Prison Instructor

Job Description:

Prison instructors teach prisoners new skills to help them find work after their release.

Job Category:

What you will do:

In your day-to-day duties, you could:

  • act as a role model for prisoners
  • introduce new prisoners to the workshop health and safety rules
  • update prisoners’ learning and attendance records
  • support prisoners working towards qualifications
  • monitor discipline and behaviour
  • search prisoners using ‘rub down” or “pat down” method
  • keep the workshop area and tools safe and in working order
  • maintain stocks of equipment and materials


You’ll need:

  • the ability to teach learners how to do something
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things (creativity)
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

The educational requirements to become a Prison Instructor can vary depending on the specific job and location, but here are some subjects that may be relevant and helpful:

  1. English: Good communication skills are crucial for instructing inmates effectively and for creating educational materials.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills can be valuable for various aspects of instruction and record-keeping.
    Social Studies or Citizenship: These subjects can provide a foundation for understanding societal issues and the criminal justice system.
  3. Psychology or Sociology: An understanding of human behavior and societal factors is beneficial when working with inmates and facilitating rehabilitation programs.
  4. Physical Education (PE): Some prison instructor roles, such as those involving sports or fitness programs, may require knowledge in physical education.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course


You’ll need, or be prepared to work towards a vocational qualification in your subject area or trade.

You may find it useful to do qualifications in assessment.

Further information

You can find out more about working  and about specialist production instructor roles in:

  • engineering
  • waste management
  • textiles
  • horticulture

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 37-39 hours of work. You could be required to work between 8am and 6pm.

You could work in a prison. Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and physically and emotionally demanding.

Career Path & Progression:

You could move up to industries manager or other management roles within the prison service.

You could change to other areas of training or instructing.