How to Become a Correctional Officer in New York?

With more than 60 correctional facilities across the State of New York, the need for Correctional Officers is higher than ever in the Empire State. As a Corrections Officer in New York, you will be assigned to work in one of NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision facilities. You will be responsible for the security and custody along with the well-being of criminal offenders. In addition to that, you will have to keep a record of the movements and activities of inmates, make regular rounds of the assigned areas and maintain discipline in the facility.The position of a correctional officer comes with a great degree of responsibility, since you would be playing a major role in the rehabilitative process of the incarcerated population. Therefore, if you are planning on becoming a correctional officer in New York, you ought to take the entire application and hiring process very seriously.The following information will guide you about the minimum requirements, education requirements and steps to become a correctional officer in New York. Career and salary information is also included at the end.

How to Become a Correctional Officer in New York
How to Become a Correctional Officer in New York

Requirements to Become a Correctional Officer in New York

Prior to applying, you must meet the following requirements at the time of appointment:

  • Candidate should be at least 21 years of age
  • Candidate needs to have a High School Diploma or a High School equivalency diploma issued by the relevant State education institution. The diploma needs to be from an accredited public or private school, which should be recognized by the New York State Education Department
  • Some positions, especially those at the federal level might require higher education, such as a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology or a related subject
  • New York State law requires applicants to be qualified to hold the position of a peace officer along with being a US citizen
  • Correction Officers are Public Officers and are not required to be residents of the New York State to take the written exam. However, residency is a requirement for accepting and continuing employment as part of the department

Note: The processing fee is non-refundable. Therefore you are requested to check the correct examination number and title on the online and paper application before you submit it. If you are applying online, make sure you get an email confirmation to verify that your application has been received. If this confirmation email is not received, that means that the Department of Civil Service has not gotten your application.

Steps to Become a Correctional Officer in New York

Once you have applied for the position of a correctional officer in New York, you will be needed to fulfill a series of steps on your path to landing your dream job with the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Step 1: Pass the Written Test

You will be required to pass a written test, which determines your knowledge and abilities in the following areas:

  • Observing and recalling information and facts
  • Applying written information to a correctional services setting
  • Understanding and interpreting written material
  • Preparing written material

You will need to get a score of at least 70 or higher on this test in order to pass. The dates for exams are available on the official website for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Step 2: Clear the Drug Test

Before you are appointed, you will need to participate in a drug screening test. If you fail to meet the standards, you will be disqualified from the hiring process.

Step 3: Clear a Psychological Evaluation

This test is carried out to ascertain your mental condition in accordance with the performance of this job. A licensed psychologist will conduct the test and failure to clear this step can result in disqualification.

Step 4: Clear the background check

This would be a thorough check where your past employment records, credit history and criminal records will be checked. Conviction of a felony will bar you from appointment, along with conviction of misdemeanors.

Step 5: Clear the Character and Fitness Evaluation

This step will analyze the information provided by the applicant to determine his/her character standards. You will need to give access to your military, educational, financial and mental health records. These will be checked against the information you have provided and if the results are inconsistent, you may be disqualified.

Step 6: Clear the Physical and Medical Requirements

Your physical and medical condition will be thoroughly checked to ensure that you are capable of handling a high pressure job such as this. This step will include a medical standards evaluation, a substance abuse screening and a fitness test. Even once you are hired, you will be subjected to regular medical screenings.

Candidates who clear all the above steps, and meet all other administrative requirements will then be considered for appointment.

Academy Training Program for Becoming a Correctional Officer in New York

According to May 2017 data by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Correctional Officers in New York State made an annual mean income of $63,990. This is significantly higher than the national mean income of $47,600. New York State also ranks third in terms of highest employment, with 34,820 personnel employed in this field. The state ranks at number four in terms of top paying states for correctional officers.

So if you are planning to become a correctional officer in the State of New York, now would be a great time to apply.

How Much Does a Correctional Officer Make in New York?

According to May 2017 data by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Correctional Officers in New York State made an annual mean income of $63,990. This is significantly higher than the national mean income of $47,600. New York State also ranks third in terms of highest employment, with 34,820 personnel employed in this field. The state ranks at number four in terms of top paying states for correctional officers.

So if you are planning to become a correctional officer in the State of New York, now would be a great time to apply.