A correctional officer’s salary can vary from state to state and officer to officer, depending on the training and experience of the correctional officer. It is a salary that has great health insurance and retirement benefits, and it can comfortably support the average family. Additionally, there is guaranteed sick time and vacation for the corrections officers. There is job security in that there will always be a need for corrections officers and a majority of the training transfers across state lines. The job of correctional officer is a stable job with stable pay. It is an excellent job choice for anyone looking for job security.
Salary can vary based on area, experience, and education. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Correctional Officer salary is $39,040 per year (www.bls.gov). It is a government job meaning that there are also benefits and retirement available. The highest paying state for Corrections Officers is New Jersey with an average income of $69,840 per year while the lowest paying state is Mississippi with an average income of $26,960 per year. In general, the northern states seem to pay more than the southern states with the exception of Maine. California and Alaska are also in the top five paying states for corrections officers.
How To Increase Your Pay?
But there are many things a correctional officer can do to increase his or her pay. First and foremost is simply being a good and dedicated worker. Those who work hard and are dedicated can be promoted which increases pay. Corrections departments usually promote from within. They encourage hard work and upward movement. With these promotions come salary increases. This raise can vary based on the budget, but it really adds up over the years. The first pay increase often happens soon after training is complete or within the first year. Promotion opportunities can begin to appear in as little as two years after beginning employment.
Correctional Officers can also receive an increase in salary with training and education. A college education can increase a correctional officer’s salary by a few thousand dollars. In general, a degree in criminal justice is preferred, but any college degree will suffice. In addition to a college education, military experience is rewarded and encouraged. Military experience increases the salary by several thousand. This is because military training requires tactical and that is important to the job.
There are also often pay increases in the correctional officer’s salary with additional training provided by the agency. Officers that become training officers can expect additional pay for the training others to be officers. Officers with specialties can also expect an increase in pay. Many facilities require special teams of officers with special training. This may include riot suppression or search teams that are called out during special situations. The opportunities vary from location to location, but they are there and they do allow for the correctional officer to increase his or her salary.
The correctional officer’s salary is decent pay for dedicated work. The job is not always easy, but the efforts do not go unnoticed. There is always room for upward movement as a correction’s officer, and pay is often increased based on the amount of time that an officer has worked. The officer can choose how little or how much additional training and education he or she wants to be involved in. In other words, the correction’s officer is in charge of his or her pay increases. It is a job where hard work and dedication are rewarded. It is a job with security and regular pay. The salary, the benefits, and the feel good rewards make this job worth it.