West Virginia Corrections Officer Job Description

Federal correctional facilities are large contributors to the West Virginia economy.  The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates six facilities within the state.

  • Federal Correctional Institution at Gilmer is a medium security facility housing 1,669 males
  • Federal Correctional Institution at Morgantown is a minimum security facility holding 1,191 males
  • Federal Correctional Institution at Beckley is a medium security facility with 1,647 male inmates
  • Federal Correctional Institution at McDowell is a medium security facility with 1,556 male inmates
  • US Penitentiary in Hazelton is a high security prison with 1,423 male inmates
  • Federal Prison Camp in Alderson is a minimum security facility housing 1,139 female inmates

The West Virginia Division of Corrections (WVDOC) hires the top-qualifying candidates to maintain law and order in its state prisons. Newly hired correctional officers will attend an intensive training academy where they will develop the skills, work ethic, and pride needed to become a successful officer. The WVDOC even offers its officers a chance to participate in a mock prison riot held over the course of four days at a decommissioned state penitentiary where officers get to test their training, preparedness, and the latest in law enforcement gadgets and technology.

Preparing for a Career in Corrections

Federal Corrections Officers

The Federal Bureau of Prisons hires correctional officers only if they meet these basic requirements:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Between 20 and 37 years of age
  • No felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
  • Good financial history
  • Have a bachelor’s degree; or
  • Have three years of full time experience in
    • Emergency response
    • Sales
    • Management
    • Child care
    • Counseling
    • Teaching
    • Security

More qualified applicants who possess the following qualifications are eligible to join the BOP with an elevated salary:

  • One year of full time experience in corrections, detentions, police work, or  mental health care; or
  • Nine semester hours in graduate school studying criminal justice, social science or law

The West Virginia Division of Corrections (WVDOC)

Becoming a correctional officer in West Virginia involves a series of steps that will see candidates applying, going through an interview process, and being trained after their hire. Before filling out an application, officer candidates should familiarize themselves with the minimum requirements for the position, including:

  • Hold a high school diploma or GED equivalent at minimum
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Never been convicted of a felony
  • Ability to carry a firearm or other weapon
  • Ability to pass drug testing
  • Ability to pass a pre-agility exam followed by an agility test
  • Ability to pass a psychological assessment
  • Willingness to work any and all shifts

Candidates can also receive a preferential status if they have experience in any of the following:

  • Corrections
  • Law enforcement, military police, corrections, probation, parole, security guard
  • Social services worker or teacher
  • Emergency medical technician or firefighter
  • Daycare employee
  • Commissioned sales
  • Member of the clergy

Application and Hiring Process

Applications are accepted on a continual basis for correctional officer jobs. The process begins when a candidate creates an online account with the State Division of Personnel department and submits an application. This will be reviewed to see if it meets the minimum qualifications, and the candidate will be notified if and when to report for an assessment test. Candidates can also contact their local corrections center or WorkForce WV office to register for the soonest upcoming test at which point they may also complete an application.

The hiring process proceeds as follows:

  • Assessment test: This is a behavioral assessment test also known as the Corrections Selection Inventory (CSI) that usually takes about 45 minutes to complete and requires no previous preparation
  • Basic skills test
  • Physical agility test
  • Interview
  • Background check
  • Drug screening

Corrections Officer Training

Federal Corrections Officers

Federal correctional officers are required to attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in Glynco, GA, where they will be enrolled in a three week training program.  This course of study will include firearms, self-defense, bus operations, policies, procedures, and legal issues.  In following years, federal correctional officers must obtain between 16 and 40 hours of training annually.

The West Virginia Division of Corrections (WVDOC)

Before stepping into their jobs, newly hired corrections officers will complete an extensive WVDOC Training Academy located in Glenville. Here officers will establish their fundamental corrections skills and develop a strong sense of esprit de corps. This is a six-week residential academy where officers will train eight hours each day, covering subject areas such as:

  • Population management
  • Subject restraint and control
  • Use of non-deadly force and self-defense
  • Policies, procedures, and protocol
  • History of corrections

WVDOC corrections officers have the option to work in 13 state adult correctional facilities as well as 18 juvenile detention centers, 10 regional jails, and 21 work-release centers.

Back to Top