Prison guard escorts inmate through corridor in jail corridor for booking after arrest.

Prison Officer

Enforce rules and order inside prisons; supervise inmates to keep them safe and ensure security of the facility.

Overview

Prison officers observe the conduct and behaviour of inmates in secure facilities to prevent disturbances and escape attempts. They patrol assigned areas and report breaches of rules, unsatisfactory attitudes and prisoner adjustment problems. They also oversee the mental wellbeing of inmates and assist them to access education and rehabilitation programs.

Work is in prisons and correctional facilities.

Suits those with an interest in public safety, security, law and government. Skills in observation and social perceptiveness and negotiation are important.

Day-to-day

  • supervise prisoners during work assignments, recreational periods, sporting activities and meals
  • inspect and maintain the security of locks, window bars, grilles, doors and gates
  • assist with the implementation of education, rehabilitation and other inmate programs
  • search prisoners and cells for weapons, drugs and other contraband items
  • requisition prisoner clothing, toiletries, reading material and other allowable items
  • supervise prisoners in transit between courts, prisons and other facilities
  • ensure the mental and physical wellbeing of inmates.

Considerations

  • irregular hours
  • shift work
  • stressful.

Occupation snapshot
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$1,580 / week
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Strong
Apprenticeships may be available

To become a Prison Officer

  • Apply to the relevant agency within your state or territory government, or directly to private organisations offering placements. You will enter the selection process to become a prison officer and if selected, will complete pre-service training that provides a nationally recognised qualification.

    Apply for a job as a prison officer

  • You may need:

    • driver's licence
    • national police check
    • first aid certificate
    • medical test
    • psychometric or aptitude testing.

Skills

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