Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I apply?
Click here for information on how to apply.
- What kind of person makes a good Corrections Officer?
Desirable candidates will display integrity, good judgment, common sense, people skills and good communication, and follow proper procedure, even when unpopular. To be considered, the individual must have a history of ethical behavior. Please see disqualifier section.
- How long will the process take once I apply?
The length of the process depends on the hiring needs of the Department. If there are no immediate vacancies, the process can take over six months.
- What are the steps in the selection process?
1. Submit application
2. Take written and physical test
3. Complete and return of background questionnaire, references, etc.
4. Background investigation (will be completed by DAJD)
5. Polygraph and Psychological testing
7. Doctor's physical examination
- If I am a lateral hire, do I need to go to the academy again?
Lateral hires are done on a case-by-case basis. Different states and agencies may have different requirements, if your training meets Washington State minimum standards, attendance at some of all of the Corrections Academy may be waived.
- Do I have to be a Corrections Officer to become a Sheriff's Deputy?
In King County the jail is operated independently of the King County Sheriff's Office; therefore each department has its own hiring process. There is no requirement to be a Corrections Officer before becoming a Sheriff's Deputy.
- How is jail different than a prison?
The most notable difference is that prison inmates have been tried and convicted of crimes, while those in jail may be awaiting trial. A prison is under federal or state jurisdiction while the jail holds people accused under federal, state, county and/or city laws and inmates sentenced up to one year.
All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to gender. DAJD employes women at all levels in the chain of command.
- Do I need to have prior experience?
Minimum qualifications are 21 years of age plus a high school diploma or GED and you must possess a valid Washington State Driver’s License by the time of employment.
- What are the physical requirements?
DAJD requires the same physical testing as the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center. The physical pre-qualification process will include the following components:
Push-Ups (Complete 19 push-ups)
Sit-Ups (Complete 15 sit-ups within one  minute)
1.5 Mile Run (Complete a 1.5 mile run within 17:17 minutes)
The physical requirement standards are gender and age neutral. The standard is set to test any person’s physical ability regardless of gender or age and all elements are completed in the same manner, i.e., all candidates complete straight-knee push-ups.
- I have been arrested before; will that prevent me from being hired?
Please review DAJD’s disqualifiers.
- I have some tattoos; can I still apply?
Visible tattoos are not allowed with the exception of tattoos on the arms or hands visible when wearing a short sleeve shirt. Tattoos that are obscene, gang related or racially insensitive are not allowed.
Benefits begin the first day of the first full month of employment.
- What kind of training is available?
New employee orientation includes first aid, CPR, AED, defensive tactics, interpersonal communication skills, anti-harassment, key control, escorts and restraints, report writing, and many other subjects.
Corrections Officer Academy at the Washington State Criminal Justice Academy
Field training on-the-job with a Field Training Officer
- Am I paid for training and attending the Academy?
From your first day of hire, you are paid your starting salary during new employee orientation, while attending the academy, and while working with an assigned Field Training Officer.
- Do I need to carry a gun?
A percentage of Corrections Officer positions require gun qualification. Corrections Officers assigned to housing units do not carry a gun. Annually, Corrections Officers are given the opportunity to become gun and those qualified are paid a premium for working in gun-qualified positions, e.g., court detail, visiting control, and transport.
- I have seen jails and prison depicted on television and in the movies; it that what it is really like?
You will find that little of what is seen on television or in the movies reflects a jail’s reality. You are urged to keep an open mind and not have preconceived notions about the jail.
- Do I need to pay for my own uniform?
No. Within your first three weeks of orientation you will be given a voucher for two sets of uniforms. Each year after that you will be issued a check or voucher to be used for uniforms.
Basic housing shifts, including Roll Call are:
First shift: 6:20 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Second shift: 2:20 p.m. – 10:30 p.m
Third shift: 10:20 p.m. – 6:30 a.m.
- As a new Corrections Officer, what facility and shift would I most likely be placed on when I start work?
You can bid for any of the three shifts but the final call will be for the needs of the department and is based upon seniority.
- Are military reservists allowed to miss work to participate in weekend drills?
King County supports the employees serving in the military.
- Will the county be flexible for adjusting shifts in order for me to go to school?
Being A Corrections Officer is a full-time job. Minimum staffing levels are required to maintain operations. DAJD encourages staff to attend appropriate courses on their own time and may provide reimbursement for some courses based on the King County Corrections Guild contract.