Career FAQ - New Hire

(Click questions to see or hide answers)
  1. How do I apply?
    You can apply by filling out an [application for employment] and submitting it to your local recruitment office or the Phoenix recruitment office.

  2. How long will it take before I can begin work?
     Processing time from test date to Hiring Pool, will generally take 2-3 months. Our hiring process time frames are greatly dependant upon you; factors such as how quickly you can supply needed documents, and your availability for certain steps of the process will greatly determine the speed of your processing. Actual job offer time frames can vary, but a factor that comes into play quite often is the staffing needs of the institution that you are applying for. Asking a recruiter which institution has the greatest staffing needs will be to your advantage.

  3. What are the steps in your hiring process?
    The first thing you will need to do is to come in for testing. On test day you will fill out all necessary paperwork. The rest of the processing includes a Fit-Pro test, background check, medical/physical exam, psychological screening, and pre-employment drug testing.

  4. What documents do I need to be prepared to provide?
    You will need to provide the following documents:
    • Proof of Age and United States Citizenship or lawful Permanent Residency i.e.: Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport or Immigration for I-1551
    • Your High School Diploma
    • You Military Discharge papers, showing type of discharge i.e., DD-214 long form.

  5. I worked as a police officer, does this experience count?
    Unfortunately, no. Qualifying experience is daily direct supervision of incarcerated persons.

  6. What is the starting salary?
    No Prior Correctional Experience:
    Starting salary is $31,886 during the 9-week paid training period. A salary increase to $1,030 is granted following successful completion of training and upon assignment to the institution work location.   Winslow Complex and Apache unit will receive 10% of base salary; Lewis, Florence, Eyman, and Safford complexes will receive a 5% of base salary.
    Prior Correctional Experience:
    A higher salary is available for those with one to eight years of experience directly supervising incarcerated persons.   Winslow Complex and Apache unit will receive 10% of base salary; Lewis, Florence, Eyman, and Safford complexes will receive a 5% of base salary


    Starting Salary

    Salary after Training


    $31,886 $32,916


    $33,106 $34,136


    $34,370 $35,400


    $35,034 $36,064


    $35,720 $36,750


    $36,427 $37,457


    $37,135 $38,165


    $37,885 $38,915


    $38,634 $39,664

  7. How long is your academy?
    Our academy is seven weeks long. Our main academy campus is located in Tucson, Arizona. If you live within 50 miles of the academy campus you will commute on a daily basis. If you live outside the 50 mile range you will live on campus Monday through Friday. Room and board during the week is paid for during your academy training. If you live in the Phoenix area you may qualify to attend one of our regional academies held approximately every 10 weeks at our Perryville or Lewis prison which are located in the western Phoenix area. Academies at other locations may also be scheduled when necessary. [Correctional Officer Training Academy Info Page]

  8. If I have Corrections experience, do I have to go through your academy?
    Applicants with prior corrections experience may apply for a training waiver and, if qualified, attend a two-week abbreviated academy.
  9. Where will I work?
    You will select the institution of your choice on your initial application (see map below). When you come in for testing, the recruiter will go over location sites, custody levels and answer any question you may have about particular institutions. Upon graduation from our academy you will be assigned to the primary institution that you chose on your application. Work hours and particular units will be up to the needs of the institution.

    (A) Perryville (H) Safford (D) Kingman
    (B) Lewis (I) Eyman  (E) Marana
    (C) Yuma (J) Florence (K) Florence West
    (F) Douglas (L) Phoenix (N) Phoenix West
    (G) Tucson (M) Winslow (0) Navajo County Jail
      (P) Coconino County Jail

  10. What are the shifts?
    Shifts are as follows:  First shift is 9:45 p.m. - 6:00 a.m., second shift is 5:45 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., and third shift is 1:45 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

  11. Can females perform the work of a Correctional Officer?
    Yes, the Arizona Department is an Equal Opportunity Employment Agency. Hiring female officers helps to balance genders roles on the prison yards.

  12. What benefits* are available?
    The Arizona Department of Corrections offers many benefits including: Tuition reimbursement; vacation time accrual equivalent to 12 paid days each year; sick leave accrual equivalent to 12 paid days each year; 10 paid holidays; a 20-year retirement program; various plans for medical, dental and vision benefits; a life insurance plan; short and long-term disability; medical and dependent flexible spending accounts; and credit union membership. Upon graduation from our training academy, you receive 21-college credit hours.

    * Benefits start 90 days after the start of the Correctional Officer Training
       Academy, effective July 20, 2011

  13. What about my future? Where job opportunities are available?
    The promotional opportunities are tremendous. One of our institutions is much like a small city. We employ not only uniformed security staff, but medical, mental health, administrative, clerical and trades as well. You can apply for promotion up through the ranks in uniform every two years through experience and testing to Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Correctional Officer III and IV. Management opportunities in the security series also exist all the way up to the top spot: Warden. You may also be eligible to promote into non-uniform positions with the right qualifications.

Please contact Recruitment at:

Arizona Department of Corrections
R.U.S.H. Unit

1831 West Jefferson St.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
1.602.542.7572 or 1.888.545.RUSH (7874)