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Are you ready for a challenging career?
Be a Correctional Officer

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has over 100 prison units throughout the State and employs approximately 20,000 Correctional Officers. If you want a good paying job with benefits, stability, promotion opportunities and the chance to perform challenging and important work, a Correctional Officer position may be for you. With so many units around the State, you will have a good chance of working in the area of your choice. View TDCJ Recruitment Videos.

Correctional Officer Eligibility Criteria

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are ready for a challenge, willing to learn, and prepared to work as a team member in a structured environment, we encourage you to consider employment as a TDCJ Correctional Officer.

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or an immigrant with lawful status, who is authorized to work in the U.S.

  • You must be at least 18 years old.

  • You must possess a High School Diploma from an accredited senior high school or equivalent, or a state or military-issued General Education Development (GED) certificate. View information about foreign education credentials.

  • You must not be on active duty in the military, unless on terminal leave. (Applicants may screen if they are within 6 months of eligibility.)

  • You must not have been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.

  • You must never have been convicted of a felony. See additional information.

  • You must never have been convicted of an offense involving domestic violence. See additional information.

  • You cannot have had a Class A misdemeanor conviction within the past 10 years. See additional information.

  • You cannot have had a Class B misdemeanor conviction within the past 3 years. See additional information.

  • You cannot be on probation for any criminal offense.

  • You cannot have any criminal charges pending or have an outstanding warrant.

  • You must be able to perform the essential functions of a Correctional Officer, with or without reasonable accommodation.  For a complete job description, click CO-II, CO-III, CO-IV and CO-V.

  • You must pass the TDCJ Drug Test.

  • You must pass the TDCJ Physical Agility Test.

  • Male applicants, age 18 through 25, must provide proof of Selective Service registration or exemption from Selective Service registration. If you are not registered, you may register by clicking the following link:

Additional Information

A veteran who has completed at least two years active military service and been discharged under honorable conditions, or an applicant who has earned an associate's or bachelor's degree from an accredited college will start as a Correctional Officer IV, pay level 4, $3,776.91 per month. Regular promotions within the career path continue, progressing to $4,278.20 at 73 months of TDCJ service.

A CO applicant with prior government correctional custody or law enforcement experience within the 36-month period preceding date of hire shall be hired at a pay level corresponding with the months of service if dates of employment are verified by former employer and the applicant left employer in good standing.

For all TDCJ purposes, conviction of a criminal offense includes paid fine, time served, placed on probation (includes deferred adjudication), and court ordered restitution.

Correctional Officer Benefits

  • Vacation leave

  • Sick Leave

  • Paid holidays

  • Retirement

  • Group life and health insurance
  • Dental programs

  • Free meals while on duty

  • Uniforms and equipment are furnished at no cost

  • Laundry of uniforms is furnished at no cost

Links of Interest

Apply Today | Eligibility Criteria | Part-time Positions | Essential Functions | CO Salary | Recruiting Events | Unit Information (pdf) | Unit Locations | View Job Description

Page updated: 01/26/2024