If you have dreams of becoming a corrections officer in the state of Minnesota, then you should be aware that quite a few people have these dreams. Unfortunately, most of those people are not cut out for the job. Even more unfortunately, a lot of them don’t find this out until they have already spent countless amounts of time, money, and energy pursuing a career in corrections.
To avoid having this happen to you, you need to be aware of the realities of working in the field, sure that you are cut out for the job personally, and willing to do all of the hard work it takes to qualify for such a position.
First and foremost, you should understand that being a corrections officer is not an easy line of work. You will generally work long shifts of eight hours, often in the early morning hours or late into the night, and sometimes you may even be asked and/or required to work numerous shifts back to back.
The work involves working with criminals, criminals who are often rude and even dangerous. You will see lots of unpleasant things and may even have to do some unpleasant things required of you by the nature of the work.
This is not to say that a career in corrections is not without its rewards, which include very lucrative pay and being personally rewarding, but you need to be aware of the ugly side of it upfront.
Far too many people are not prepared for the work, and thus end up quitting after spending years preparing for the job.
If you’re still not scared off by this description, then it’s time to assess yourself, your personality, and your own strengths and weaknesses honestly to see if they are a good fit for the job. A good corrections officer is, of course, very assertive and confident, an absolute necessity for dealing with inmates who will try their best to intimidate you.
On the other hand, corrections officers still need to be kind, very ethical, respectful of others, and willing to work hard and to do what it takes to get the job done correctly. In addition to these qualities, there are some practical qualifications as well.
You will need to be either at least eighteen years of age or at least twenty-one years of age, depending upon where you wish to work. You cannot have any felony convictions on your record, and you will often have a hard time getting hired with any misdemeanor convictions or even charges alone.
You must be in excellent physical health, including having good vision and hearing. You also will have to submit yourself to extensive psychological testing to make sure you are prepared for the job. You must also be completely drug free and willing to subject yourself to random testing while employed.
Finally, you should be able to create distance between your personal life and your work life. If you can’t leave your work at work at the end of the day, you’re likely to get burnt out quite quickly.
If you still think a career in corrections is right for you, then all that is left is to start planning your education. Ideally, you will earn some kind of degree in corrections or a related field–the level is not extremely important–or, at the very least, you will be willing to complete extensive training and/or a certificate granting program.
If you can do all of these things and meet all of these qualifications, then you can have a successful career.