Correctional officers held about 469,500 jobs in 2012. Almost all worked for federal, state, and local governments. The remainder were employed by private companies that provide correctional services to prisons and jails. Working in a correctional institution can be stressful and hazardous. Every year, correctional officers are injured in confrontations with inmates. Correctional officers may work indoors or outdoors. Some correctional institutions are well lighted, temperature controlled, and ventilated, but others are old, overcrowded, hot, and noisy. Correctional officers usually work an 8-hour day, 5 days a week, on rotating shifts. Because prison and jail security must be provided around the clock, officers work all hours of the day and night, weekends, and holidays. In addition, officers may be required to work paid overtime.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
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