640
31200
Rocky Mount NC
430
30210
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
2080
38250
Wilmington NC
430
31050
Northeastern North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
2220
30670
Other North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
3250
34030
Western North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
1140
29250

Butner, North Carolina Corrections Officer Job Description

Butner, a North Carolina town in Granville County, is known for its two important correctional facilities. Located 25 miles northwest of Raleigh, Butner is home to a Federal Correctional Complex that houses close to 3,500 inmates, while the Polk Correctional Institution, a state prison holds roughly 900 male offenders between the ages of 19 and 25.

Although the duties of the correctional officers working at both prisons are roughly the same, the qualifications and training are different for federal and state correctional officers. Duties and responsibilities of the correctional officers working at both state and federal prisons include:

  • Custody and supervision of inmates
  • Audio and visual surveillance
  • Maintenance of order
  • Dissemination of facility rules/regulations
  • Communication with inmates and the public
  • Performance of people and place searches for contraband
  • Production of written reports
  • Performance of rescue functions

Requirements for Becoming a Correctional Officer in Butner, North Carolina

Federal Correctional Complex Job Requirements

The education and experience requirements for the job of GS5 or GS6 federal correctional officer are as follows:

  • GS5-Bachelor’s degree or three years experience in management, teaching, counseling, emergency response, etc.
  • GS6-Bachelor’s degree plus one year graduate study in a major like criminal justice or a bachelor’s degree and one year experience in law enforcement, corrections or care of the mentally ill

General eligibility requirements for these jobs include:

  • U.S. citizen between the ages of 21 and 37
  • No felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
  • Good credit
  • Must pass physical fitness test
  • Thorough background investigation

Federal correctional officer recruits are required to attend a three-week law enforcement academy in Glynco, GA, which includes training in such things as:

  • Firearms proficiency
  • Physical fitness
  • Self-defense
  • Bus operation
  • Correctional concepts and procedures
  • Witness security
  • Emergency medical treatment

In addition, all federal correctional officers receive 16 to 40 hours of training each year throughout their careers.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employs federal correctional officers. Applications are only accepted for current openings which are listed at the USA Jobs website, along with online application forms.

Annual salaries of correctional officers at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, NC are between $39,912 and $51,702 plus all federal employee benefits.

North Carolina Department of Corrections

Eligibility requirements for North Carolina state correctional officer jobs:

  • U.S. citizen over 20 years of age
  • High school graduate (two- or four-year college degree preferred)
  • Criminal justice certification (see Department of Justice website for details)
  • Pass physical abilities test
  • Valid NC driver’s license
  • Pass academic, situational judgment and psychological tests
  • Background investigation

Candidates for federal and state correctional officer positions must be willing to work rotating shifts, weekends and holidays.

North Carolina correctional officers receive four weeks of basic training that focuses on:

  • Firearms training
  • Self-defense tactics
  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Correctional policies
  • North Carolina law
  • Understanding inmate behavior
  • Report writing

The North Carolina Department of Human Relations (DHR) handles applications for state correctional officer jobs at the Polk Correctional Institution in Butner. A hard copy of the application form can be obtained by calling 919-788-5347, ext. 00000. The completed form can be mailed or faxed to the North Carolina Department of Human Relations, 4205 MSC, Raleigh, NC 27699, FAX: 919-788-5357. The application process is currently being transitioned to an all-electronic system. Call the number above or go to the DHR job website for information about the status of the transition.

About the Correctional Facilities in Butner, North Carolina

Federal Correctional Complex – Operated by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Butner Correctional Complex contains one low-security prison, two medium-security prisons and a medical facility. The low-security prison has been called the “Crown Jewel” of BOP. It is home to inmates like millionaire Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff and former U.S. Congressman “Duke” Cunningham.

The Butner medical center is the largest medical/psychological hospital in the entire federal prison system. It admits male and female criminal offenders of all security levels and is renowned for its cancer treatment. It also houses an in-patient drug rehabilitation program and the federal prison system’s only residential program for sexual offenders.

Polk Correctional Institution – Operated by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, the state prison employs a staff of 526 and holds over 900 male inmates between the ages of 19 and 25 years of age. The modern facility that contains both individual cells and dormitories was opened in 1997 to replace Butner’s old prison that had become unserviceable.

The prison’s criminal offenders cover a wide range of security levels, from work-release and close custody inmates to some who require maximum control and disciplinary segregation. HCON (a special high-security, maximum control unit) was opened in 1998 to house the most violent offenders. This “supermax” unit was the first of its kind in North Carolina.

Charlotte, North Carolina Corrections Officer Job Description

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety Division of Prisons houses 37,686 inmates in 66 facilities across the state. Males account for 35,128 of this total, while female inmates comprise 2558. Among all states, North Carolina ranked twelfth in prison population and thirty-first in incarceration rates for inmates who receive longer than one-year sentences (as of December 2011).

Correctional officer jobs in the Charlotte, North Carolina area are based out of both federally run and state-operated prison facilities. The Federal Correctional Center, Butner – about 130 miles from Charlotte, consists of:

  • Federal Medical Center, Butner
  • FCI Butner, Medium
  • FCI Butner, Medium II
  • FCI Butner, Low

Education and Experience Requirements

Federal – Federal correctional officers in Charlotte, NC need a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. If an individual pursues a higher-grade federal correctional officer position, he or she would need to complete nine graduate coursework hours as well.

For all entry-level federal correctional officer jobs in Charlotte, applicants may claim three years of general work experience to fulfill the bachelor’s degree requirement. For higher-level federal correctional officer jobs, one year of specialized work experience may fulfill the graduate education.

State  – The North Carolina Department of Public Safety requires all applicants for correctional officer jobs in Charlotte to have a high school diploma or GED, at the minimum. Those who have completed some college credit hours will have an advantage over applicants without college education.

General Requirements to Become a Correctional Officer in Charlotte

Federal – All applicants for federal correctional officer jobs in Charlotte must be less than37 years old when they apply. Additionally, applicants must have no felony or domestic violence convictions on record.

State – All applicants for state correctional officer jobs in Charlotte must be at least 20 years old and a U.S. citizen. Additionally, they must have no domestic violence or felony convictions.

State and Federal Correctional Officer Training in Charlotte

Federal – New federal correctional officers in Charlotte take three weeks of training, split between their assigned federal correctional institution and the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Glynco, Georgia. After that, 40 hours of continuing education is taken yearly to maintain their jobs.

State  – New hires must complete four weeks of basic to become correctional officers in Charlotte. Classes include firearms, self-defense, understanding inmate behavior, prison policies, and medical training. After working for one year, all Charlotte correctional officers must complete 40 hours of education per year.

North Carolina’s Correctional Institutions

  • Charlotte Correctional Center, Charlotte
  • Albermarle Correctional Institution, New London, 38 miles from Charlotte
  • Dan River Prison Work Farm, Blanch, 124 miles from Charlotte
  • Brown Creek Correctional Center, Polkton, 40 miles from Charlotte
  • Sanford Correctional Center, Sanford , 95 miles from Charlotte
  • Randolph Correctional Center, Asheboro, 66 miles from Charlotte
  • Piedmont Correctional Institution, Salisbury, 38 miles from Charlotte
  • Orange Correctional Center, Hillsborough, 114 miles from Charlotte
  • Lanesboro Correctional Institution, Polkton, 40 miles from Charlotte
  • Harnett Correctional Institution, Lillington, 115 miles from Charlotte
  • Forsyth Correctional Center, Winston-Salem, 69 miles from Charlotte
  • Davidson Correctional Center, Lexington, 53 miles from Charlotte
  • Caswell Correctional Center, Blanch, 124 miles from Charlotte

Greenville, North Carolina Corrections Officer Job Description

Correctional officer jobs in Greenville may be available both through the federal prison system and through North Carolina’s state institutional incarceration facilities, which house inmates that have breached either state or federal laws. The Regional Analysis and Information Sharing (RAIDS) Crime Map maintained by the City of Greenville, North Carolina Police Department indicates that in June 2013, the most common crimes reported in Greenville are thefts. Other common crimes in Greenville are residential and commercial burglaries, aggravated assault and motor vehicle theft.

Requirements for Careers in Corrections

Federal

  • GS5 (entry level) federal correctional officer jobs in Greenville require a bachelor’s degree in any major  
  • GS6 (advanced level) federal correctional officer jobs in Greenville require nine hours of graduate college education
  • GS5 (entry level) federal correctional officer jobs in Greenville: Three years of general work experience may be claimed in lieu of a bachelor’s degree
  • GS6 (advanced level) federal correctional officer jobs in Greenville: One year of specialized work experience may be claimed in lieu of graduate college education

State

  • Greenville correctional officer jobs working for the state require a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Any college hours will give an applicant an advantage over others without college education
  • The North Carolina Department of Public Safety does not require Greenville correctional officers to have experience prior to beginning work

Other Prerequisites for State and Federal Correctional Officer Jobs

Federal

  • No one over the age o 37 may apply
  • No one with any domestic violence and/or felony convictions in their criminal record may apply

State

  • No one under the age of 20 may apply
  • No one who is not a U.S. citizen may apply
  • No one with any domestic violence and/or felony convictions in their criminal record may apply

State and Federal Corrections Officer Training Requirements

Federal

  • Greenville federal correctional officers must take three weeks of orientation training, at their job site and at the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Glynco, Georgia
  • After working for one year, federal correctional officers in Greenville must complete 40 hours of continuing education annually

State

  • Greenville correctional officers working for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety must take four weeks of basic training, in medical training, self-defense, firearms, inmate behavior and prison policies
  • After working for one year, Greenville correctional officers must take 40 hours of continuing education yearly

Locations for State and Federal Correctional Facilities in Greenville

Federal

  • The Federal Correctional Center at Butner lies about 85 miles from Greenville. In this facility:
    • Federal Medical Center, Butner
    • FCI Butner, Medium
    • FCI Butner, Medium II
    • FCI Butner, Low
    • CI Rivers Correctional Institution at Wilton lies about 78 miles from Greenville

State

  • Tyrell Prison Work Farm, Columbia lies about 66 miles from Greenville
  • Pasquotank Correctional Institution, Elizabeth City lies 78 miles from Greenville
  • Pamlico Correctional Institution, Bayboro lies about 46 miles from Greenville
  • Maury Correctional Institution, Hookerton lies 18 miles from Greenville
  • Hyde Correctional Institution, Fairfield lies 65 miles from Greenville
  • Greene Correctional Institution, Maury lies 15 miles from Greenville
  • Eastern Correctional Institution, Maury lies 15 miles from Greenville
  • Duplin Correctional Center, Kenansville lies 56 miles from Greenville
  • Craven Correctional Institution, Vanceboro lies 25 miles from Greenville
  • Carteret Correctional Center, Newport lies 64 miles from Greenville
  • Bertie Correctional Institution, Windsor lies 35 miles from Greenville

Raleigh, North Carolina Corrections Officer Job Description

Of the 37,686 prisoners housed in state-run correctional facilities in North Carolina, there are 153 on death row, according to information provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Men on Death Row are housed at the Central Prison in Raleigh, while the three women currently on death row are housed at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh. The longest-serving inmate on North Carolina’s Death Row has been there since his sentencing in 1985. North Carolina has executed over 1000 death row inmates since 2010.

Education and Experience Needed to Become a Corrections Officer in Raleigh

Federal Correctional Officers

  • Bachelor’s degree (may be in any field) required for an entry-level GS5 federal correctional officer job
  • Nine graduate hours of college education required for an advanced-level federal correctional officer job
  • If an applicant does not have a bachelor’s degree for a GS5 federal correctional officer job, three years of general work experience may be claimed instead
  • If an applicant does not have graduate coursework completed for a GS6 federal correctional officer job, one year of specialized work experience may be claimed instead

State Correctional Officers

  • High school diploma/GED required for correctional officer jobs in Raleigh under the North Carolina Department of Public Safety
  • Completion of college coursework gives applicants a hiring advantage
  • No experience is required to become a Raleigh correctional officer under the North Carolina Department of Public Safety

General Requirements For Becoming a Correctional Officer in Raleigh

Federal Correctional Officers

  • Must be under age 37 at the time of application
  • Must not have any felony or domestic violence convictions on file

State Correctional Officers

  • Must be 20 years of age or older
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must not have any felony or domestic violence convictions on file

Raleigh Correctional Officer Training

Federal Correctional Officers

  • Three weeks of orientation training is required for Raleigh federal correctional officers, at the correctional facility in which they will work and at the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Glynco, Georgia
  • 40 hours annually of continuing education required

State Correctional Officers

  • Four weeks of basic training, in self-defense, firearms, medical training, prison policies and understanding the behavior of inmates, is required for all new Raleigh correctional officers under the North Carolina Department of Public Safety
  • 40 hours annually of continuing education required

Raleigh, North Carolina Correctional Officer Job Sites

Federal

  • Federal Correctional Center, Butner (about 25 miles from Raleigh). Included within FCC Butner:
    • Federal Medical Center, Butner
    • FCI Butner, Medium
    • FCI Butner, Medium II
    • FCI Butner, Low
    • CI Rivers Correctional Institution, Wilton (about 105 miles from Raleigh)

State

  • Wayne Correctional Center, Goldsboro (about 45 miles from Raleigh)
  • Warren Correctional Institution, Manson (about 50 miles from Raleigh)
  • Wake Correctional Center, Raleigh
  • Tillery Correctional Center, Tillery (about 73 miles from Raleigh)
  • Polk Correctional Institution, Butner (about 25 miles from Raleigh)
  • Odom Correctional Institution, Jackson
  • Neuse Correctional Institution, Goldsboro (about 45 miles from Raleigh)
  • Nash Correctional Institution, Nashville (about 80 miles from Raleigh)
  • Johnston Correctional Institution, Smithfield (about 25 miles from Raleigh)
  • Franklin Correctional Center, Bunn (about 25 miles from Raleigh)
  • Central Prison, Raleigh
  • North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, Raleigh
  • Caledonia Correctional Institution, Tillery (about 73 miles from Raleigh)

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