Correctional Officer Trainee
Correctional Officer Trainee Class Specification
Individuals wishing to apply for a Correctional Officer Trainee position must complete an electronic Applicant Data Form.
All information submitted here is considered confidential. After receiving your information, you will be notified of the next screening process once a scheduled test date has been determined.
Please note: Submitting multiple applications could delay the scheduling of your application.
Minimum Qualifications to Screen
18 years of age
Valid driver's license
High School Diploma or GED certificate
U.S. citizen or authorized alien with proof of a permanent resident card
Speak, read, and write English
Note: Illinois residency is required for employment as a Correctional Officer Trainee. Non-residents may be screened; however, non-residents shall not be considered until the list of all qualified Illinois residents has been exhausted. If selected, non-residents must establish Illinois residency prior to employment.
Documents Needed for Screening
These documents must be completed and brought to the screening on the day of testing. Any documents mailed to the Department will be shredded.
Employment Application - CMS 100
Applicant Information Sheet
Release of Information
Employment Reference Check - DOC 0037 - A minimum of 3 employment reference checks is required, or 1 for every employer over the past 5 years (whichever is greater).
Applicant must only fill out the address portion for each employer; sign and date in the upper right hand box, and bring to screening date.
Screening Unit will send out to employers for completion.
Applicants must bring clear copies of the following applicable documents to the screening session. Applicants who fail to provide these documents on the day of screening will not be permitted to test.
copy of your birth certificate or a certified letter of birth verification from the courthouse (minimum of 18 years of age required).
copy of citizenship verification if you are a naturalized citizen of the United States. If you are not a citizen or a naturalized citizen, you must produce a permanent resident card. If you are a citizen, THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU.
copy of your high school diploma of G.E.D. Equivalency certificate.
copy of your Selective Service System registration card or other proof of registration. (Males between 18 and 26 years of age should contact
Federal Selective Service, or
https://www.sss.gov/Home/Verification to verify registration.)
copy of official college transcripts or diploma. (must have at time of screening)
copy of a photo I.D.
copy AND the original of a valid driver's license.
Required Military Documentation:
Veteran: Certified copy of DD214 / DD215
Illinois National Guard / United States Military Reserve
Activated into federal service and still serving: Certified copy of DD214/DD215 and letter from unit personnel indicating satisfactory service.
Activated into federal service and discharged under honorable conditions: Certified copy of DD214/DD215, certified copy of NGB 22, discharge orders or DD256 certificate.
Never activated into federal service and currently serving: Certified copy of NGB 22, discharge orders, or DD256 certificate.
Never activated into federal service and discharged with four or more years' service: Certified copy of the following documents:
Disabled Veteran / Purple Heart Recipient: Certified copy of DD214/DD215 and award letter issued within the last year from the United State Department of Veterans Affairs indicating service-connected disability. Call (800) 827-1000 to obtain a current letter. If Purple Heart recipient, certified copy of DD214/DD215, orders, or certificate awarding decoration.
Army or Air National Guard, NGB 22 Report of Separation and Record of Service
Army Reserve, DARP FM 249-2E Chronological Statement of Retirement Points
Navy Reserve, NRPC 1070-124 Annual Retirement Point Record
Air Force Reserve, AF 526 Point Summary Sheet
USMC Reserve, NAVMC 798 Reserve Retirement Credit Report
Coast Guard, CG 4175 / PPC 4973 Coast Guard Reserve Annual or Terminal Statement of Retirement Points.
Unremarried Spouse / Parent of Disabled or Deceased Veteran: Certified copy of DD214/DD215 and award letter issued within the last year from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, indicating service-connected disability or death. A death certificate or Report of Casualty for the deceased veteran is required. Request a CMS-255 form.
It is a Class A misdemeanor to fraudulently represent yourself as a veteran!
Questions regarding veterans preference may be directed to the Illinois Department of Central Management Services Veterans Outreach Program at (800) 643-8138 or the Illinois Relay Center (for hearing impaired) at (800) 526-0844. Certified copies of DD214/DD215 may be obtained from: Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs at (800) 437-9824 or TTY (217) 524-4645; National Personnel Records Center at www.archives.gov/research/military/veterans or the County clerk's office where you registered your military service.
Four examinations are required of all applicants:
Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE); a
Physical Agility test; an
Observation exam; and a
Rutan interview. Applicants must meet minimum standards on each examination to be eligible for hire. Applicants have the opportunity to earn up to a total of 130 screening points and are placed on eligibility lists in rank order. Institutions hire applicants based on scores.
Points are assigned to each of the following dimensions based on its relationship to successful job performance.
0 - 20
0 - 100
0 - 10
Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE)
The Department of Corrections requires that all applicants for security positions successfully complete a written reading comprehension and vocabulary examination. Applicants must receive a minimum score equivalent to the 12th grade reading level. Applicants meeting this criterion can move on to the next phase in the screening process. The TABE is used to establish a baseline for reading comprehension. No screening points are awarded for its successful completion.
Physical Agility Test (pass/fail)
Since being in good physical shape is a prime consideration for being a Correctional Officer Trainee, applicants are required to successfully complete a physical agility test to be eligible for hire. The test includes four exercises designed to measure an applicant’s ability to perform the job duties required of a Correctional Officer Trainee. Applicants must complete all four of the exercises to continue in the screening process. The Physical Agility Test is a pass/fail test.
Observation Examination (0-20 points)
To assess each applicant's capacity to comprehensively, fairly, and objectively evaluate a scenario and provide a detailed incident report. Applicants will be given a scenario write-up. Each applicant will be given 3 minutes to review the scenario and will be allowed to take notes. An applicant will then have 5 minutes to complete an incident report.
Structured Oral Rutan Interview and Writing Sample (0-100 points)
Applicants are interviewed by a team of two screeners using a standardized Rutan interview questionnaire. Upon conclusion of the interview, the screeners independently rate the applicant. An applicant can receive a total of 100 points.
Military Service (0-10)
Points are awarded to any armed forces veteran, receiving discharges of
General Under Honorable Conditions. A COPY OF THE DD214 (Member 4 edition) must be supplied. Documentation of military service is based on a review of
all Certificates of Military Release of Discharge. To be eligible for military points and in order to be considered for employment, an applicant
must produce long versions of
all Military Discharges. The long version shall indicate years of service, character of service and type of discharge. Points may be awarded as follows:
Veteran who received a Purple Heart
Veteran with Service Connected Disability
Spouse of a Veteran who Suffered a Service connected Disability or Death
Parent of a Veteran who Suffered a Service Connected Disability or Death
Veteran during Hostility
Illinois National Guard or Reserves Member Activated (6 months or more outside of training)
Veteran during Peacetime
Illinois National Guard or Reserves Member Never Activated
* Three (3) points awarded if serviced during peacetime; Five (5) points if served during hostilities.
** Award letter from the Federal V.A. Office required.
Hostility Periods Recognized (eff. 11/15/1996)
April 6, 1917 - November 11, 1918
December 7, 1941 - December 31, 1946
June 27, 1950 - January 31, 1955
February 28, 1961 - May 7, 1975
June 6, 1983 - December 1, 1987
October 23, 1983 - November 21, 1983
December 20, 1989 - January 31, 1990
August 2, 1990 - November 30, 1995
September 11, 2001 - Indeterminate
War on Terrorism
Applicants who have been in the military and receive discharges of
General Under Honorable Conditions, are entitled to non-security work experience points as follows: Five (5) points for job stability if in the military for a period of three (3) years of longer; five (5) points for promotion if DD-214 reflects a rank of E-3 or above; and five (5) points for supervisory experience if applicant supervised at least one (1) person for a period of six (6) months or longer.
Ranking Applicants For Hire
Applicants may earn 0 - 130 total screening points. Total screening scores are based on the screening points accrued during the written examination, oral interview, education, work experience, and for documentation of military service. Applicants are then ranked in order of their screening process, i.e., from highest to lowest. Successful completion of the screening process places an applicant on an eligibility list for hire for a period of three (3) years from the last day of the month in which they screen. If an applicant chooses to retake the test within that time, the most current screening score overrides the previously reported score.
Applicants may select a primary county (A list), and a secondary county (B list) where they will accept employment.
A background investigation is conducted on all applicants selected for hire. This process involves inquiries via the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS), which includes a computerized criminal history check, NCIC hot files, and Secretary of State drivers- information checks. Drug tests and employment reference checks are also conducted. Information gathered during the background investigation phase may be utilized when selecting an applicant for hire.
Conflicts of interest subject an applicant’s file to administrative review prior to consideration for hire. The following situations may result in administrative review and a determination of ineligibility for hire.
former DOC employee
prior convictions for other than minor traffic offenses
relatives employed by the Department of Corrections
suitability issues (i.e. Inmate visitor lists; job discharges)
Prior to employment, a complete medical history will be obtained and a complete physical examination and visual screening exam will be conducted.
Selecting Applicants For Hire
Facilities select applicants for hire from their county eligibility list(s) based on the highest overall screening score. When applicants receive the same overall screening score, ties will be broken through a lottery. Established affirmative action goals may be taken into consideration.
Facilities will make three reasonable attempts to contact eligible applicants for employment. At least one of the three attempts will be made after 6:00 p.m., or on a weekend.
Applicants selected for hire will be required to attend a multiple week pre-service training program in Springfield, Illinois, prior to assuming job duties at an institution. New hires will be required to travel to Springfield, via State-provided transportation for pre-service training. Housing will be provided in the Training Academy dormitories.
Salary And Benefits (07/01/2014)
The starting salary for a Correctional Officer Trainee is $42,432 per year. During the three-month appointment as a trainee all Correctional Officer Trainees are required to attend six weeks at the Corrections Training Academy. Upon successful completion of a three month trainee period and a four and one-half month probationary period, Correctional Officer Trainees can be certified as Correctional Officers. At that time, a Correctional Officer’s salary increases to $48,432 per year.
The State of Illinois provides employees with Health, Vision, and Dental insurance with a small co-payment from employees. Life insurance is provided at 100% your annual salary. This position includes a pension plan.
Benefit time for new employees includes three (3) personal business days, ten (10) vacation days, and twelve (12) sick days per year.
Work Attire is issued to you while in training.
Correctional Officer Trainees may not transfer to another facility immediately upon hire. Therefore,
do not accept employment at a facility at which you do not wish to work. Only Correctional Officers who have a minimum of eighteen months seniority and desire a transfer to another institution can submit a request. Selection for transfer is based on seniority from all requests submitted statewide.
ALL POSITIONS OTHER than Correctional Officer Trainee and Correctional Treatment Officer Trainee available at the Illinois Department of Corrections are listed with the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS). These positions include all clerical, management, technical, educational, etc. You may visit the CMS website at http://work.illinois.gov/ to obtain additional information about obtaining employment with the State of Illinois and to download a job application.
CMS Diversity Enrichment Program