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First-Line Supervisors/Managers Of Correctional Officers Career

Career Description

A Correctional Officer Supervisor supervises and coordinates activities of correctional officers and jailers.

Common Work Tasks

  • Take, receive, and check periodic inmate counts
  • Maintain order, discipline, and security within assigned areas in accordance with relevant rules, regulations, policies, and laws
  • Respond to emergencies such as escapes
  • Maintain knowledge of, comply with, and enforce all institutional policies, rules, procedures, and regulations
  • Supervise and direct the work of correctional officers to ensure the safe custody, discipline, and welfare of inmates
  • Restrain, secure, and control offenders, using chemical agents, firearms, and other weapons of force as necessary
  • Supervise and perform searches of inmates and their quarters to locate contraband items
  • Monitor behavior of subordinates to ensure alert, courteous, and professional behavior toward inmates, parolees, fellow employees, visitors, and the public
  • Complete administrative paperwork, and supervise the preparation and maintenance of records, forms, and reports
  • Instruct employees, and provide on-the-job training

Other Job Titles

Correctional Officer Supervisors are also known by other titles, including:

  • Sheriffs
  • Wardens
  • Correctional Sergeants
  • Police Chiefs

Education, Training, and Experience

Education and Training
  Correctional officer supervisors learn most of what they need to know for their work through on-the-job training. Qualifications vary by agency, but all agencies require a high school diploma or equivalent, and some also require some college education or full-time work experience. Most correctional officer supervisors start out as correctional officers and advance to supervisory positions.

      Correctional officer supervisors must be in good health. Candidates for employment generally are required to meet formal standards of physical fitness, eyesight, and hearing. In addition, many jurisdictions use standard tests to determine applicant suitability to work in a correctional environment. Good judgment and the ability to think and act quickly are indispensable. Applicants are typically screened for drug abuse, subject to background checks, and required to pass a written examination.


The median annual salary for a Correctional Officer Supervisor is $56,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $83,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $32,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of correctional officer supervisor are:

  • State Government- $56,450
  • Local Government  - $56,760
  • Federal Executive Branch  -  $65,760
  • Facilities Support Services  - $47,550
  • Other Residential Care Facilities  - $36,010

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  13%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 5,000
  • Employment 2006 : 40,000
  • Employment 2016:  45,000
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