Federal Government Jobs

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Federal Prison Jobs

Correctional Officers

Correctional Officers & Support Jobs With the Bureau of Prisons


Federal Prison Jobs / Correctional Officer / Support Occupations

The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is an agency within the Department of Justice (DOJ) of The Federal Prison system manages 217,596 inmates at 153 facilities located throughout the country, with 38,938 employees in many specialties. The majority of Federal Prison jobs are correctional officers with a broad spectrum of support occupations that are needed to maintain the prisons and to service the inmates and staff.

Prison Cell

Federal prison jobs with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) provide supervision, care, and correctional treatment of inmates. They maintain the institutions security and contribute to the inmates welfare and health plus promote good public relations. Prison guards, commonly referred to correctional officers in the federal government, enforces regulations that govern facility security, inmate behavior and conduct to ensure their sentences are carried out and inmates remain in custody. They may be required at times to carry firearms and use physical force if necessary, including deadly force, to maintain order and control among inmates. During facility emergencies or for heavy workload periods, they may be required to work shifts with long and irregular hours including Sundays, holidays and unanticipated or scheduled overtime. Federal prison guards are required to be flexible and have extensive knowledge to use their own initiative to resolve problem situations.


Federal Prison Jobs

Correction Officer Positions (Entry Level)

For an entry level GS-05 (GL-05) correction officer the applicant must have at least 3 years of full-time general experience, one of which is equivalent to the next lower grade, or one year of specialized experience OR graduated with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The required experience must have demonstrated the aptitude for acquiring the qualifications required for correctional work, and, in addition, demonstrate the possession of personal attributes important to the effectiveness of correctional officers, such as:

  • Ability to meet and deal with people of differing backgrounds and behavioral patterns
  • Ability to be persuasive in selling and influencing ideas
  • Ability to lead, supervise, and instruct others
  • Sympathetic attitude towards the welfare of others
  • Ability to reason soundly and to think out practical solutions to problems
  • Ability to make decisions and act quickly, particularly under stress
  • Poise and self-confidence, and ability to remain calm during emergency situations

Examples of occupations where general experience for correction officer jobs may have been gained include teacher or instructor, counselor worker with juvenile delinquents, parole/probation worker, welfare social worker, firefighter, nurse, clergyman, emergency medical technician, air traffic controller, supervisor or manager, sales person in commissioned sales (e.g. automobile, insurance, etc.), security guard, or children’s day care facility worker.  Other areas of general experience may also be used, check the job announcement for details concerning acceptable work experience.


Other Support Occupations

Other occupations associated with the Federal Prison system include; teachers, nurses and other medical staff, pharmacist, dentists, environmental protection specialist (environmental compliance specialist), drug abuse treatment specialist, (correctional treatment specialist), IT (informational technology), plumbers, electricians, carpenters, laundry workers, cooks, human resources, administrative and management. (See Job Listings, this page.)


Age & Key Requirements


In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3307, a maximum entry age of 36 has been established for initial appointment to a position in a Bureau of Prisons institution for correction officers. If you are above the maximum entry age and have prior federal law enforcement coverage, you MUST submit an SF-50 to verify prior coverage. Qualified Preference Eligible Veterans may be exempt from meeting the maximum entry age of 37. Refer to the Required Documents Section of the Job Announcement for the appropriate documentation to submit to validate veteran eligibility.

Correction Officer Key Requirements

  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered for, or exempt from, the 
  • Selective Service. Click Here
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered for, or exempt from, the


Medical Requirements

The DOJ BOP established the following medical requirements for Correctional Officer positions: The duties of these positions involve unusual mental and nervous pressure, and require arduous physical exertion involving prolonged walking and standing, restraining of prisoners in emergencies, and participating in escape hunts. Applicants must be physically capable of performing efficiently the duties of these positions, and be free from such defects or disease as may constitute employment hazards to themselves or others. The duties of a Correctional Officer are arduous; and sound health as well as physical fitness is required. Credit will be given for paid and unpaid experience. To receive proper credit, you must show the actual time (such as the number of hours worked per week) spent in activities.

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