How to Become a Correctional Officer in Maryland?

If you are looking to become a correctional officer in Maryland, you are in luck. In 2017, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services announced a $5,000 bonus for new recruits. With lots of opportunities opening up in detention facilities across the State, now would be a great time to apply to become a correctional officer in Maryland.

Corrections services in Maryland are overseen by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. The DPSCS ensures that all Maryland State prisons are properly secured and providing rehabilitation services to their inmates. Becoming a correctional officer, in short, is a very fulfilling and meaningful career.

If you want to learn how to become a correctional officer in Maryland, the following guide will provide you with all the details you need.

How to Become a Correctional Officer in Maryland
How to Become a Correctional Officer in Maryland

Minimum Requirements to Become a Correctional Officer in Maryland

To get an entry level job as a correctional officer in Maryland, you will need to meet the following basic criteria:

  • Candidate must be a US citizen or should possess a Resident Alien Status
  • Candidate ought to be at least 21 years of age
  • Candidate should have the ability and permission to bear firearms
Education:

Candidate must possess at least a high school diploma or GED certificate that is acceptable at the Maryland State Board of Education, described in the Correctional Training Commission regulation (Correctional Services Article, Section 8-209). For higher level positions, you might be required to pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related subject.

Experience:

The State of Maryland does not require any experience from entry-level candidates, though this might be required for higher job levels.

Steps to Become a Correctional Officer in Maryland

Once you have met the basic criteria set by the Maryland DPSCS, you will need to follow these steps on your path to becoming a correctional officer in Maryland:

Step 1: Apply Online:

Job openings are posted at the State of Maryland Job Openings web page. Complete details of the job are provided here, along with the date opened and filing deadline, salary expectation, employment type, etc. The duties associated with the job would also be listed here.

Step 2: Pass an Oral Interview:

This interview will determine your suitability for the position of a Corrections Officer in Maryland. You may be judged based on your communication skills, interpersonal skills and overall behavior.

Step 3: Clear a Background Check:

This will involve a comprehensive check of your past employment records, financial history and criminal history. You are advised to be completely honest when filling out your application, since any discrepancy at this stage may result in a disqualification.

Step 4: Pass a Physical Examination:

Candidates will be required to clear an extensive physical exam, which will determine your ability to perform well on the job.

Step 5: Clear a Drug Screening:

This step is mandatory to clear and may result in a disqualification if the results do not fall in the acceptable range.

After you have cleared these steps, you will be placed on a list of eligible candidates, which will be divided into three classes – Best Qualified, Better Qualified or Qualified. This list will then be used by the Maryland Department of Corrections for a maximum of two years.

Training for Correctional Officers in Maryland

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services administers the Correctional Entry Level Training (CELTP), with the aim to develop the career foundations of those entering this profession in Maryland. The program intends to instill ethics and pride among the trainees to ensure that they do their best to protect the public, employees and offenders within their jurisdiction. The training program is recognized nationally and is considered to be one of the best adult-based training and staff development programs.

The training will take place at the facility where you will be eventually working. You will be taught about the working policies and procedures at the facility. The training will last 175 hours, prescribed by the Correctional Training Commission. After one year of working as a correctional officer in Maryland, you will be required to complete 40 hours of training annually.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Correctional Officer in Maryland?

The length of time will depend on the number of applicants and how extensive your application is. The process itself may take a few weeks or even months. Once you have cleared the process, the training would begin, which would also vary depending on whether you are employed at a federal or a state level position.

How Much Does a Correctional Officer Make in Maryland?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Correctional Officers in Maryland made $48,550 as of May 2017. There were a total of 7,120 correctional officers in the state for the same time period. The annual mean wage for Correctional Officers in Maryland was higher than the annual national mean wage, which was $47,600.