Thanks for visiting our correctional officer salary and job outlook page. We will take a closer look at what you can earn and whether or not this will be a good strong job field for job seekers in the future. These two criteria are very important when it comes to considering what career you would like to spend your time and money pursuing.
Correctional Officer Job Outlook
The good news is correctional officer jobs, along with jailor and bailiffs is expected to grow as fast as the average in terms of all occupations. This means job growth will definitely be favorable in these fields growing an average of 7-13% in the ten year period between 2008 and 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For just correctional officer jobs alone the number will be closer to 9% growth, which is strong and moving in a positive direction.
An increase in jobs in this field stems from the fact prison and jail populations are expected to grow. The primary reason for this increase in incarceration is more strict mandatory sentencing guidelines which reduce parole for those who have been jailed and therefore increase the amount of time they are sentenced. Because of doubts about the effectiveness of mandatory sentencing, many states are reconsidering these sentences because of budget cuts. These days both federal and state corrections agencies are using more and more private prisons. This means employment in the private prison sector will also help to contribute to the growth of correctional office jobs, and other related jobs in this sector.
With many older correctional officers due to retire, and with other officer transferring to other job positions, coupled with this rising demand because of the above factors job growth in this sector will be favorable and we’ll see more and more job openings. The one downside of this job is that many state and local agencies have found it difficult to attract and hold onto qualified candidates because of the low salaries, working hours, job hazards and facility locations.
Correctional Officer Salary
Research shows that a corrections officer salary was approximately $40k as of May 2012. This number was compiled by analyzing a number of salary resources which derive their numbers from Human Resource departments as well as from those currently employed in the field and their respective salaries.
This data falls in line with data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which was published in 2010 which stated officers and jailers were paid around $43k annually. While the highest ten percent of officers made more than $67k annually. It was found that public sector jobs in this field paid nearly 25% more than federal or state jobs. The median annual public sector correctional officer salary came in at roughly $51k annually. Federal government jobs paid slightly more than state government jobs in this field by about 3%.
A corrections officer can also expect to have benefits on top of their salary. Officers employed in public sector jobs were often provided with a clothing allowance to buy uniforms, or were issued uniforms. Generally correctional officers can retire when they reach the age of 50 after having put in 20 years of service; they may also choose to retire at any age after having put in 25 years of service. Some correctional officer jobs are unionized and they typically earned a slightly higher working wage and benefits than non-unionized positions.
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