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Employment Graphic.pngThere are two general types of employment available with the Department of Corrections: Civil Service and Non-Civil Service. Each is a separate employment processes which is administered by organizations separate from the Department of Corrections.  

Before contacting the DOC to inquire about employment, please review the below information concerning types of employment, employment applications, on the spot interviews, student internships, veterans' preference, employee training and employee benefits:

Civil Service Employment

The State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) oversees Civil Service covered employment. The majority of the positions within the DOC are covered by Civil Service, which requires job candidates to participate in competitive examinations in order to qualify for employment.

Employment Applications

Job seekers can complete applications at

Active state employees under the governor's jurisdiction looking for other job opportunities with the Commonwealth can use the above website to search for openings. Applicants may be asked to complete and provide a Position Vacancy Interest Form as well as other documents when applying.

The Department does not interview applicants for entry-level positions unless they are first referred to us through the State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) or the Office of Administration Talent Acquisition.

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Unpaid student internships for undergraduates are available with the DOC.  Each State Correctional Institution (SCI) is responsible for selecting their own student interns.  If you are interested in an unpaid student internship with the DOC, please contact the HR Office at the specific SCI at which you would like to perform your internship.

There are also unpaid internship opportunities with the DOC in Central Office in Mechanicsburg, PA, as well as a limited number of paid internship opportunities in Correctional Industries in Camp Hill.  For information regarding undergraduate or post-doctoral internships at our SCI, Central Office or Correctional Industries, please call 717-728-5357 or via email at

Veterans Preference


Applicants in any of the following categories are entitled to veterans' preference if they have completed their military service commitment and have received an honorable discharge from such service prior to taking a civil service examination.

  1. Certain military commitments completed prior to July 27, 1953
  2. Applicants who have served in an active duty capacity in the armed forces of the United States since July 27. Such service must include completion of basic training.
  3. Applicants who served in the National Guard or Reserves.  Such service must include completion of basic training and completion of either the entire first term of service or at least one period of active duty for a purpose other than training since August 2, 1990.

Also eligible are:

  1. Widows or widowers of veterans.
  2. Spouses of disabled veterans.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has a long history of hiring veterans from all branches of the military for many of our job titles.  If you pass a civil service examination, you may be eligible for various training programs available within the DOC, for more information click here.

Employee Training

All new employees within the Department of Corrections receive training at the beginning and throughout employment.  New employees responsible for the care, custody and control of inmates must complete one year of on-the-job training, and three or four weeks of basic training are completed at the Departments' Training Academy in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County.  The training classes, plus room and board (not provided for employees of SCI Camp Hill and Central Office due to travel proximity to the Training Academy) are provided at no expense to the employees. Courses in interpersonal communication skills, inmate behavior, suicide prevention, self-defense understanding and dealing with narcotics, search procedures report writing, basic First Aid, CPR and riot control are offered.  Corrections Employees with limited contact with inmates attend either a one or two week basic training program.

Employee Benefits

The Commonwealth provides a full range of benefits for regular salaried (full-time) employees and on a prorated basis for qualified part-time employees who work at least 50 percent of the standard pay period.  The benefit entitlement includes health insurance, prescription coverage, life insurance, workers compensation, retirement, deferred compensation, and an attractive leave program.

Employees may choose from various health benefit options. Employees hired after August 1, 2003 are assessed a percentage of their bi-weekly gross salary plus the difference of any plan that is above the least expensive plan. Eligible employees hired on or after January 1, 2016 will have the option of enrolling in prescription coverage, in addition to medical coverage, upon their date of hire.

Employees who elect to enroll in prescription coverage within the first six months of commonwealth employment will have to pay an additional buy up cost.

Employees may add dependents at a higher cost during their initial six months of employment. After six months of employment, employees become eligible for supplemental benefits which include dental, vision, and prescription the PEBTF will provide dependent coverage at no charge in the least expensive plan. If you are enrolled in the PPO, you will continue to pay the plan buy-up.

Supplemental Benefits

The PEBTF also provides supplemental health insurance benefits for eligible, permanent employees and retirees.  Currently, prescription drugs, dental, vision, and hearing aid benefits are provided by the PEBTF. For more information you can visit the PEBTF's internet site at

Dependent EligibilityA spouse, qualified domestic partner and dependent children up to age 26 may be eligible for coverage under your PEBTF health plans.  You can read full eligibility information at

Domestic Partners:  You can add coverage for your opposite sex or same sex domestic partner and/or any children of your domestic partner. In order to add coverage, you must provide supporting documentation and sign a verification statement affirming that you meet the qualifying criteria.  When enrolling a domestic partner and/or their dependents in health benefits, you may be responsible for paying Federal, Social Security and Medicare taxes for the value of these benefits (imputed income). Also, the additional cost for your plan buy-up and your dependent buy-up, if applicable, may be taken on a post-tax basis in certain situations.  Contact the HR Service Center for more information.

Hired on or after August 1, 2003: Your spouse/domestic partner is eligible for benefits through the PEBTF, as primary coverage, only if he or she is not eligible for medial or supplemental benefits through his or her own employer.  Your spouse/domestic partner must accept his or her employer's medical or supplemental benefits even if there is a required employee contribution or a monetary incentive to decline.  PEBTF coverage for spouses and/or domestic partners who are eligible for their own coverage is limited to secondary coverage.  This rule does not apply to a self-employed spouse/domestic partner.

Retirement, Leave, and Other Benefits

Most Commonwealth employees appointed to a permanent, full-time salaried position and certain wage positions must participate in the State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) from the first day of employment.  Both the employee and the Commonwealth make regular contributions to the employee's retirement account.  Under the current State Employees' Retirement System, the employee contribution rate is 6.25 percent of their salary for the basic retirement benefits.  Members receive an annual statement of the amount of money in their individual accounts, including the interest it has earned. The employee's contribution is deferred for federal tax purposes.

Employees earn a greater amount of "annual" or vacation leave based on years of service with the Commonwealth. Newly hired employees earn 11 vacation days annually (management employees earn 14 days). Most Commonwealth employees also have 11 paid holidays annually. 

Corrections officers, food service, and maintenance and trades employees have a flexible "Combined Leave" benefit where new employees earn 15 "vacation" days in their first year of employment, and 20 or more days in their second and subsequent years of employment.

Other benefits include Paid Military Leave, Military Leave Without Pay, Paid Sick Leave, Sick Leave Without Pay with Benefits, credit union membership, direct deposit, paid group term life insurance, and the State Employee Assistance Program (SEAP).

"The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is proud to be an equal opportunity employer supporting workforce diversity." 

 *The DOC application is only for the use of candidates scheduled for an interview, or for candidates who have already been conditionally selected and have been directed to complete an application by the Department of Corrections Human Resources staff.