Are you OK with cookies?

We use small files called ‘cookies’ on Some are essential to make the site work, some help us to understand how we can improve your experience, and some are set by third parties. You can choose to turn off the non-essential cookies. Which cookies are you happy for us to use?

'A prison's guide to' podcast now live
Each week we will bring you a new topic, providing you with life lessons from people across the Prison Service. Hosted by Ben Bailey Smith and created by Acast Creative alongside HMPPS.
More information

With training, teamwork and the support you need to succeed.

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.

Why people love the job


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)

Inner London £35,931
Outer London £34,140  to £36,140 *
South and South East £32,702 to £34,202 *
Other locations £30,702

Figures based on new pay award from September 2022.

*includes market supplements.

See full salary information for England and Wales

Inner London

HMP Brixton, Pentonville, Wandsworth, Wormwood Scrubs

37 hours £33,799
39 hours £35,931
41 hours £38,062

Outer London

HMP Downview, Feltham, High Down

37 hours £34,114*
39 hours £36,140*
41 hours £38,165*
* includes a market supplement of £2,000

HMP Belmarsh, Isis

37 hours £32,114
39 hours £34,140
41 hours £36,165

South and South East

HMP Aylesbury, Bullingdon, Woodhill

37 hours £32,380 *
39 hours £34,202*
41 hours £36,023*
* 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

Other locations

All other government-run prisons in England and Wales

37 hours £28,880
39 hours £30,702
41 hours £32,523


  • 25 days’ annual holiday (rising to 30 days after 10 years service)
  • paid time off for public holidays and 1 extra privilege day*
  • generous maternity leave cover
  • a generous Civil Service pension
  • cycle to work scheme and travel loans
  • tenancy loan agreements
  • access to local keyworker housing schemes
  • a free on-site gym
  • access to a range of discounts, including the Blue Light Card Scheme
  • employee assistance programmes.


*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.

"A chance to better myself"
Steve, HMP & YOI Belmarsh

Steve has been a prison officer for 4 years. He was previously an undertaker and coach driver.

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.

You can make your way up the ladder or move sideways and specialise

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.

First aid. Gym instructor. Dog handling. The range of training surprised me

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.

Working for HM Prison & Probation Service

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.