5 Best Jails, Prisons to work For in California in 2022

Correctional officer jobs are in high demand throughout California. The state, and many of its counties, are facing a correctional officer shortage that is only going to get worse in the years to come.

This has created some great opportunities for those looking for a career in corrections.

In this article, we will take a look at the 5 best correctional officer jobs in California. We will also discuss the benefits of working for each facility or agency.

About Becoming a Correctional Officer, Jail and Prison Guard in California

Before we get started, let’s take a look at the general requirements for becoming a correctional officer in California.

First of all, be sure to check out our Correctional Officer Job Description page. It has everything you need to know about the job and what it entails on a daily basis.

The minimum age requirement for becoming a correctional officer in California is 18 years old.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to become a correctional officer.

You will also need to hold a valid driver’s license, pass a background check, and pass a drug test.

The next step is to apply for the job through your local police department or corrections agency.

Once you have applied, you will need to pass an exam that tests your reading comprehension skills, problem solving skills, and basic knowledge of law enforcement.

An interview is also required before you can be hired as a correctional officer in California.

About Correctional Officer Jobs in California

Now that we have gone over the basics, let’s take a look at the best correctional officer jobs in California.

We will start with some of the top agencies, then move on to individual facilities and counties that have excellent employment opportunities for correctional officers.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is responsible for overseeing state prisons throughout California.

They operate 35 state prisons, and employ more than 30,000 correctional officers.

The CDCR is always looking for new correctional officer employees to help them fill the gap left by retiring guards.

Salary for Correctional officers at CDCR:

Correctional Officer

  • During Academy$3,999 /month
  • After Academy$4,920 /month
  • Top of Pay Scale$8,216 /month

Youth Correctional Officer

  • During Academy$3,999 /month
  • After Academy$4,920 /month
  • Top of Pay Scale$8,216 /month

Youth Correctional Counselor

  • During Academy$3,999 /month
  • After Academy$5,384 /month
  • Top of Pay Scale$9,001 /month

The CDCR also offers great benefits, including medical and dental insurance, a 401k plan, and paid vacation time.

If you are looking for a career in corrections, the CDCR is an excellent place to start.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) is the largest sheriff’s department in the world.

They are responsible for law enforcement in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, as well as providing security services to the county’s courts, hospitals, and other government buildings.

The LASD employs more than 18,000 correctional officers.

Applicants to the LASD must have a high school diploma or GED, be at least 18 years of age, and be able to pass a physical fitness test.

Minimum starting pay is very competitive per year. They also provide full benefits and tuition assistance for correctional officers who want to continue their education.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSD) is the second largest sheriff’s department in California with more than 13,000 employees.

They are responsible for law enforcement in incorporated and unincorporated areas of San Diego County.

In addition, the department runs several jails including: San Diego Central Jail, Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry Facility, East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility and George Bailey Detention Center.

The SDSD is very competitive to get into because it offers exceptional benefits and a competitive salary scale that tops out at $100k/y.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBSD) is the third largest sheriff’s department in California with more than 12,000 employees.

They are responsible for law enforcement in incorporated and unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County.

In addition, the department runs several jails including: West Valley Detention Center, Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center, High Desert Detention Center and Central Detention Center.

The SBSD is a great place to work for correctional officers with plenty of opportunity for advancement.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

Located in Riverside County, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) is the fourth largest sheriff’s department in California.

The RCSD employs more than 4000 correctional officers and is responsible for law enforcement in unincorporated areas of Riverside County, as well as providing security services to the county’s courts, hospitals, and other government buildings.

  • Correctional Officer I
  • Correctional Officer II
  • Correctional Sergeant

The RCSD also offers a great benefits package, including medical and dental insurance, generous paid vacation and sick leave, and a 401k plan.

FAQ About Correctional Officer Jobs in CA

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about correctional officer jobs in California.

How much does a Correctional Officer make in California?

Salaries range from $52619 to $114202. This includes annual wages while attending training and after completion of training.

What are the requirements to become a correctional officer in California?

You must be at least 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or GED. Clean criminal record and drug test.

There are additional requirements for correctional officers working in federal facilities, such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

How long is correctional officer training in California?

10-14 weeks of academy training, followed by on the job field training for a minimum of one year.

What skills do you need to be a correctional officer in California?

People skills are very important as well as being able to maintain your composure during stressful situations

What are the benefits of becoming a correctional officer in California?

Great benefits include competitive wages, medical and dental insurance, generous paid vacation and sick leave, tuition reimbursement for continuing education or job training, and a 401k plan with employer match.

How many hours does a Correctional Officer work in California?

Correctional officers work an average of 40 hours per week in California. Overtime may be required depending on the facility or agency.

Is overtime mandatory for Correctional Officers in California?

No, correctional officers are not typically mandated to work overtime, but it may be required based on the needs of the facility or agency.

How long does it take to become a correctional officer?

It usually takes about 3-12 months from the time you apply for the position until you are able to retire with full benefits.

Does a Correctional Officer need a college degree?

A bachelor’s degree is not required, but many facilities and agencies offer tuition reimbursement or other incentives for continuing education or job training.

Federal facilities, such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons, require at least an associate’s degree and/or two years’ experience working in law enforcement or a related field.

Does a Correctional Officer need a high school diploma?

A high school diploma is required for entry level correctional officer positions in California.

What is the work environment like for Correctional Officers in California?

Correctional officers work in a variety of environments, including jails, prisons, and community corrections facilities.

They may also be assigned to court security or transportation duties. Work conditions can vary depending on the facility or agency.

Are there any opportunities for advancement for Correctional Officers in California?

Yes, many facilities and agencies offer promotions within the ranks of their correctional officer staff.

Is a background check required to become a Correctional Officer in California?

A complete background investigation will be conducted prior to the appointment as an officer.

What is the job outlook for Correctional Officers in California?

The job outlook for correctional officers in California is good. The number of jobs is expected to grow by about 12% through 2024.

Correctional Officer I: This position is responsible for performing a wide range of correctional officer duties including security, safety, and custody functions in a correctional institution or facility.

Correctional Officer II: This position is responsible for performing a wide range of correctional officer duties including security, safety, custody, and program functions in a correctional institution or facility.

Senior Correctional Officer: This position is responsible for supervising the work of lower-level officers and may also be assigned administrative or management duties.

Correctional Administrator: This is the highest ranking position in a correctional facility or institution.

This position is responsible for supervising all aspects of operations, including security, safety, custody, and program functions.

Which are the best counties, cities, or facilities to work for?

This depends on what you are looking for.

If you want a job that pays well and has a lot of career advancement opportunities, then working at one of the bigger county jails like Los Angeles County Jail is probably best.

On the other hand, if you just want an easy job with little stress, then a small town jail in the middle of nowhere may be more your speed.

It really depends on what you are looking for in a correctional officer job.

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