Juvenile Corrections Officer: Job Duties, Employment Outlook, and Education Requirements

Research what it takes to become a juvenile corrections officer. Learn about the educational requirements, job duties, career outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Juvenile Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is A Juvenile Corrections Officer?

Juvenile corrections officers are corrections officers who specialize in working with young offenders. When a juvenile is arrested they will be placed under the supervision of a juvenile corrections officer. These juvenile corrections officers may be responsible for juveniles awaiting trial, or work with those convicted and incarcerated in a juvenile facility. Their duties include supervising those at the facility they work at, transporting individuals to court for trial, performing inspections and monitoring inmate behavior.

Degree Required High school diploma; some college coursework may be helpful
Education Field of Study Criminal justice technology, law enforcement
Other Requirements Completion of correctional officer training academy
Key Responsibilities Oversight and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders in secured facilities
Job Growth (2014-2024) 4%*
Average Salary (2015) $45,320*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Job Duties Would I Have as a Juvenile Corrections Officer?

Juvenile corrections officers oversee juvenile offenders that are incarcerated in correctional facilities and strive to ensure their safety. Your job duties might include checking cells, searching for drugs and ensuring the security of the facility through routine checks on windows, doors, gates and grilles. You could also be involved in rehabilitating young offenders by using behavioral management techniques.

What Is My Employment Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for all correctional officers, including those working with the juvenile population, were expected to increase by about four percent between 2014-2024, which is slower than average growth (www.bls.gov). Budget cuts at the local, state and federal level will slow job growth in for this career, though opportunities through private agencies could be greater.

The BLS reported in 2015 the correctional officers earned an average of $45,320 per year. However, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, New York, and Alaska all exceeded average pay significantly.

What Are the Educational Requirements?

Educational requirements for juvenile corrections officer vary from facility to facility, but you'll generally be required to be at least 18-21 years old and hold at least a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) certificate. College credits or a college degree can increase your chances of success. You could earn an associate's degree in an area such as criminal justice technology or law enforcement. Associate's degrees typically take two years to complete and could provide the training you'll need to work with young offenders. Because some juvenile corrections facilities might require you to have a 4-year degree, you might consider a bachelor's degree program in criminal justice, psychology or a related field.

Many employers provide new hires with specialized training programs to help them support and supervise juvenile detainees. Training typically involves learning self-defense skills and firearms safety. You'll also have to undergo an employment screening before you can be hired, including passing a criminal background check, drug screening and physical ability test.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Juvenile corrections officers work with young people after they've been arrested or convicted of a crime; police may be involved with these young people before their arrest when investigating a crime. Probation officers work with individuals who have been released from jail and help them adjust when they return to society. Other similar occupations include correctional officers who work with adult inmates and security guards, who may work at facilities that attract young people and crimes involving young people.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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