According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, half of corrections officers earned a salary of more than $39,040 as of May of 2010.
Correction officer salaries varied somewhat depending on the level of government. Half of corrections officers who worked for the Federal Government earned more than $53,140. In the State government, this dropped to $43,860. The figure for local government was $41,730. There are a small number of privately owned prisons. Correctional officers working at these locations earn less on average.
Most corrections officers are provided with typical benefits. In addition to this, they are typically given an allowance in order to purchase their own uniforms. Retirement coverage allows correctional officers to to retire at the age of 50 after serving for 20 years. They can retire at any age if they have served 25 years. Officers who are a member of a union have slightly better pay and benefits.
Employment and Job Outlook
Most corrections officers are employed by State and local government offices, and work at prisons, prison camps, or work in correctional facilities. Growth in this industry is expected to be about as fast as average. Opportunities for obtaining a job in the field are expected to be good if you have proper correctional officer training.
During the period between 2008 and 2018, the employment of corrections officers is expected to grow by nine percent. This is roughly the same as growth in all sectors combined. The demand for corrections officers will be driven by the overall increase in the population, and the growing rates of incarceration. The growing rates of incarceration are partially driven by mandatory sentences calling for longer jail time sentences.
There are some states which are considering adjusting mandatory sentences due to court decisions, budget restraints, and questions about how effective they are at resolving the issue.
Some employment opportunities are expected to arise in the private sector as well. This is because private companies are expected to contact public authorities, and public authorities are expected to contract out work to private companies. State and Federal corrections agencies are using privately owned prisons on a more regular basis.
Job prospects in the field are expected to be favorable. Job openings will be driven both by new employment opportunities and by officers moving to other occupations, retiring, or leaving the force.
Salary and Wage information gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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