How to Become a Correctional Officer in Michigan?

According to a report by Michigan Radio in June 2018, Michigan is in need of a lot of new Correctional Officers. This is mainly because a lot of the older officers are retiring, leaving hundreds of positions to be filled. If you want to work in a correctional facility in Michigan, at either the state or federal level, you need to know how to become a correctional officer in Michigan.

Becoming a correctional officer in Michigan involves a long and stringent process for hiring.

How to Become a Correctional Officer in Michigan
How to Become a Correctional Officer in Michigan

Requirements to Become a Correctional Officer in Michigan

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, all applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Candidates should be at least 18 years old
  • Candidates must possess a High School Diploma or GED
  • Candidates should fulfill the following educational requirements:
    • Applicants ought to have an educational background that consists of 15 college credit hours, having done courses in Criminal Justice, Sociology, Educational Psychology, Corrections, Family Relations, Pastoral Counseling, Guidance and Counseling, Law Enforcement or Social Work.

    OR

    • Candidates should have completed 30 college credit hours in any major

    OR

    • A bachelor’s degree

    OR

    • Candidates should have at least two years of satisfactory Corrections Officer employment at the federal or state level
  • Education Requirements for Military Veterans: According to the official Michigan Department of Corrections website, the following is applicable to military veterans, “Training/Education documented on your joint services transcript may satisfy these educational requirements. Completion of basic training and two years of military service, along with 15 semester/ 23 term college credits leading toward a degree in any major obtained through an accredited college or their Joint Services Transcript (JST). If the service member is no longer serving, they must present proof of being honorably discharged.”
  • Candidates must not have any felony convictions or domestic violence convictions
  • Applicants on misdemeanor probation will not be considered
  • Candidates should not have any outstanding warrants or personal protection orders against their names
  • Candidates must not have any drug abuse conviction in any jurisdiction. This includes any drug-related military discharge

Steps to Become a Correctional Officer in Michigan

Once you have met the basic requirements to become a Correctional Officer in Michigan, you will need to follow a series of steps before being eligible for hiring.

Step 1: Meet the Minimum Education Criteria (as specified above)
Step 2: Complete the State of Michigan Entry-Level Corrections Officer Exam Application:

This will be done online by creating an account and selecting a Username and Password. After you have made an account, you can begin building your application. This application can be saved and used for multiple job openings.

Note:

  • Online applications are fully secure, along with your personal data contained in them. The only people who have access to it are authorized employees of hiring authorities
  • Your exam application will not guarantee a call by the department for further consideration, even after you have cleared the exam
  • Departments have the right to close postings before the mentioned closing date

You will receive a notification for an exam date, location and time two weeks prior to the exam. The exam itself will be held in Lansing, Sault Ste. Marie, Detroit, Marquette or Ironwood.

Step 3: Clear the interview:

Those who pass the exam may be contacted for an interview.

Step 4: Clear a background check:

This will include a comprehensive analysis of your past jobs, financial history, criminal and medical records. The Michigan Department of Corrections may also contact your given references.

Step 5: Clear a medical exam:

This will be conducted by a licensed physician to ensure that you do not have any serious medical concerns that may affect your ability to perform as a Correctional Officer.

Step 6: Clear a physical fitness test:

Since the job requires you to be in a good physical shape, a physical fitness test will be carried out to determine your stamina. The test will include push-ups, sit-ups and a step test for cardiovascular fitness measurement. Applicants will be given two chances to pass this test.

Step 7: Clear a drug test
Step 8: Complete the Training Program for Correctional Officers in Michigan:

Once you have cleared all the above steps, you will receive a notification regarding your eligibility to attend a training session at a participating college. This will last for six weeks in total and will be unpaid. Once you have completed, you will become eligible to be hired by the MDOC for an additional two weeks of paid training. As soon as you complete these eight weeks of training, your on-the-job training at the assigned facility will commence.

Note:

Trainees must receive a satisfactory 4 month rating to continue employment. Following this, trainees would also have to complete a one year probationary rating period.

How Much Does a Correctional Officer Make in Michigan?

According to 2017 data by O*NET OnLine, correctional officers made an annual median income of $54,520, which is significantly higher than the national median, $43,540. Even though the percentage change in employment over the next eight years is negative, the higher salary makes this occupation a bright prospect for aspiring correctional officers in Michigan.