How to Become a Correctional Officer in Nebraska: Training, Jobs, and Career Opportunities

Are you considering a career in law enforcement and public safety? Becoming a correctional officer in Nebraska can be a rewarding and meaningful career choice. This comprehensive guide will provide you with a step-by-step process on how to become a correctional officer in Nebraska, including the requirements, training, job opportunities, career advancement, and tips for success.

What you’re about to learn in this guide:

  • Nebraska requires applicants to meet specific requirements, including a high school diploma or GED and clear background record.

  • Training includes completion of an academy program and 80 hours of annual in-service training.

  • Successful correctional officers must maintain physical fitness, strong communication skills, and effective stress management techniques.

Nebraska Correctional Officer Requirements

Before starting a career as a correctional officer in Nebraska, it’s essential to meet specific requirements set by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. These requirements ensure that candidates are well-equipped to handle the responsibilities of working in a correctional setting and can effectively manage the correctional facility population.


A high school diploma or GED, which represents the completion of a high school education, is the minimum educational requirement for correctional officer positions in Nebraska. While not necessary, having a background in human services or a related field can be beneficial. Additionally, pursuing higher education degrees, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, can be advantageous, especially if it includes qualifying previous corrections experience.

Age and Background

For a career as a correctional officer in Nebraska, an age of 19 or above and a clean criminal record are mandatory. Candidates are subjected to a comprehensive background check to ensure they have a record free from criminal activity.

Training and Certification Process

Once the initial requirements are met, aspiring correctional officers undertake a training and certification process, solidifying their readiness for their role within the correctional facility and preparing them for law enforcement work.

Staff Training Academy

Nebraska’s new correctional officers receive 164 hours of instruction at the Staff Training Academy located in northeast Lincoln. This academy provides an extensive knowledge and expertise to prepare officers for their designated roles. This comprehensive training program covers all aspects of the correctional officer role and is designed to equip officers with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage correctional facility operations.

Attendance at the Staff Training Academy requires candidates to satisfy specific qualifications. These include:

  • Being 19 years old or above

  • Holding a high school diploma or its equivalent

  • Meeting physical criteria

  • Owning a valid driver’s license

Annual In-Service Training

All correctional officers in Nebraska are required to complete 80 hours of in-service training annually to maintain their certification. This training is designed to meet the changing needs of the correctional system and covers topics such as:

  • Report writing

  • Securing crime scenes and evidence

  • Safety and sanitation

  • Suicide issues

  • Using force

  • First aid

  • Emergency preparedness

  • Awareness of sexual misconduct

  • Contraband control

  • Inmate mental illness and suicide prevention

  • Correctional officer mental health

  • Institutional policies and procedures

Job Opportunities in Nebraska’s Correctional Facilities

Nebraska offers a variety of correctional facilities where aspiring correctional officers can find employment, including the Nebraska State Penitentiary. These facilities range from maximum-security prisons to medium-security facilities and community corrections centers.

Tecumseh State Correctional Institution

The Tecumseh State Correctional Institution is a maximum-security prison in Tecumseh, Nebraska, requiring over 400 correctional officers to maintain order and security. This facility houses male adult inmates adjudicated as medium or maximum custody and presents a challenging yet rewarding work environment for correctional officers.

Omaha Correctional Center

The Omaha Correctional Center is a medium-security prison in Omaha, Nebraska, offering job opportunities for correctional officers. Officers at this facility are responsible for:

  • Supervising inmates

  • Maintaining order and security

  • Conducting inspections of inmates, buildings, and grounds

  • Performing security observations

  • Preparing reports on incidents and activities.

Lancaster County Department of Corrections

The Lancaster County Department of Corrections is a correctional facility in Lancaster County, Nebraska, with job openings for correctional officers, medical, and mental health professionals. Full-time and part-time positions are available, providing a range of opportunities for aspiring correctional officers in this facility.

Career Advancement and Benefits

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) offers numerous job classifications and career opportunities for correctional officers, including promotional opportunities for current employees. In addition to career progression, correctional officers in Nebraska are provided with competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits packages.

Career Progression

As a correctional officer in Nebraska, there are numerous opportunities for career advancement within the NDCS, one of the progressive criminal justice agencies. The career progression path typically begins with pre-service training at the Staff Training Academy (STA) and continues through annual in-service training and further education or specialization. With several years of experience and additional qualifications, correctional officers may have the opportunity to advance to positions such as deputy sheriff.

Benefits and Compensation

Correctional officers in Nebraska are offered the following benefits:

  • Competitive salaries, with the average salary being $40,858 per year

  • Comprehensive health insurance plans that encompass both medical and pharmacy benefits

  • Retirement plans

  • Tuition assistance

  • Leave time

  • Flexible spending accounts

Applying for a Correctional Officer Position in Nebraska

The application process for a correctional officer position in Nebraska begins with meeting the fundamental requirements and qualifications, followed by the application and hiring process.

Online Application

Applying for correctional officer positions in Nebraska can be done online through the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) website. When submitting your application, ensure that you provide all the required documentation, such as a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license. There is no fee associated with submitting an application for a correctional officer position in Nebraska online.

Hiring Process

Upon submitting your application, you will undergo a comprehensive hiring process that includes background checks, interviews, and training. The background check process ensures that candidates are suitable for the role and have a clean criminal record.

During the interview process, candidates can expect to be asked various questions that assess their problem-solving capabilities, interpersonal skills, and relevant experience in the field of corrections. After successfully completing the interview and background check, candidates will attend the Staff Training Academy and complete the required training to become a certified correctional officer in Nebraska.

Tips for Success as a Correctional Officer in Nebraska

Success as a correctional officer in Nebraska hinges on maintaining physical fitness, honing effective communication skills, and adopting stress management techniques. These skills will help you navigate the challenging work environment and provide a positive impact on the correctional facility population.

Physical Fitness

As the job of a correctional officer is physically demanding, maintaining a high level of physical fitness is crucial. Regular exercise and physical fitness training contribute to overall well-being, mitigate the risk of cardiovascular problems, and enhance stamina and endurance.

In order to meet the physical requirements of the job, aspiring correctional officers should focus on overall fitness, strength, and endurance. This typically includes activities such as:

  • Cardiovascular exercises

  • Weightlifting

  • Agility drills

  • Endurance training

Communication Skills

In the field of criminal justice, correctional officers need effective communication skills for interaction with inmates and colleagues. Proficient communication is imperative for sustaining order and resolving disputes within the facility, as well as for organizing activities and disseminating essential information.

Developing strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as the ability to communicate empathetically with inmates, will greatly benefit correctional officers in their daily work.

Stress Management

In a high-pressure work environment like a correctional facility, stress management is essential for the well-being and success of correctional officers. To effectively manage stress, correctional officers can:

  • Strengthen their physical and emotional health through regular exercise and healthy eating

  • Seek professional counseling or peer support to address chronic stress

  • Engage in stress reduction-based programs or resilience training, including pressure point control tactics

Additionally, practicing deep relaxation techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can help alleviate stress and promote mental well-being.


Becoming a correctional officer in Nebraska offers a rewarding and meaningful career path in law enforcement and public safety. By meeting the requirements, completing the necessary training, and developing essential skills such as physical fitness, communication, and stress management, you can embark on a successful career as a correctional officer in Nebraska. Pursue your passion for public service and make a positive impact on your community by joining the ranks of Nebraska’s dedicated correctional officers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a corrections officer in Nebraska?

To become a Corrections Officer in Nebraska, applicants must meet several requirements. First, they must be at least 21 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license. They must also have a high school diploma or GED and not have any felony or domestic abuse convictions. In addition to these qualifications, applicants must be able to read, write, and understand English. Lastly, they must be willing to work rotating shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays.

How long is Correctional Officer training in Nebraska?

New correctional officers in Nebraska are required to complete a four-week training program at the Staff Training Academy located in northeast Lincoln. The program consists of 160 hours of instruction covering topics such as CPR, First Aid, firearms, self-defense and others.

What is the oldest age to be a Correctional Officer?

The oldest age to become a Correctional Officer is 37 years old, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ requirements.

What’s the most a Correctional Officer can make?

The most a Correctional Officer can make is up to $103,000 per year, with the best jobs paying the highest salaries. The highest-paying state for correction officers is Hawaii with an average salary of $59,246 per year. The highest average salary rate in California being around $81,100.

What is the new pay for Nebraska corrections?

Nebraska Department of Correctional Services employees now earn an average of $23 per hour for a Correctional Officer and $28 per hour for a Corporal. The overall compensation and benefits package was rated 3.8/5 stars. In addition, the agreement provides a $5/hour increase in base wages plus an extra $3/hour in pay differential and double time for overtime.

Scroll to Top