Corrections Officers' Salaries in Maryland
Corrections officers in Maryland work for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. They are considered law enforcement officers who manage the incarcerated population of state prisons. The work can be stressful and hazardous since they often confront individuals who are angry and violent. Correctional officers have one of the highest rates of nonfatal on-the-job injuries, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Applicants for Maryland corrections officer jobs must be at least 21 and have a high school diploma or GED certificate acceptable to the Maryland State Board of Education. They must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and successfully pass a background investigation, physical exam and psychological evaluation. Successful applicants then attend a six-week training academy, where they begin earning salaries from the first day and do not have to live on-site. Once they graduate, officers require a phone at their residences, since they are on-call 24-hours a day. They are also subjected to random drug testing.
Entry-level Maryland correctional officers are assigned to one of 26 correctional facilities, where they earn $35,292 to $49,599 per year. (Parole and probation agent positions are also available, but these require at least a bachelor’s degree with 30 credit hours in social, behavioral or correctional sciences.) Officers can be promoted to earn higher salaries. For example, after two years of full-time experience supervising adult inmates, officers may test for captain, which pays $43,725 to $69,999 per year. They may also test for major and earn $46,563 to $74,725 per year. For either position, some college education may substitute for up to a year of experience, provided a minimum of 15 credit hours are in a related criminal justice or social science field.
As part of their compensation, Maryland correctional officers get subsidized medical, dental, vision and mental health coverage that they can tailor from a cafeteria plan. They can supplement this coverage with flexible spending accounts. They receive from 10 to 25 vacation days a year, depending on service, six personal leave days, 11 holidays and 15 sick days that can be accumulated from year to year. They also ride for free on Maryland public transportation. They can retire after 20 years with a pension, with up to five years of military service applied toward that time requirement.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals how locations within the state can determine salaries. The state's 2,050 corrections and probation officers earned a mean salary of $24.81 an hour, or $51,660 annually. In the state's major metropolitan region of Baltimore-Towson, mean pay was slightly lower at $24.74 an hour, or $51,450 a year. In the rural Upper Eastern Shore area, pay was far lower at a mean $19.44 an hour, or $40,440 a year.
© Copyright 2011 by Aurelio Locsin.
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