How to Become a Correctional Officer in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Department of Corrections (NHDOC) can open up a world of career paths and opportunities. As a Corrections Officer, there are multiple posts to work in. Correctional Officers can switch up their work environment or learn something new. There are many options to gain diversified experience as a Correctional Officer, including specialty teams.

Many Correctional Officers find their position the first step to a broader career and promotional path within the Department of Corrections. After gaining experience, many consider opportunities in Probation and Parole, Community Corrections, Investigations, and Medical/Forensic Services. One thing the NHDOC ensures is there’s a place for everyone.


The New Hampshire Department of Corrections has immediate full-time openings for Corrections Officer Trainees. Shifts and days off will be determined after hire. This full-time position will maintain discipline, orderly behavior, and the confinement of incarcerated individuals to provide the appropriate level of public and institutional safety. 

NHDOC Officers will be required to perform the following duties:

  • Maintains order and discipline of residents in an assigned area of a corrections facility.
  • Performs constant surveillance in observing residents and resident activities; corrects, records, and reports improper resident behavior. 
  • Applies institutional rules fairly and impartially to residents exhibiting improper behavior or possession of illegal property. 
  • Inspects residents and housing areas to locate contraband. 
  • Escorts residents to and from activity areas; supervises residents scheduled for activity participation. 
  • Physically subdues unruly residents in order to restore order and regular institution routine and responds to calls for assistance from other officers. 
  • Records visitor information and issues passes as necessary for proper security. 
  • Pursues escaping/escaped residents; utilizes weapons and equipment to quell volatile situations effectively. 
  • Rescues injured residents from life-threatening situations or transports them to immediate medical assistance; extinguishes small fires for staff and resident safety.


The NHDOC does not require prior experience, but correctional or military experience is preferred. The department has established the following minimum requirements for Correctional Officer applicants:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must possess a high school diploma or equivalency certification
  • Must hold a valid driver’s license
  • Must pass a background check
  • Must be able to complete a physical agility test
  • Must submit to drug screening
  • Must submit to a polygraph examination


All NHDOC Officers must pass a nine-week training academy provided by the New Hampshire Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST). 

Training will include academic disciplines such as criminal law and constitutional law, as well as practical topics such as human relations. Physical fitness areas will also be covered, including defensive tactics, emergency driving, and firearms. 

The tests include both written examinations and practical skills demonstrations such as driving and gun handling. The passing score is 70%, and you must complete all subjects in order to graduate, not simply have an overall average of 70% or better.

Additionally, Correctional Officers must complete at least eight hours of annual continuing education (exclusive of firearms training, use of force, first aid, CPR certificate renewal, and defensive tactics refreshers). The curriculum may cover any subject the agency head feels is essential; however, it cannot be the same topic every year.

Each officer issued or allowed to carry firearms must qualify on the range or a Council-approved course under the supervision of a Council-certified firearms instructor with each firearm they are permitted to have. The training must also include at least four hours of use of force training.

An officer’s certification can be suspended or revoked by the Council if they are convicted of a crime (including certain violation-level offenses such as DWI), if they are fired or allowed to resign instead of firing for serious misconduct, or for failure to comply with mandatory Council training requirement, or filing false or fraudulent documentation, or for other egregious misbehavior.


New Hampshire’s POST Corrections Academy is not reciprocal with any other state. All Correctional Officers must take the entire 9-week course here if you move in from another state.


The New Hampshire Department of Corrections does not require a college degree for correctional officers. However, the department does recommend that correctional officers have some form of post-secondary education.


The Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists Correctional Officer’s Salary in New Hampshire as $51,380.

A career in corrections may help you give your family the care they desire while maintaining a fulfilling life. You can rest confident that your family will have access to the attention they require, when and if it is needed. And new employees are eligible to retire at age 52.5 if they have served 25 years and have achieved retirement conditions.

The NHDC also provides the following:

Excellent Benefits Package:

  • Health Insurance (HMO or POS plans available)
    • Cost per pay period: $20 for employee-only; $40 for two-person; $60 for family
  • Dental Insurance
    • Cost per pay period: $2 for employee-only; $4 for two-person; $6 for family
  • Life Insurance
    • Fully-paid $50,000 policy for every full-time employee, with group rates available for additional insurance

Retirement Plan:

  • Full pension after 25 years of service and minimum of 52.5 years of age

Vacation and Wellness:

  • Vacation time: 8 hours per month, increasing to 10 hours per month after one year of service
  • Ten paid holidays per year
  • Three floating holidays per year
  • Paid sick time


  • Upon promotion to a Corrections Officer, the base annual salary will increase. 
  • Corrections Officers receive an additional $1,560 annual hazard duty pay
  • Shift pay differentials
    • .60 Second Shift
    • .75 Third Shift
    • Plus an additional 1.00 for weekends


There are many job prospects for Correctional Officers in New Hampshire. The NHDOC is always looking for qualified individuals to work as Correctional Officers in its facilities. The department offers competitive salaries and excellent benefits. There are also many opportunities for advancement within the department for those who demonstrate excellence in their job performance. 


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