Becoming a Correctional Officer

A career as a correctional officer is not what you’ve probably seen on tv or in movies. IDOC correctional staff are integral in keeping our facilities, incarcerated population, and communities safe. Careers at IDOC are rewarding and diverse!

Steps for becoming a correctional officer

Our hiring process is systematic and streamlined.

Correctional Officer Hiring Timeline

Check out the categories below to learn more about the correctional officer position, the hiring process, and what it is like to work for the Idaho Department of Correction.


Apply online!
Our team is ready to help you through the application process.  This form will tell us how to be in touch with you.


Background Investigation Questionnaire
Submit an electronic Background Investigation Questionnaire (BIQ).


If you are selected to move forward in the process you will be contacted to be scheduled for an interview by a human resource representative.


Complete the Physical Readiness Test (PRT)
The PRT is comprised of five activities designed to simulate the physical requirements of the correctional officer position. After your interview you will be scheduled to complete that test at one of our correctional facilities.


Conditional Offer and POST Academy Application
If you are selected as a top candidate to move forward and your background is approved, you will be given a conditional offer of employment. At the time of your offer you will complete your application to attend the Peace Officer Standard and Training (POST) Academy. POST is the agency which oversees the training and certification of law enforcement officers in Idaho.


Correctional Officer Training
Once hired, employees are provided with all of the tools needed to succeed as correctional officers. We offer 10 weeks of paid training including new employee orientation, job shadowing, POST academy, and field training.

Week 1 - New Employee Orientation

Schedule: typically Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: varies, you will be notified via email

  • Overview of IDOC policies and procedures, benefits, and other employment information
  • New hire paperwork and facility tours
  • Basic idea of security practices and resident interaction

Week 2 - Job Shadowing

Week 2 can last longer than one week depending on academy start date.

Schedule: As determined by institution
Location: Assigned institution

  • Shadow an experienced field training officer
  • Hands-off perspective of correctional officer job responsibilities
  • Experience working in an institutional setting with residents

Week 3-6 - Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Academy

Schedule: Typically Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: POST 700 S. Stratford Dr, Meridian, Idaho

Academy coursework includes:

  • Arrest techniques
  • Con games
  • CPR and first aid 
  • Report writing
  • Effective communication
  • And much more!

Academy attendees are tested weekly. Completion of POST academy and certification is required for continued employment of all security personnel.

Week 7-10 - Field Training Program

Schedule: As determined by institution
Location: Assigned institution

  • Work with an experienced field training officer to expand and enhance training received at the POST Academy
  • Perform duties of a correctional officer according to training and IDOC policy with feedback from a field training officer
  • Complete a field training manual for certification by POST as a correctional officer
  • Firearms certification

The Physical Readiness Test includes 5 activities

  1. 880 yard walk/run/jog in 8 minutes
  2. Climb a ladder, dismount onto platform, and return down the ladder
  3. Bend down to open a locked box and return 4 times
  4. Carry 50 pounds for 20 feet and return it
  5. Maneuver head first on your back under a 24 inch barrier

If you have any of the following documents feel free to submit them with your background investigation questionnaire. They are not required to submit the background. However, they will be needed at a later date in order to move forward with the process.

  • Two personal references
  • Proof of education (one of the following): high school diploma, official high school transcripts, GED, official college transcripts
  • Proof of citizenship (one of the following): birth certificate, passport, naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship, report of birth abroad
  • Military service: DD-214 (if applicable)
  • Court and police documents for any misdemeanor charges within the last 10 years
  • Age 18 or older
  • U.S. citizen
  • High school diploma or GED
  • No felony convictions
  • No misdemeanors related to deceit, drugs, or sex in the last 5 years
  • Successfully pass a background investigation