How to Become a Correctional Officer in Maryland: Training and Job Opportunities

Have you ever considered a career that makes a real impact on the safety and security within correctional facilities? Correctional officers play a vital role in maintaining order and providing rehabilitation opportunities for inmates. If you’re interested in learning how to become a correctional officer in Maryland, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process, from understanding the requirements to exploring career advancement opportunities.

In Maryland, correctional officers are responsible for ensuring the custody, security, and supervision of adult inmates in both state and federal institutions. They work alongside other officers to maintain a safe environment while promoting rehabilitation and personal growth for inmates. Let’s start by discussing the requirements for how to become a correctional officer in Maryland.

What you’re about to learn in this guide:

  • Become a correctional officer in Maryland by meeting qualifications such as US citizenship/resident alien status, 21+ years of age, and passing background checks.

  • Training includes an Entry Level Program offered through the MPCTC with annual sessions at the Correctional Training Academy and orientation to familiarize yourself with policies & procedures.

  • Career advancement opportunities are available along with competitive salary & benefits packages for those who qualify.

Maryland Correctional Officer Requirements

Certain criteria are required to become a correctional officer in Maryland, including:

  • A high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate acceptable to the Maryland State Board of Education

  • U.S. citizenship or resident alien status

  • At least 21 years of age

Correctional officers in Maryland are assigned to morning, evening, night, or rotating shifts. They work in a variety of facilities, such as the Baltimore City Detention Center, Central Maryland Correctional Facility, and the Patuxent Institution. Both state and federal institutions in Maryland have their own hiring process for correctional officer positions. A comprehensive background check, psychological evaluation, medical examination, and drug/alcohol screen are prerequisites for appointment.

Essential Training and Certification

Appropriate training and certification, outlined in the Code of Maryland Regulations Title 12, Subtitle 10, Chapter 01, are key in guaranteeing the success and safety of correctional officers in Maryland.

The subsequent subsections will outline the specific correctional officer training programs needed for entry-level correctional officers, orientation, and annual training sessions, including firearms training.

Entry-Level Training

The Entry Level Training Program for correctional officers in Maryland is administered by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission (MPCTC) at one of the regional locations throughout the state. Graduates of the Academy are assigned to various facilities throughout Maryland. It is a great accomplishment to successfully complete the Academy and take on new opportunities. The entry-level training, consisting of 175 hours, covers a broad spectrum of topics to establish a solid foundation for a correctional officer’s career, ingrains ethical values, and offers evidence-based training.

Prince George’s County offers the following benefits for entry-level correctional officers:

  • A signing bonus of $5,000

  • An 18-month probationary period to ensure skills and knowledge align with the demands of the position

  • An extensive training program to set a solid foundation for a successful career as a correctional officer in Maryland.

These generous incentives, including flexible spending accounts, and training opportunities provided by an equal opportunity employer offer considerable support for those beginning their careers in the field.


Once hired, new correctional officers in Maryland must complete an in-service training that includes orientation to the facility where they will be working. This ensures they are acquainted with:

  • Policies and procedures

  • Communication with inmates

  • Health care orientation and training for officers assigned to medical facilities

  • Orientation to the specific facility where they will be working

  • Policies related to inmate orientation

All of these topics are covered during the orientation process, ensuring successful completion.

Emphasis is placed on adequate safety and sanitation training for barbers, familiarization with the rules and regulations of the Maryland Correctional Training Commission, review of procedures and inmate orientation materials, and staff-presented overview and issuance of an inmate handbook and orientation materials. This all-inclusive orientation program prepares new correctional officers for their duties and responsibilities within the facility.

Annual Training Sessions

To maintain their skills and knowledge, Maryland corrections officers are required to complete 40 hours of training annually. The annual training for Maryland correctional officers encompasses a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Correctional law and regulations

  • Use of force and defensive tactics

  • Emergency response and crisis management

  • Inmate supervision and control

  • Communication and interpersonal skills

  • Cultural diversity and sensitivity training

  • First aid and CPR

  • Report writing and documentation

  • Ethics and professional conduct

  • Mental health awareness and de-escalation techniques

The Correctional Training Academy conducts these yearly training sessions, which are compulsory as per the guidelines of the Maryland Correctional Training Commission. At the conclusion of the program, Maryland correctional officers are obliged to take assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of the annual training sessions.

Job Opportunities and Locations

Maryland offers a multitude of job opportunities and locations for correctional officers. Correctional officers may be employed in either state or federal institutions, including:

  • Baltimore City Detention Center

  • Central Maryland Correctional Facility

  • Patuxent Institution

  • Rockville, MD

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services manages the operations of several facilities in the area, with the added benefit of access to the state employee credit union for its staff.

Specialized programs, such as the Patuxent Institution’s Substance Abuse Treatment Program, also offer unique job opportunities for correctional officers committed to rehabilitation and treatment. With a diverse range of facilities and programs, Maryland offers a variety of job opportunities and locations for aspiring correctional officers.

Application Process and Selection Criteria

The application process for Maryland correctional officer positions is comprehensive, involving several stages. To be considered, applicants must successfully complete the following steps:

  1. Background check

  2. Oral interview

  3. Physical exam

  4. Drug test

The application period for correctional officer positions in Maryland begins on 07/01/23 and ends on 06/30/24.

Upon completion of the virtual interview and written assessment, the candidate will be assigned to the Background Investigative Section for a comprehensive background investigation and further processing. For inquiries about the CORR OFFICER I job announcement, you may contact 410-585-3999. To submit a paper application and supplemental questionnaire, email them to

Salary and Benefits for Maryland Correctional Officers

A Correctional Officer in Maryland earns an average salary of $51,353. Compensation may be impacted by factors such as:

  • Educational attainment

  • Certifications

  • Additional capabilities

  • Years of experience in the field

A Correctional Officer in Maryland is eligible for numerous benefits, such as medical and dental coverage, paid time off, and retirement plans. These benefits, along with the competitive salary, make a career as a correctional officer in Maryland an attractive option for those seeking a rewarding and secure profession.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Correctional officers in Maryland can progress in their careers through access to specialized units and supervisory roles. Moving into supervisory roles in Maryland correctional facilities may require a combination of:

  • Experience

  • Education

  • Training

  • Good standing with the correctional facility and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Specialist training can have a beneficial effect on career progression for Maryland correctional officers, increasing job satisfaction, decreasing occupational stress, and improving employment-related outcomes. Acquiring experience as a corrections officer for at least one year and applying for specialized units within the correctional facility can lead to exciting career advancement opportunities.

Preparing for the Position: Tips for Success

Beyond meeting the minimum qualifications for becoming a correctional officer in Maryland, there are various steps you can undertake to prepare for the role. First, familiarize yourself with the Functional Fitness Assessment Test (FFAT) conducted by the Maryland State Police and utilize the Physical Fitness Preparation Guide provided by the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy. Practicing the necessary physical abilities for the test, such as obstacle courses, dummy drags, stair climbs, runs and cuffs, and climb and grasp exercises, can help you succeed in the physical fitness test.

Education is also a significant factor in preparing for a career as a correctional officer. A high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate acceptable to the Maryland State Board of Education is beneficial. It’s also important to study the specific requirements and qualifications for correctional officer positions in Maryland and confirm you meet them before applying.

Challenges and Rewards of Being a Correctional Officer in Maryland

The role of a correctional officer in Maryland presents both challenges and rewards. Correctional officers are responsible for:

  • Enforcing rules and regulations within the prison

  • Monitoring prisoner behavior and safety

  • Supervising prisoners during meals, recreation, work, and other daily activities

  • Documenting any violations and taking the necessary disciplinary actions

They must remain within their professional boundaries and role. At the same time, they should actively contribute to inmates’ rehabilitation.

Despite the challenges, correctional officers in Maryland can find a sense of accomplishment in their work. They have the opportunity to:

  • Make a positive impact on the lives of inmates

  • Enhance the overall safety and security of the correctional facility

  • Develop strong interpersonal communication skills

  • Enhance their understanding of human behavior

  • Contribute to the overall well-being of the community

Maintaining security and order within correctional facilities, correctional officers serve a key role in the justice system and significantly impact the lives of those they serve. For those seeking correctional officer jobs, this career path offers a unique opportunity to make a difference and work alongside other correctional officers.


In conclusion, becoming a correctional officer in Maryland involves meeting specific requirements, completing rigorous training and certification programs, and navigating the application process. With a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits, and opportunities for career advancement, a career as a correctional officer in Maryland can be both fulfilling and rewarding. If you’re considering this path, be prepared to commit to the challenges and responsibilities of the job while reaping the benefits of making a meaningful impact on the lives of inmates and the safety of correctional facilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a co make in Maryland?

The average Correctional Officer salary in Maryland is $51,353, ranging between $45,726 and $56,991.

Do correctional officers carry guns in MD?

It is clear that Maryland state will issue a carry permit to correctional officers, implying that correctional officers in Maryland are allowed to carry guns.

Why are you qualified to be a correctional officer?

I am passionate about creating positive change in my community and helping individuals take back control of their lives. My background in law enforcement and my strong interpersonal skills make me an excellent candidate for correctional officer, as I have the drive and ability to support inmates in their rehabilitation journey.

What should I say in a correctional officer interview?

I’m a hard worker and great at diffusing tense situations, always willing to learn, and punctual. I am confident that I will be a valuable addition to your team.

How long is correctional officer training in Maryland?

Maryland correctional officer training is 175 hours over a period of six weeks, both in the classroom and with physical training.

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