If you live in the state of Hawaii, and are interested in the corrections field, then you probably are already aware that there are many programs offering certification in the field. What you might not realize, however, is that these programs are not a requirement for working as a corrections officer.

In fact, the only real requirements for working in the field are that you are at least either eighteen or twenty-one years of age (depending upon the exact job), that you possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, that you do not have any felony convictions, and that you are in good physical and mental health.

With that said, however, of course most employers are looking for more than just these bare minimum requirements. Many people try to go the extra mile and increase their chances of being hired by completing a certification program.

After all, these programs are convenient, with many of them being offered online, and are usually quite quick and easy to complete. While certification programs can be a viable option, there are a few things that you will need to keep in mind if you are going to have success with yours.

First and foremost, any certification program that you choose should be offered by an accredited institution. This is even and especially true for online institutions. If you earn a certificate from a program or school that no one has heard of or that has no accreditation, your certificate will basically mean nothing in the real world of the corrections field.

This equals wasted time, money and effort on your part, something that you will, of course, want to avoid at all costs. Just taking the time to do a bit of research before you enroll can be one of the smartest decisions you’ll ever make.

Secondly, you need to keep in mind that a certificate is not the same thing, nor is it a substitute for, an actual associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree. While a degree is not required for employment in the field, most of your competition will have one, so it’s really in your best interest to pursue some kind of a formal degree.

It doesn’t matter what field it is in, as long as it is related, at least somewhat to corrections, or what level it is, as long as you earn one from an accredited institution.

If you do decide, as most people do, that a formal degree is in your best interest, then you’ll be happy to know that the state is absolutely full of wonderful choices. Popular options for Hawaii residents include Argosy University, in Honolulu, which offers both online and traditional schooling options.

Chaminade University of Honolulu; Hawaii Community College, located in Hilo; Hawaii Pacific University, in Honolulu; Honolulu Community College; Kapiolani Community College, also in Honolulu; Maui Community College, in Kahului; Remington College, in Honolulu and offering online options; and the University of Hawaii at Hilo.