Human Services Guide

Education Requirements for Correctional Treatment Specialist

Educational background is extremely important for the Correctional Treatment Specialist. Working with convicts in the correctional system requires a high degree of self-awareness, compassion, professionalism and strong personal boundaries. Some of these skills are inborn, however it is always helpful to have a strong educational background which can help you hone and develop these skills into fullness.

The first step on this career arc is to earn your Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field which includes the following areas of study:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Correctional Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Human Services

Any of these disciplines will help give you a good basic understanding of the field. You will also want to consider a minor in a foreign language or if you are in the criminal justice realm a behavioral sciences minor. Conversely, if you earn your Bachelor’s in a behavioral science, you will want to minor in a Criminal Justice or Corrections related field.

After earning your Bachelor’s degree you can seek employment, or if you want to have the greatest opportunity in terms of breadth of jobs as well as opportunity to promote you will want to stay in school to earn your Master’s or even Ph.D. Keep in mind that most jobs will require you to work within a prison as part of the job which requires security background checks, drug testing and psychological and physical tests in order to ensure you are mentally and physical prepared to deal with the prison environment.