National Credential
Credential: Certified Jail Officer (CJO)
Credentialing Agency: American Jail Association (AJA)

The American Jail Association (AJA), Certified Jail Officer (CJO) is for individuals (sworn or civilian) who supervise incarcerated individuals in jails or detention centers and/or oversee those who supervise incarcerated individuals in jails or detention centers. CJO candidates must have been employed full time, for a minimum of one year, as a jail officer and agree to adhere to the AJA Code of Ethics. Candidates must pass a written exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 4 years

Certified Jail Officer (CJO)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 11B Infantryman MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 11C Indirect Fire Infantryman MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 31B Military Police MOS other          
Enlisted 31E Corrections and Detention Specialist MOS some          

Army Table Legend


Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Jail Officer (CJO)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 1 year
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 4 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

American Jail Association (AJA)
1135 Professional Court
Hagerstown, MD  21740-5853
Phone: (301) 790-3930
Fax: (301) 790-2941
Contact Page

Certified Jail Officer (CJO)

Candidates must have been employed full time, for a minimum of one year, as a jail officer.

The Certified Jail Officer (CJO) credential has the following other requirements:

Certified Jail Officer (CJO)

  • Jail Operations (25%)
    • Inmate Supervision
    • Inmate Discipline
    • Inmate Grievances
    • Intake/Release
    • Housing
    • Investigation of Crimes
    • Inmate Workers
    • Inmate Hygiene
    • Facility Sanitation
    • Visitation
    • Other
  • Safety and Security (30%)
    • Use of Force
    • Legal Issues
    • Emergency Procedures
    • Inmate Classification
    • Contraband
    • Inmate Transportation
    • Suicide/Suicide Prevention
    • Searches
    • Key/Tool Control
    • Restraints
    • Facility
    • Other
  • Professional and Legal Concepts (20%)
    • Professionalism/Ethics
    • Leadership Tools
    • Physical Fitness/Stress Management
    • Confidentiality
    • Inmate Rights
    • Communications
    • Sexual Harassment/Sexual Misconduct
    • Administrative Investigations
    • Administrative Legal Issues
    • PREA
  • Special Population Issues (15%)
    • Gangs
    • Juveniles
    • LGBT
    • Substance Abusers
    • Mental Illness
    • Communicable Diseases and other Health-Related Issues
    • Disabilities and Special Needs
    • Foreign Nationals
    • Elderly
    • Special Housing
    • Cultural Diversity
    • Other
  • Support Services (10%)
    • Medical
    • Food
    • Commissary
    • Inmate Programs
    • Volunteers

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Jail Officer (CJO) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Testing for this credential is handled by Professional Testing Corporation (PTC). The test centers are located in the U.S.

To find out more, use the following links on the Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) website:

For more information on the American Jail Association (AJA) testing process, visit the agency website.

Certified Jail Officer (CJO)

Renewal Period: 4 years

The Certified Jail Officer (CJO) credential has the following recertification information:

  • The CJO certification is valid for four years. To be eligible for recertification, certification holders must be currently employed as a jail officer or have had no more than a two-year departure from such employment at the time of the certification expiration date AND must state an intention to re-enter the field of jail operations. To recertify, certification holders must accumulate 80 hours of correctional training and pay a recertification fee OR retake the exam and pay an exam fee.