City Jailer

Guard prisoners in a city jail.
picture of City Jailer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$35,000 – $90,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do City Jailers do?

Most people avoid jail at all costs, but not a City Jailer. City Jailers spend their days (and sometimes nights) in jail, guarding and caring for the people who stay there.

An alternative title for City Jailer is Correctional Officer, though this is more general and can refer to any prison or jail. City jails are unique in terms of the average length of a prisoner’s stay. Most people stay there for only one to three days, since these prisons are used more as holding facilities while evidence is gathered or charges are made.

When a person is sent to jail, you’re involved in all aspects of their incarceration. You do bookings, fill out the necessary paperwork, take fingerprints, and lead them to their cell. When they go in front of a Judge for sentencing, you’re the one who escorts them and files the arrest record. And then after the sentence has been pronounced, you enter the information into the police database.

You work closely with Police Officers of all kinds, from city to state to county, helping with investigations and accepting newly arrested criminals from them. The prisoners you deal with can be facing charges of all kinds, from minor ones, like vandalism, to major ones, like a felony.

Though the actual chance of being physically attacked is low (handcuffs help prevent that), safety is a big part of this job. You always need to be alert and ready in case anything major should happen.


Should I be a City Jailer?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a City Jailer

    Most City Jailers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9qhaaa&chl=no+college+%2872%25%29|certificate+%2819%25%29|associate%27s+%289%25%29|bachelor%27s+%281%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,72,72
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