Current economy has left many people looking for new careers. Many have realized they need more than just a job. Corporations are no longer taking care of their people. Hope is not lost. There are still some fields with continued demand. Working as a Corrections Officer is one of these fields. For good or bad, people are not going to stop going to prison. If you are looking for a career with no end in sight then learn how to become a Corrections Officer in Missouri.
There are three levels of Correctional Officers. Correctional Officers exist at the city, county, and state level. The largest number of jobs exists at the county and state levels. In Missouri there are roughly 3000 Correctional Officers working at the State level. This article teaches you how to become a state correctional officer.
First step, you need to understand how Missouri hires state employees. Missouri hires state employees based off of registers. No matter which state job you apply for, you will need to get listed on the register. Whenever a job opening exists, the hiring agency pulls the top names off of the register. These individuals are sent a letter inviting them to apply. Once they return the letter then interviews are scheduled.
You begin the process by filling out the application. For the majority of state jobs, Missouri allows online applications. You can fill out the online application at http://ease.mo.gov. The application consists of listing your personal information, schools that you have attended, previous employers, any special certifications and/or training you have, and choosing the register that you are applying for. For Correctional Officers, you need to apply for Correctional Officer I. As long as you have 1 year of work experience or college then you will be invited to the first test. Potential Missouri Correctional Officers need to a video test, written test, interview, and physical test.
The first test is a video test. This test is not like a test you had in school. This test has no right or wrong answers. During the test, you will be shown a series of situations and asked to choose a response. Each answer is scored on how “appropriate” to the situation it is. This test is meant to find out how you would react in actual situations.
While there isn’t any right or wrong answers, there is one tip that can help you reach the highest score. Most situations consist of dealing with offenders. Makes sense since that will be the majority of the job. During these situations, you will be asked whether to “counsel” the offender or to report the situation. Always choose report. While this may or may not be what actually happens in the prison, it is the answer that gets you the highest score. Within a couple weeks of the test, you will receive your score. You must score at least 70% to be invited to the next step.
Once you receive at least 70% on the video test, you will be invited to the interview, written and physical test. These three tests are conducted on the same day. Normally, these two tests will consist of a large group. As many as 50 or more people may be testing at the same time. This process can take several hours to complete. These tests are usually held on a Saturday.
Test day begins with check in. You will need to have photo identification with you. You will also be asked to provide a High School diploma or GED. First you will be asked to complete the written test. You will be given a situation. This will be a situation dealing with an offender. You will then be asked to write describe how you would respond to it. As with the video test, there is not a right or wrong answer. This test is looking for several things; can you coherently describe your actions, can you write English, and can you legible write out a report.
Once you have completed the written test then you will move on to the interview. During these group testing sessions, interviews are done by Sergeants, Lieutenants, and possibly even a Captain. There are several things to remember about the interview. Keep in mind they are going to interview multiple people that day. Missouri has a large turnover in Correctional Officers. Unlike most interviews, it is not necessary to “stand out” to get the position. You simply need to have your application stamped as “hire”. When answering the questions, make sure your answers revolve around serving the public. They are looking for stable people who simply want to serve the public. Stay away from answers that make you sound like someone who is simply looking for a power trip.
Once you have been interviewed then you move on to the physical test. You have probably heard stories of police testing requiring running one mile or even five mile. This test is nothing like that. You will be required to run up two steps across a small platform, run down two steps, pick up a “hacki sack”, run down two steps, run 300 yards, then drag a weighted bag 25 yards. You will be given a total of 2 minutes and 30 seconds to complete the test. If you feel you are out of shape than an easy way to prepare for this test is to run the 300 yards.
Once you complete all the tests then you wait. It will take between two to three weeks for you to receive a response. You will either receive a letter stating that you are on the register or a letter explaining that you are not a suitable candidate. If you are put on the register then you will be placed on the register based on your video score. Once on the register then you will be considered for openings for the next year. If you receive the latter then you will not be considered for 1 year. At the end of that time, you can reapply.
At this point there is only one thing to do….wait. Openings for Missouri’s 21 prisons are filled based on your registry score. Whenever a prison needs Correctional Officers then they pull so many names from the register. Once your name is pulled then you will receive a conditional offer of employment. It will state which prison you will be employed at, how much the starting pay is, and contact information for personnel at that institution. Personnel from the institution hiring you will contact you to complete a drug test. Once you have successfully passed the drug test then you will be given a start date.
Being a Missouri State Correctional Officer can be a very rewarding career. You will have the chance to serve the people of Missouri by ensuring offenders stay where the state has put them. At times, you will be working in challenging conditions. However, if you are the type of person that likes a challenge then it may be for you. If you still think that this job may be for you then head on over to http://ease.mo.gov and compete your application.