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Some employers require just a high school diploma or equivalency, although it's not like a college education would hurt you. Certainly not as much as a shiv to the abdomen. Many others require a bachelors degree, full-time experience as a counselor, a prior job in law enforcement or the military, or some combination of these. Regardless, you need to be tough and physically reasonably strong and know how to wield a 'cuff. Not surprisingly, many prison guards come from military parents.