How to Become a Correctional Officer in Delaware (State Requirements)

Are you passionate about a rewarding career in public safety? Have you ever considered how to become a correctional officer in Delaware? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to become a correctional officer in the First State, from meeting the requirements and acing the application process to excelling in your training and advancing your career. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey and unlock your potential as a dedicated professional in the field of corrections.

What you’re about to learn in this guide:

  • Delaware correctional officers must meet age, education and background check requirements to be considered for the role.

  • The application process is rigorous and includes physical, medical, drug and psychological evaluations as well as training from an academy or on-the-job instruction.

  • Correctional officers can look forward to competitive salaries with signing bonuses plus opportunities for promotions within their career path in various state & federal facilities.

Delaware Correctional Officer Requirements

Becoming a correctional officer in Delaware requires dedication and commitment, but the rewards are well worth the effort. The Delaware Department of Correction has specific requirements for aspiring officers, ensuring that only the most qualified individuals join their ranks.

Once you fulfill these requirements, a fulfilling career in corrections and public safety awaits you.

Age and Education

To begin your journey as a correctional officer in Delaware, you must be at least 19.5 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED. The state recognizes the importance of investing in its workforce, offering monetary recruitment incentives such as a $5,000 signing bonus for new correctional officers.

Fulfilling these age and education requirements brings you one step closer to a rewarding career in the state’s unified correctional system.

Background Checks and Drug Testing

As a prospective correctional officer, you’ll need to pass a criminal background check, which includes a fingerprinted Delaware and national background investigation. This helps ensure that only individuals with the highest integrity join the largest law enforcement agency in the state.

Additionally, a pre employment drug test is a mandatory requirement for becoming a correctional officer in Delaware, as it guarantees that officers are fit to perform their job duties effectively and safely.

Physical and Psychological Evaluations

Your physical and mental fitness are crucial factors for success as a correctional officer. In Delaware, the requirements for aspiring officers include:

  • A physical fitness test

  • A medical examination

  • A drug test

  • A psychological assessment

  • An interview with a psychologist

These evaluations are mandatory to ensure that candidates are fit for the demanding role of a correctional officer.

Satisfying these requirements, including having a valid driver’s license, solidifies your readiness for the job’s challenges and your eligibility for benefits such as the correctional officer pension.

The Application Process

With a solid understanding of the requirements for becoming a correctional officer in Delaware, you can now proceed with the application process. Adhering to the steps outlined in this section sets you on the path to a successful career in the state’s correctional system.

So, let’s get started!

Submitting an Application

To apply for a correctional officer position in Delaware, you must:

  1. Submit an application through the Delaware Employment Link (DEL).

  2. Provide accurate information when completing the application.

  3. Be prepared to wait for further communication, as the hiring process may take some time.

Selection Process

The selection process for becoming a correctional officer in Delaware includes the following steps:

  1. Passing a written examination

  2. Undergoing a criminal background investigation

  3. Completing the Correctional Employee Initial Training (CEIT) course

  4. Passing a physical fitness test

This process is rigorous and thorough to ensure that only qualified individuals are selected for the role.

The hiring process typically takes 4-6 months, so patience and persistence are key as you navigate this challenging stage of your journey.

Training Academy and On-the-Job Training

Once you’ve successfully navigated the application process, it’s time to focus on your training. In Delaware, correctional officers undergo a comprehensive training program that includes both theoretical instruction and hands-on experience. This combination of classroom learning and real-world practice will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to excel in your new role.

Correctional Employee Initial Training (CEIT) Course

The Correctional Employee Initial Training (CEIT) course is an essential component of your journey to becoming a correctional officer in Delaware. This 11-week program covers crucial skills and knowledge, such as physical fitness, tactical drills, and academic classes on topics like inmate supervision, self-defense, and report writing.

Upon successful completion of the CEIT course, you’ll find yourself well-equipped to handle the challenges and responsibilities of your new role.

Hands-On Training and Institutional Assignment

After completing the CEIT course, you’ll be assigned to an institution for further hands-on training and experience. This on-the-job training is essential to your development as a correctional officer, as it allows you to apply the skills and knowledge you’ve gained in the classroom to real-life situations.

When your hands-on training concludes, you’ll be poised to confidently embrace the challenges of your new career.

Salary and Benefits

As a correctional officer in Delaware, you can expect to receive the following financial rewards:

  • Competitive salaries

  • Benefits

  • Signing bonuses

  • Opportunities for salary increases after completing the CEIT course

These rewards make a career in corrections a financially attractive option.

Starting Salary and Signing Bonus

The starting salary for correctional officers in Delaware, also known as the state correctional officer pay, is $33,620. To further incentivize new employees, the state offers a generous $5,000 signing bonus. This combination of competitive pay and financial incentives makes a career as a correctional officer in Delaware an attractive option for those seeking a fulfilling and financially rewarding profession.

Pension Creditable State Service

In addition to a competitive salary and signing bonus, correctional officers in Delaware are also eligible for pension creditable state service. This benefit allows you to retire after completing twenty-five (25) years of pension creditable service in a qualifying Correctional Officer (CO) series position. Fulfilling these requirements paves the way to enjoy the financial security and peace of mind of a well-funded retirement.

Career Advancement Opportunities

A career as a correctional officer in Delaware offers numerous opportunities for growth and advancement. From promotions to specialized positions, there are various paths you can take to further your career and make the most of your skills and talents.

In this section, we’ll explore some of the most exciting career advancement opportunities available to correctional officers in Delaware.


Exhibiting exceptional performance and leadership skills enables you to advance through the ranks of the Delaware Department of Correction. Promotions are based on a combination of experience, education, and performance, and typically involve an assessment of your qualifications and an interview with a panel of supervisors.

With each promotion, you’ll enjoy increased responsibilities, a higher salary, and greater job satisfaction.

Specialized Positions

In addition to promotions, there are also specialized positions available within the correctional system, such as K-9 handlers, emergency response team members, and other specialized roles. These positions typically require additional training and qualifications, offering enhanced career growth opportunities, increased salaries, and the chance to work in various state and federal correctional facilities.

Working in Different Facilities

As a correctional officer in Delaware, you’ll have the opportunity to work in a variety of state and federal facilities, each with unique requirements and job descriptions. In this section, we’ll explore the different facilities where you can put your skills to work and make a difference in the lives of those in your care.

State Correctional Facilities

State correctional facilities in Delaware include the Sussex Correctional Institution and the New Castle County facilities, such as the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center and the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution.

Working in these facilities provides valuable experience and allows you to contribute to your community’s safety and security through administrative services.

Federal Correctional Facilities

If you’re interested in working in federal correctional facilities, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree or three years of relevant experience. Upon fulfilling these requirements, you get the opportunity to work in facilities responsible for incarcerating individuals convicted of federal crimes, thereby broadening your skillset and career prospects.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve covered the ins and outs of becoming a correctional officer in Delaware. From meeting the requirements and acing the application process to excelling in your training and advancing your career, the path to a rewarding career in corrections awaits you. With competitive salaries, benefits, and numerous advancement opportunities, there’s never been a better time to embark on this exciting journey and make a difference in your community.

So, are you ready to take the first step toward a fulfilling career as a correctional officer in Delaware? With dedication, hard work, and perseverance, you’ll be well on your way to making a meaningful impact in the lives of those you serve. The path may be challenging, but the rewards are well worth the effort. It’s time to unlock your potential and embrace your future in corrections.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Delaware Corrections Academy?

The Delaware Corrections Academy is a 9-week program which provides both classroom and hands-on training.

What do correctional officers do in Delaware?

As part of Delaware’s Unified Correctional System, correctional officers are tasked with maintaining safe and humane services to supervise offenders. This includes escorting inmates within prison, providing accurate inmate head counts, and protecting the public.

What questions are asked at the Delaware Department of Corrections interview?

At the Delaware Department of Corrections interview, you will be asked questions about your employment history/education, judgment and problem-solving skills, career interest and personality/interpersonal skills, with some tailored to the position of Correctional Officer.

How do I become a corrections officer in Delaware?

To become a corrections officer in Delaware, you must be at least 19 1/2 years old and have a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license, and no felony or DUI convictions within two years. You must also pass a written examination, undergo pre-employment drug testing, complete a criminal background check, and demonstrate physical and mental fitness. Additionally, basic training requires participation in a vigorous aerobic circuit exercise training program.

What is the starting salary for a correctional officer in Delaware?

The starting salary for a correctional officer in Delaware is $33,620 per annum.

Scroll to Top