Wyoming Corrections Officer Job Description

Correctional officers in Wyoming take pride in their jobs as professionals who have completed an extensive training and certification process. While maintaining order and security in correctional facilities, officers will also have the chance to encourage good behavior among inmates.

One particularly creative work environment for correctional officers is the Honor Farm facility, where inmates are tasked with breaking wild horses caught on Bureau of Land Management territory. This is a process that starts with round pen work and progresses to halter work, then saddling, and eventually rider acceptance. Correctional officers have the opportunity to work in five principle state facilities:

  • Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins
  • Wyoming Women’s Center in Lusk
  • Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton
  • Wyoming Honor Conservations Camp/Boot Camp in Newcastle
  • Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington

Wyoming Corrections Training

Newly hired officers will complete an intensive 10-week Peace Officer Standard and Training (POST)-certified Wyoming Department of Corrections (DOC) Training Academy in Rawlins. This includes a one-week job shadow, and staff who will be working in prisons will attend the academy for an additional four weeks. Training will instruct officers on how to become qualified professionals, and is provided in the following areas:

  • De-escalation techniques
    • Verbal Judo
    • Motivational interviewing
    • Calm logic
  • Defensive tactics
  • Wyoming case law and DOC procedures and policies

During the academy officers will receive their normal salaries, and those with previous experience working in corrections may be eligible to attend a shortened version of the academy. Officers will need to earn passing scores on a physical fitness test at three separate assessments throughout the academy in the events of sit-ups, push-ups, and a 1.5-mile run.


Candidates interested in correctional officer jobs should be aware of the minimum requirements they will need to meet in order to have their applications be considered. The basics include:

  • Having no felony convictions
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Being a U.S. citizen at least 18 years old
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Before being hired, candidates will also need to be able to make it through a screening process that includes:

  • A criminal history, driving record, and employment history check
  • Urinalysis drug test
  • Oral interview
  • Video-based REACT test
  • Physical fitness test

What to Include in an Application

When applying for Wyoming correctional officer positions candidates will need to include their completed State employment application, background questionnaire, and an IRS Form 8821. Also required as part of the application packet are copies of a candidate’s:

  • DD 214 if previous military service
  • Acceptable form of identification: social security card, birth certificate, or passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Credit report
  • Relevant training records
  • High school diploma or GED, and/or college transcripts

Once a candidate has assembled their full and complete application packet, it can be mailed to the Department of Correction’s recruiter on Wyotte Drive in Cheyenne.

Corrections Officer Salary in Wyoming

The average corrections officer salary in Wyoming was reported as $40,900 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which represented an average hourly wage of $19.66. Corrections officers fitting into the 90th percentile, however, averaged 22% more at $52,470.

Below are the minimum, mid, and maximum salaries that can be earned by correctional officers in Wyoming.

Correctional Officer:

  • Minimum: $32,820
  • Market Premium: $38,604
  • Maximum: $46,332

Correctional Corporal:

  • Minimum: $36,048
  • Market Premium: $42,396
  • Maximum: $50,880

Correctional Sergeant:

  • Minimum: $46,332
  • Market Premium: $54,504
  • Maximum: $65,412

Correctional Lieutenant:

  • Minimum: $50,244
  • Market Premium: $59,100
  • Maximum: $70,920

Correctional Captain:

  • Minimum: $60,012
  • Market Premium: $70,596
  • Maximum: $84,720

Correctional Major:

  • Minimum: $66,132
  • Market Premium: $77,796
  • Maximum: $93,360

These salary figures represent earnings for corrections officers in various regions across Wyoming as provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area name
Annual mean wage
Northwestern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area
Southwestern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area
Southeastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area

Cheyenne, Wyoming Corrections Officer Job Description

The Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) operates 5 adult prisons throughout the state:

  • Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp, Newcastle
  • Wyoming State Penitentiary, Rawlins
  • Wyoming Honor Farm, Riverton
  • Wyoming Women’s Center, Lusk

The WDOC has 1,301 employees (as of FY2012), who are responsible for supervising the State’s 2,166 inmates (an increase from 2,115 in FY2011). In FY2012, there were 899 inmate admissions and 787 inmate terminations.

Corrections Officer Job Requirements in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Individuals who want to become a correctional officer in Cheyenne must first meet the minimum requirements for employment, as established and enforced by the WDOC. Candidates for corrections officer jobs must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Have no felony convictions

All chosen candidates for correctional officer jobs in Cheyenne can expect to complete the following pre-employment testing:

  • Extensive background investigation
  • REACT (video-based testing system for correctional officers)
  • Urinalysis (drug screen)
  • Fingerprints
  • Oral interview
  • Physical fitness exam (1.5-mile run, sit-ups, and push-ups)

Candidates who pass all areas of pre-employment testing receive a conditional offer of employment and complete a physical and psychological evaluation.

Correctional Officer Training

Individuals seeking corrections officer jobs must also understand the training requirements, which in include attending a training academy at the Wyoming Department of Corrections Training Academy upon being hired.

The basic officer training program consists of a POST certified academy, which is 10 weeks in duration: 9 weeks of intensive training, followed by one week of job shadowing. The first 5 weeks of training includes work in communication skills and de-escalation techniques, with the subsequent 4 weeks consisting of work in the following areas:

  • Wyoming case law
  • Report writing
  • Managing inmate behavior
  • WDOC policies and procedures
  • Ethics

In addition, all new officers must successfully complete 3 physical fitness assessments during their 9 weeks of training.

Federal Correctional Officer Jobs

Although there are no federal correctional institutions located in Wyoming, the 3 closest federal corrections facilities are located in:

  • Seattle, Washington: Sea Tac Federal Detention Center
  • Northwest Oregon (90 minutes from Portland): Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution
  • Western Washington (50 miles northwest of Reno, Nevada): Herlong Federal Correctional Institution

Individuals seeking federal corrections officer jobs must understand that minimum employment qualifications differ significantly from state corrections positions. Candidates must:

  • Be no older than 37, unless they have previously worked for the federal government in a civil service position
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; OR
  • Be able to demonstrate leadership and communications skills by working, at a minimum, for 3 years in one of the following capacities:
    • Managing or supervising
    • Instructing or teaching
    • Counseling
    • Responding to emergency situations
    • Selling goods or services in a commission-based setting

Fremont County, Wyoming Corrections Officer Job Description

Correctional officers in Fremont County have a number of choices when it comes to finding a nearby place of employment.

  • Wyoming Department of Corrections (DOC):
    • Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton
  • County Detention Centers:
    • Fremont County Jail in Lander
    • Hot Springs County Detention Center in Thermopolis

36 DOC correctional officers manage 283 low security males at the Honor Farm, where inmates participate in a unique program that involves training and managing wild horses. Correctional officers also provide supervision to inmates as they conduct important community services, such as filling sandbags to counter recent flooding in the area. COs at the county level fulfill a similar supervisory role, allowing convicted offenders a chance to experience justice with many opportunities for rehabilitation.

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Learning how to become a correctional officer in Fremont County is the first step prospective applicants can take towards what could be a long and fulfilling career.

Becoming a CO in Fremont County with the Wyoming DOC

Hiring Standards – Working as a CO at the Honor Farm with the state DOC requires meeting a few initial qualifications:

  • US citizenship
  • At least 18 years old
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Have a high school diploma or GED

When completing an application, the DOC will also request to review any college-level transcripts. Applicants who possess these qualifications in the following fields will demonstrate a higher potential, aptitude, and understanding in the corrections field:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Public Safety
  • Police Science

DOC Application – Openings at the Honor Farm in Riverton are posted on the state’s employment website. Along with the online application, candidates will also need to submit a background questionnaire and an IRS wage disclosure for the five most recent years, in addition to completing:

  • Physical agility test: 1.5-mile run, sit-ups, push-ups
  • Correctional Security Inventory Test
  • Drug test
  • React Test

DOC Training – Correctional officer training to work at the Honor Farm consists of a 10-week training academy in Rawlins, including one week spent working alongside a more experienced CO. Upon graduation, new correctional officers will be Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)-certified.

Becoming a Correctional Officer at the County Level

Both Hot Springs and Fremont Counties have their own hiring standards for correctional officer jobs, which require applicants to have:

  • No significant criminal history
  • Be upstanding citizens
  • Have a high school diploma or GED

CO vacancies with the sheriff offices are advertised under various titles including deputy, correctional officer, or detention officer, and will be posted on each county’s employment webpage:

COs at county facilities must also be POST certified, a process that involves completing a detention officer basic training course from the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy.

Correctional Officer Training in Fremont County

Although the state and county training programs to become a correctional officer are separate, they include much of the same subject material:

  • Defensive and restraint tactics
  • Agency policies and procedures
  • Wyoming state law
  • Chain of command reporting
  • Paperwork completion and report writing
  • Clandestine weapon and drug detection

Rawlins, Wyoming Corrections Officer Job Description

Most of the 221 correctional officers who work at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins also call the city their home. These dedicated individuals make justice and rehabilitation possible for the 665 inmates at this important Wyoming Department of Corrections (DOC) facility.

Correctional officers will find this facility includes:

  • South Facility – a high security and special needs prison section
  • Administration building
  • Warehouse and maintenance building
  • Central production facility – the location of the kitchen and laundry services

Correctional officers in Rawlins may also work at county jails and prisons in Carbon and its neighboring Counties:

  • Carbon County Jail in Rawlins
  • Sweetwater County Detention Center near Rock Springs, capable of holding more than 200 prisoners
  • Natrona County Detention Center in Casper, with an average prisoner population of around 300 inmates
  • Albany County Detention Center in Laramie

Researching how to become a correctional officer in Rawlins is advisable. This starts by learning the employment eligibility requirements for the state DOC and the county sheriff departments, which manage the county detention centers.

Becoming a Correctional Officer in Rawlins with the Wyoming DOC

The minimum qualifications for hire with the DOC at the Wyoming State Penitentiary include:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED equivalency
  • Be at least 18 years old with no felony convictions
  • Be a US citizen

The state DOC also requests that all college transcripts be submitted as part of any application. Although college-level courses are not required, applicants can always demonstrate a heightened level of commitment and foundational knowledge with a degree in:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • Police Science

Current openings for correctional officer jobs in Rawlins are posted on the state’s employment portal webpage. Candidates will need to apply online through the individual job announcement and include a background questionnaire and their IRS wage and income transcripts for the five most recent years.

Over the course of the hiring process applicants will also need to complete a series of evaluations, including a physical agility test with sit-ups, push-ups, and a 1.5-mile run.

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Correctional officer training with the DOC takes place in Rawlins over the course of 10 weeks. Because COs will be working at the State Penitentiary, they will stay on at the academy for an additional four weeks of intensive prison training. Upon graduation new correctional officers will become certified under Wyoming Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).

Becoming a Correctional Officer at One of the County Detention Centers

Each county has its own hiring standards for COs, who are employed by the local sheriff’s department. Correctional officers may be referred to as correctional deputies, detention officers, or another similar title. In general, all county COs need to meet a similar set of basic requirements:

  • Be at least 18-21 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have no serious criminal convictions

The hiring process is similar or identical to that of a sheriff deputy, and requires completing an application with each county’s hiring agency:

County COs also need to become POST certified, a process that has the same basic requirements throughout the state:

  • Completing a Detention Officer Basic Course from the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy lasting at least eight weeks
  • Field training program

Correctional Officer Training in Rawlins

Because of the nature of the job, correctional officers employed at both the county and state levels will encounter similar training subjects, including:

  • Self-defense and use of force
  • Facility rules and procedures
  • Report writing and paperwork completion
  • Prisoner psychology
  • Emergency procedures and lockdown
  • Teamwork and leading by example

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