First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers

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About the Job

Directly supervise and coordinate activities of correctional officers and jailers.

It is also Called

  • Ward Supervisor
  • Unit Manager
  • Third Shift Lieutenant
  • Superintendent
  • Shift Supervisor
  • Shift Commander
  • Sergeant, Investigator, Hearing Coordinator
  • Sergeant of Officers
  • Sergeant of Corrections
  • Sergeant
show all

What They Do

  • Examine incoming or outgoing mail to ensure conformance with regulations.
  • Review offender information to identify issues that require special attention.
  • Convey correctional officers' or inmates' complaints to superiors.
  • Transfer or transport offenders on foot or by driving vehicles, such as trailers, vans, or buses.
  • Rate behavior of inmates, promoting acceptable attitudes and behaviors to those with low ratings.
  • Supervise or provide security for offenders performing tasks, such as construction, maintenance, laundry, food service, or other industrial or agricultural operations.
  • Conduct roll calls of correctional officers.
  • Develop work or security procedures.
  • Set up employee work schedules.
  • Supervise activities such as searches, shakedowns, riot control, or institutional tours.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: CI.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Conventional interests, but also prefer Investigative environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Preparation Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.


In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $93,780 with most people making between $82,100 and $106,820


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,700 people in California. It is projected that there will be 5,000 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 30 openings due to growth and about 140 replacement openings for approximately 170 total annual openings.