As a prison officer, you’ll be trained for every situation. Whatever the challenge, you’ll have the support you need from your team to make a difference every day.
Your pay depends on where you work in England and Wales, and your weekly shift hours.
You will start on a 37 hour contract until your initial training is complete. After this you can choose to increase your hours to 39 or 41 hours a week.
You can also earn more if overtime is available in your prison. Plus you’ll enjoy one of the best pension schemes in the UK and a range of great Civil Service benefits.
See below for details of how much you can expect to earn.
Relocate for your first prison officer role and earn up to £8k more
If you’re applying for your first prison officer role and are happy to relocate, consider applying for our first time prison officer relocation scheme.
Example starting salary for a 39 hour week (including 20% unsocial hours allowance)
|Outer London||£34,140 to £36,140 *|
|South and South East||£32,702 to £34,202 *|
Figures based on new pay award from September 2022.
*includes market supplements.
HMP Brixton, Pentonville, Wandsworth, Wormwood Scrubs
HMP Downview, Feltham, High Down
* includes a market supplement of £2,000
HMP Belmarsh, Isis
HMP Aylesbury, Bullingdon, Woodhill
|37 hours||£32,380 *|
* includes a market supplement of £3,500
HMP Bedford, Coldingley, Cookham Wood, Elmley, Grendon, Highpoint, Huntercombe, Medway, Send, Stanford Hill, Swaleside, The Mount, Winchester
|37 hours||£30,880 *|
|39 hours||£32,702 *|
|41 hours||£34,523 *|
* includes a market supplement of £2,000
All other government-run prisons in England and Wales
*As prisons operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you will be expected to work on some public and bank holidays. Any that you do work will be added to your annual leave entitlement.
I honestly just searched online for ‘jobs with no driving’. I was fed up with the same routine and wanted to work with people.
Becoming a prison officer has given me the chance to learn new things and push myself.
HMP & YOI Belmarsh has a high security unit, serves local courts and houses young offenders. You can throw yourself into things that interest you and get experience as you go.
I had to talk a prisoner down from a roof. Now, I’m following up with specialised training for negotiating at height.
I’m also a trained member of the Tornado Team. We are called in to restore order. I might join the national team one day, but I think I’d miss the daily variety of talking to people and solving problems.
People don’t realise the different roles open to them as a prison officer. It is so much more than locking and unlocking doors.
All new prison officers in England and Wales will begin their career by attending and completing all elements of their foundation training.
Week 1 to 10: following a local induction at your ‘home’ prison you will go on a foundation training programme at a designated learning centre. This will usually be close to your ‘home’ prison location.
Week 11 onwards: you will be back at your ‘home’ location where you will carry on with your on the job learning and be given support locally to build upon your skills, knowledge and behaviours gained at the foundation stage.
You will receive full pay and expenses during your training.
The foundation training programme prepares you for life as a prison officer and you will learn and practise all the key skills and behaviours that are vital to the role including:
We want to make sure you are matched to the right training scheme. Once you have passed our initial selection and as part of the pre-employment procedures, we will undertake an initial assessment with you to identify whether undertaking an Apprenticeship in Custody & Detention or the Initial and Foundation Training will be appropriate in getting you ready for working in a custodial setting. The outcome of the assessment will determine which training pathway you take and this will be discussed with you before you take up post.
Training continues throughout your probation. There may be a further two-week residential course if you work in a high security prison.
Training is available throughout your career. You could choose to specialise in working with vulnerable prisoners, become a dog handler or train as a physical education instructor.
HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS), created in April 2017, oversees 121 prisons and employs over 42,000 staff across England and Wales.
You will be joining a team committed to improving the rehabilitation of offenders and carrying out the biggest reform of the prison system in a generation.
You will be working for an organisation that rewards performance, invests in your career development and cares about your well-being both inside and outside of work.