Prison Officer

If you're looking for a rewarding career which gives you the chance to 'be the difference' join us as a Prison Officer.

Register your interest

Looking for a change? Then why not become a Prison Officer.

As a Prison Officer, you have opportunities to make a difference to offenders who are in our care. The job is diverse and rewarding with a number of career pathways you can follow.

One of the main responsibilities of Prison Officers is to ensure the security and smooth operation of a Prison is maintained, it’s the interactions between offenders and staff that can be the most rewarding.

A popular myth is that a good Prison Officer is someone who has a strong physical presence and a stern disposition. In fact, we appreciate diversity in our workforce especially since a "one size" approach does not fit all situations and offenders. Our current workforce consists of a number of diversity groups and occupations.

There are some shared attributes, such as demonstrating good communication skills, being able to empathise, coaching and supporting offenders to facilitate positive behavioural change in readiness for reintegration into the community.

The department recognises and values the unique attributes that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people of culturally diverse backgrounds and women bring to better understand our workforce and people in our care.

As a Prison Officer with the Department of Justice, you will:

  • support the Department in achieving its mission of a fair, just and safe community for all Western Australians
  • contribute to the safe, secure and efficient operation of our prisons
  • play a key part in the rehabilitation process by helping prisoners address the issues that are relevant to their offending behaviours.

The role

Prison Officers act as role models for prisoners, to motivate, support, encourage and put structure into their lives.

Your biggest challenge will be building rapport with prisoners in your care while maintaining professionalism, a high level of integrity and applying the departments code of conduct. Balancing authority and understanding with a non-judgmental and compassionate approach is essential.

Your tasks will vary according to the security level of the prison and may include:

  • induction of prisoners
  • staffing various units in the prison including the gatehouse, accommodation wings and other strategic areas
  • helping prisoners develop a plan to make the best use of their time in prison
  • assisting with vocational training of prisoners
  • escorting prisoners and supervising prison activities including recreation, industry and training
  • writing daily reports
  • responding to incidents and complying with all policies and procedures.

The benefits

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Our Prison Officers enjoy a range of great benefits including:

  • employment security
  • flexible working conditions - prisons operate on a 24 hour roster system, 7 days a week
  • generous leave entitlements including:
    • up to 6 weeks of annual leave
    • personal leave
    • parental leave (paid and unpaid)
    • study leave
    • long service leave after 7 years
    • purchased leave
  • salary for Prison Officers on shift work: $ 78,352 - $ 90,295 per annum plus superannuation
  • opportunities for promotion and career development
  • supplied uniforms
  • regional incentives including a regional incentive allowance of $ 2,353 or $ 4,704 per annum paid fortnightly (depending on the location)
  • the ability to utilise your life experience to help a prisoner turn their life around.

If you are interested in working in a regional area you may be eligible for a number of additional benefits as outlined below. These vary per location and will be explained further to you throughout the selection process.

  • Additional annual leave
  • Annual leave travel concessions
  • Subsidised rental (not applicable to local recruits)
  • Home ownership scheme
  • Subsidised utilities

Recruitment and selection process

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The selection process for Prison Officers usually incorporates a range of assessments. Some of these may include:

  • written application
  • employment profile assessment, which includes:
    • aptitude test
    • personality questionnaires
    • in some cases, an interview with a psychologist
  • selection panel interview
  • reference checks
  • medical assessment
  • fitness assessment
  • criminal history and integrity screening
  • any other assessments or checks as noted in the job advertisement.

We are not currently accepting applications for this role, however to be notified when applications open, register your interest.


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To be eligible for appointment as a Prison Officer position, you must:

  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or hold Australian permanent residency
  • possess a current C-Class driver's licence
  • possess, or be willing to obtain, a current Provide First Aid qualification which at the time of appointment must have 9-months validity remaining
  • receive clearance through a National Criminal History check and the Department’s Integrity Assessment
  • successfully complete all relevant pre-employment medical, fitness, psychological, and any other selection assessments as determined by the Department.


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All Prison Officers initially complete a 12-week (paid) Entry Level Training Program (ELTP). During the ELTP, you will cover topics such as communication skills, the judicial system, welfare skills, cross-cultural awareness, addiction studies, writing skills, offender management, prisoner programs, self-defence, security and emergency procedures and communicable diseases.

Successful graduates continue learning on the job and complete a nationally recognised qualification, CSC30120 Certificate III in Correctional Practice (Custodial). After 9 months of probation, officers can be recommended for permanency pending satisfactory performance and attainment of the qualification.

During the initial training component of the ELTP you will be required to complete physically demanding activities essential to providing a safe work environment. To ensure you are ready for this physical work you will be required to complete a physical fitness assessment during your pre-selection, and again at the beginning of the ELTP course. All participants must pass this assessment to progress.


Media release

Celebrating National Corrections Day 2021

Western Australia’s corrections staff are being recognised today for the crucial role they play in safeguarding the community and helping to reduce reoffending. View the gallery...
Page reviewed 12 January 2022