Correctional Officer Salary

Pay for Correctional Officers in the United States is very modest at just $35K per year. Compensation ranges between $25K and $58K per year. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is location, followed by the company and tenure. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Correctional Officers who answered the questionnnaire. Most Correctional Officers report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$25,201 - $62,438
(Median)
$25K
$35K
$62K
MEDIAN: $35,348
10%
50%
90%

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$10.60 - $22.44
(Median)
$11
$15
$22
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$25,201 - $62,438  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,025  
Profit Sharing
$750  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,626 - $57,995  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,194
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.60 - $22.44  
   
Overtime
$14.98 - $39.11  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,025  
   
Profit Sharing
$750  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,626 - $57,995  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 855
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Job Description for Correctional Officer

A correctional officer works at a prison, jail, or similar institution. They are responsible for maintaining the safety and control of all persons remanded to the custody of the facility. The help ensure and enforce all procedures and regulations as required by the jurisdiction and management.

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Correctional Officer Tasks

  • Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
  • Receive and secure prisoners until their release.
  • Maintain security of the jail or institution.
  • Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.

Common Career Paths for Correctional Officer


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While not commonly seen, Correctional Officers who transition into a Registered Nurse position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Registered Nurses is $55K per year. Becoming a Corrections Officer is, more often than not, the most common role that Correctional Officers move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. The average salary for the position is $36K. Another frequent advance is for Correctional Officers to assume a Security Officer role; in this role, workers often earn $25K.

Correctional Officer / Jailer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Correctional Officer


Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, The GEO Group, Inc., and Florida Department of Corrections are among the top companies that take on many Correctional Officers. Correctional Officers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at NYSDocs, where the average salary comes to $59K. Soaring salaries can also be found at Federal Bureau of Prisons, Oregon Department of Corrections, and Arizona Department of Corrections, where earnings of $48K, $47K, or $41K are standard for Correctional Officers.

Other low-paying employers include Georgia Department of Corrections at $27K and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) at $32K, though some Correctional Officers there earn up to $47K.

Popular Skills for Correctional Officer


Correctional Officers report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Safety Compliance and Transport are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 44 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Writing Procedures & Documentation and Security Risk Management. Experience with Oral / Verbal Communication is often linked with knowledge of Security Policies and Procedures.

Pay by Experience Level for Correctional Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Correctional Officers with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $32K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $36K on average. Correctional Officers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $39K. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $49K on average.

Correctional Officer Reviews

What is it like working as a Correctional Officer?

Correctional Officer in Cleburne:
"Ugh...."
Pros: What I like most is the stability. It is job security because there will always be someone breaking the law. And it pays my bills...well somewhat pays them.
Cons: It is dark and depressing. There is no appreciation for anything you do. I was told I can move up in the company but employees that have been there less time then me are getting picked over me. Plus, they want me to treat people like they are dirt all because they are jail and I just cant do that.

What is it like working as a Correctional Officer at Georgia Department of Corrections?

Correctional Officer in Abbeville:
"Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)"
Pros: While working with the Department of Corrections, I obtain discounts at a few retail locations for being employed in Law Enforcement.
Cons: There's nothing at all at this time that I like about my job with GDC. When I first started, I really enjoyed going to work, our whole shift communicated not only as coworkers, but as if we were family. We followed the policy that GDC has in place, and did what we had to do on a day to day basis. We as officers ran the prison, and inmates did as they were told. Things have changed now, policy is being broken in favor for the inmates, and inmates run the institutions. Officers are being punished for trying to follow policy, and supervisors are not backing up the officers. The sole duty of a supervisor at any prison is to back up their officers, train their officers to handle situations the right way, and to guide the newer officers to follow policy. None of this is happening anymore, and its making the state prison systems a very dangerous place to work. The stress level for those of us who try to do right by policy has increased dramatically. This is why I hate my current job.

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Experience Affects Correctional Officer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 41%


Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$35,000


Skills That Affect Correctional Officer Salaries

Safety Compliance
up arrow 44%

Transport
up arrow 15%

People Management
up arrow 2%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 1%

Security Policies and Procedures
0%

National Average
$35,000

Security Risk Management
up arrow 10%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 274 votes.

Gender

Female
30 %
Male
70 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 88%
dental benefits
Dental: 72%
medical benefits
Vision: 63%
dental benefits
None: 10%
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