For Detention Officers, hourly average wages total $16.36 per hour. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. The majority of individuals in this role claim moderate levels of job satisfaction. More than half of Detention Officers (66 percent) survey respondents are men. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$23,495 - $49,439
(Median)
$23K
$34K
$49K
MEDIAN: $33,922
10%
50%
90%

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$11.64 - $22.95
(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
$23,495 - $49,439  
   
Bonus
$700  
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).
)
$24,316 - $50,293  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 131
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
$11.64 - $22.95  
   
Overtime
$14.90 - $34.31  
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
$700  
   
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).
)
$24,316 - $50,293  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 204
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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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Many Detention Officers move into a Correctional Officer role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Correctional Officers on average bring in a similar salary to Detention Officers.

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 does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $31K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $39K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $43K in this role. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $46K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $34,506

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

For Detention Officers, busy Phoenix offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 26 percent above the national average. Detention Officers will also find cushy salaries in Charlotte (+18 percent) and Houston (+7 percent). With compensation 12 percent below the national average, Atlanta is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market.

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Experience Affects Detention Officer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 33%

Experienced
up arrow 25%

Mid-Career
up arrow 12%

National Average
$35,000


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 25 votes.

Gender

Female
34 %
Male
66 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
47%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
3%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 86%
dental benefits
Dental: 72%
medical benefits
Vision: 70%
dental benefits
None: 14%
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