How to Become a Correctional Officer in Kansas

Suppose you’re a newcomer to the field of corrections or a well-experienced professional. In that case, the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) is looking for career-oriented candidates in both operational and administrative areas.

The KDOC employs more than 3,600 Kansans at adult, juvenile, and satellite facilities and the Central Office in Topeka.


The KDOC’s Correctional Officers are responsible for supervising and maintaining discipline and control of inmates at all times. Job responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Shakedown physical areas of the facility and perform pat-downs of inmates to prevent and control the introduction of contraband
  • Apply restraints when necessary
  • Observe inmate activity and interactions in the area of responsibility while enforcing policies, rules, and regulations
  • Conduct and report periodic counts of inmates
  • Reports incidents and behavior that deviate from the inmate’s general profile or that could cause an immediate problem
  • Respond to emergencies per appropriate contingency plans
  • Follows established security procedures in controlling visitors, staff, inmates, and vehicular traffic to prevent the admittance or exit of unauthorized persons and the introduction of contraband
  • Serve as certified Corrections Officers and exercise delegated statutory powers


To apply for a Correctional Officer position, applicants must:

  • Complete online applications and submit all required documentation
    • Resume 
    • Cover Letter
  • Must be 18 years of age
  • Have a High School Diploma or Equivalent
  • Have a valid Driver’s License
  • Not have a misdemeanor conviction involving domestic battery as an adult
  • Not have any felony convictions
  • Be able to perform the physical functions deemed essential for this classification


Candidates for Correctional Officer positions with the KDOC do not have to be certified before selection.

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Certification as a Correctional Officer by the Secretary of Corrections (completion of the Corrections Officer basic training course and renewed on an annual basis)
  • Ability to deal effectively with individuals
  • Knowledge of supervising inmates confined to an adult correctional institution
  • Ability to use physical force as warranted to subdue violent inmates

Post-Offer –  Pre-employment Requirements:

  • Pass KDOC written Correctional Officer test
  • Pass drug screening test approved by the Division of Personnel Services
  • Pass a physical exam
  • Pass background investigation
  • Submit a State of Kansas Tax Clearance


KDOC officials consider prior certification of any person who has been duly certified under the laws of another state or territory if, in the opinion of the director of police training, the requirements for certification in the other jurisdiction equals or exceeds the qualifications required to complete the basic course of instruction at the training center.

Any number of hours or courses required to complete the basic course of instruction can be waived for any person who, in the opinion of the director of police training, has received sufficient training and experience.


The Kansas Department of Corrections does not require candidates for Correctional Officer positions to have a degree to qualify. However, priority consideration may be given to those applying for initial selection or promotion opportunities if he has a Criminal Justice or Criminology degree.

Kansas places a premium on quality employees. As proof, the Kansas Department of Administration has authorized reimbursement to employees for educational courses that improve their job skills and abilities related to current or anticipated needs of the agency.

All full-time and part-time employees who are eligible for benefits and received a rating of at least “Meets Expectations” on their most recent performance review are eligible to receive assistance of up to $2,000 for one class or course per semester or interim session.

Some of the Criminal Justice or Criminology programs in Kansas include:

Kansas State University – Criminology

Wichita State University – Criminal Justice

Pittsburg State University – Criminal Justice


The Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists the average salary for Correctional Officers in Kansas as $41,520. 

As State of Kansas employees, Correctional Officers work daily to provide essential services for the people of Kansas. The State’s goal is to provide its employees and their families with benefit programs designed to fit each individual family’s needs. The KDOC is committed to maintaining the health and well-being of its employees. They include a variety of choices for employees. Some of these are:

  • Health Plans – A broad base of programs has been developed to enhance the health, security, and peace of mind of employees eligible for benefits.
    • Eligible employees may choose from five plan designs. 
    • All plans are administered by either Aetna or Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas and include coverage for preventive care and prescription drug coverage provided through Caremark
  • Dental Plan – Employees may elect dental coverage without being enrolled in medical coverage.
    • The dental plan includes coverage for preventive services, restorations, and limited orthodontic coverage
  • Vision Plan – The vision plan is a voluntary program and may be selected even if the employee is not enrolled in the State’s medical coverage.
    • Employees may select from either the Basic or Enhanced vision plans that include coverage for lenses, frames, and contacts
  • Kansas Public Employee Retirement System (KPERS) is automatic when hired. Membership starts on the first day. Three income sources provide the retirement benefit.
    • Employee Contribution – The amount employees put in is set by the Legislature. Employers take it out of each paycheck.
    • Employer Contribution – Rates may change based on the system’s financial health. These contributions fund the system and do not reflect in individual accounts.
    • KPERS Investments – KPERS grows the incoming funds to provide benefits to retired members.

Other benefits include:

  • Competitive Salaries
  • Vacation Leave – Earn up to 12 vacation days within the first year
  • Sick Leave – Earn up to 12 sick days for employee and family illnesses or medical appointments within the first year
  • Paid Holidays – Traditionally, eight days each year
  • Military, Jury, and Funeral Leave
  • Group Term Live Insurance – Coverage equal to 150% of annual salary with a purchase option of an additional $200,000 of coverage
  • Flexible Spending Accounts – Health and dependent care account
  • Health, Wellness, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Stability, Meaningful Work, and Promotional Opportunities


The KDOC is constantly looking for quality employees. Positions are frequently available, and interested applicants should apply.

The KDOC is a PaYS partner. PaYs is a program developed by the U.S. Army to appeal to young people interested in civilian jobs after serving in the Army.


Kansas Department of Corrections


Federal Bureau of Prisons