Detention Officer Salary
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.Read More...
Most jails and detention centers have very strict systems and conduct policies in place for all activities. It is the job of the detention officer to ensure that these systems and operations are followed with strict adherence. Almost all aspects of inmate life may require oversight and supervision by detention officers, and this can especially include time away from cells, such as recreation activities, meal times, studies, therapy, or other daily interactions and events that those housed in the prison are engaged in.
Most detention officers will be required to hold at least some form of law enforcement certification. Many employees in this area seek out degrees specific to this career path in vocational schools or community colleges. Detention officers must possess acceptable levels of physical fitness and be well-trained in self-defense, weapon use, and crowd control. Because of the round-the-clock aspect of prisoner detainment, detention officers typically are assigned to shifts that may include daytime, evening, or overnight work requirements.
Detention Officer Tasks
- Maintain security of the jail or institution.
- Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.
- Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
- Receive and secure prisoners until their release.
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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
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.