How to Become a Correctional Officer in Texas – Requirement, Pre-Employment Test and Benefits

How to Become a Correctional Officer in Texas
How to Become a Correctional Officer in Texas

Texas is a big state, and unfortunately, a big state needs to have a lot of room for housing individuals who are convicted of crimes. There are 100+ prisons in the state of Texas. Inside those facilities, there has to be correctional officers and staff to run the facility, take care of the inmates and their needs, and to keep order inside the walls.

Becoming a Correctional Officer in Texas

The prisons in the state of Texas employ roughly 25,000 people on a full-time basis. The correctional officers receive good pay, good benefits, and job security. The work they do is important to every resident of the state.

Job Benefits

Correctional officers in the state of Texas have the following benefits:

  • Paid vacations
  • Retirement benefits
  • Health, dental, and life insurance coverage
  • Sick leave
  • Paid holidays
  • Free uniforms and free laundry services
  • Free meals while on duty

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, (2019) to become a correctional officer you have to meet the following requirements.

Citizenship Requirement List

  • U.S. citizen or an alien that has U.S. authorization to work inside the country

Age and Physical Ability Requirements

  • You have to be at least 18 years of age
  • You must pass a physical ability test showing that you can perform the essential duties of a correctional officer

Requirements over your Background Information

There are a few special requirements that pertain to your background. They include:

  • You cannot be actively serving in the military. You can apply for a position 6 months before you are scheduled to be discharged from the military.
  • If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25 you must have proof that you registered for Selective Service or show why you are exempt from Selective Service Registration
  • If you served in the military you must have been granted an honorable discharge
  • You must have 0 felony convictions
  • You cannot have a Class A misdemeanor in the last 10 years
  • You cannot have a Class B misdemeanor I the last 5 years
  • You cannot be on probation for any criminal offense
  • You cannot have an outstanding warrant
  • You cannot have pending criminal charges
  • You must be able to pass a drug test

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Educational Requirements

You have to either have a high school diploma proving you graduated from high school, or have a GED certificate proving you have taken the General Education Development test and passed it.

Pre-Employment Test

There is a pre-employment test that applicants have to pass. This test covers your ability to observe your surroundings and memorize what you have seen quickly and accurately. During the test, you will be shown a picture and given a set amount of time to study the picture. Then you will be questioned about the picture.

It also covers your ability to quickly assess what you see and potential problems that could arise from what you are seeing. This is another picture type question set that allows you to view something and then you are asked questions about what you saw, or what you think you saw in the photo.

You will answer a couple of questions that prove your reading comprehension skills and your ability to apply deductive reasoning. There are also questions concerning verbal reasoning and a few math problems.

Pre-Employment Test Exemptions

The following people will be exempt from the pre-employment test requirement.

  • Military veterans
  • College graduates

The criminal justice system in Texas hires all genders and races with no discrimination. It is a good place to find secure employment that does provide you with the ability to top in the rank, job description and pays.


Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 2019, retrieved 7/5/20

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