Prison Officer Pay and Conditions
Are you planning to build a career along the line of prison administration? Indeed, it is a worthwhile decision and you will surely enjoy your role as a prison officer. One of the best ways you can start preparing yourself towards this career is to take a relevant course. Diploma or degree courses in areas such as criminology, criminal law, police administration, juvenile justice and law enforcement ethics are relevant to the prison service. Also, if you have experience in relevant fields such as law enforcement professions, it would be a big plus.
Pay and Conditions
For England and Wales, the start-up salary is between £17,000 and £27,000 (approximated figures). Also, there may be certain local pay allowances which could be over £4,000, especially in central London. The local allowances will be less in other areas – about £1,000. The salary could have changed recently as this data was obtained from a 2009 report. However, the changes would certainly not vary significantly. At higher levels such as principal officer, senior officer, manager and senior manager grades, the salaries are higher.
Other Pay/Work Conditions
Also, there are bonuses that come with exceptional performance:
Prison officers across the UK are presented with two civil service pension programme choices.
Annual leave comes with a juicy allowance that varies with service grade. At entry level, annual leave duration is about 22 days, and this would increase after the first year. The leave duration will climb to 30 days after a decade’s service. For private prisons, the pension scheme and pay conditions may differ.
A prison officer usually works a wide range of shifts: weekend shifts, night shifts, as well as long days. Over the shift circle, a prison officer’s working hours are about 39 hours on average (per week).
There may be part-time job opportunities for a prison officer.
A large part of the duties are performed within the prison facility, but an officer may spend some time outside performing supervisory and patrolling duties.
In England and Wales, prison officer’s employment is on a mobile grade. So, the job can take them to any part of the country. But, an officer can choose a work location and the choice is usually granted.
Obviously, the pay and work conditions make a prison officer’s job worthwhile. It’s really a good pay-back for all the efforts you put in.
In addition to getting relevant education, skill or experience in the line of prison administration, you must also meet some conditions. Eligibility conditions are paramount, they play a huge role in determining whether you will get the job of a prison officer or not. Eligibility conditions differ from place to place, but certain similarities do exist.
Separate prison services are put in place in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Also, some private prisons exist. Consequently, the entry qualifications and training for potential prison officers would vary. However, the general entry conditions are outlined below:
You Must have British nationality
You Must Be British Protected Individual
You Must be a Commonwealth Citizen; certain posts would require up to 3 years residence in UK
A National of the EEA (European Economic Area)
An Applicant must be between the ages of 18 and 62 years
You must undergo specific tests and come out successful: medical, fitness and eyesight tests
Also, your reliability, character and identity will be determined via very stringent checks.