Detention Officer Salary

An average Detention Officer in the United States can expect to take home roughly $16.36 per hour. Lower pay rates hover around $11.73 per hour, and the higher rates verge on $23.27. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. There are more male Detention Officers than female among those who completed the questionnaire, making up 66 percent. Most Detention Officers like their work and job satisfaction is high. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$22,663 - $48,156
(Median)
$23K
$33K
$48K
MEDIAN: $32,614
10%
50%
90%

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$11.73 - $23.27
(Median)
$12
$16
$23
MEDIAN: $16.00
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$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$22,663 - $48,156  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,208  
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).
)
$24,149 - $50,421  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 161
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$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$11.73 - $23.27  
   
Overtime
$14.25 - $34.97  
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$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,208  
   
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).
)
$24,149 - $50,421  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 241
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Job Description for Detention Officer

A detention officer is a person who is assigned to a prison, jail, or other detention facility. These facilities typically house convicted criminals or persons who are being held, prior to standing trial. The detention officer works to maintain order within the facility and to ensure that inmates are safely held and guarded, as directed by court sentences or criminal law procedures.

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Detention 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 Detention Officer


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Detention Officers who transition into an upper level Correctional Officer position will not necessarily make much more than they do in their current role. The average Correctional Officer makes $34K a year.

Correctional Officer / Jailer Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Detention Officer

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


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $32K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $37K. For Detention Officers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $42K. Detention Officers who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $49K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $33,941

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Home to some of the best pay for Detention Officers, Phoenix offers exceptional salaries, 18 percent above the national average. Detention Officers will also find cushy salaries in Houston (+17 percent), Charlotte (+13 percent), San Antonio (+3 percent), and Dallas (+1 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 11 percent south of the national average, can be found in Atlanta.

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Experience Affects Detention Officer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 45%

Experienced
up arrow 24%

Mid-Career
up arrow 8%

National Average
$34,000


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 51 votes.

Gender

Female
34 %
Male
66 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
3%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 75%
medical benefits
Vision: 67%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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