How much do prison officers earn? UK salary explained

Prison officials are an important part of the prison system.

It’s a job where prison officers deal with some of our society’s most dangerous offenders – but how much do they make?

You could earn up to £38,000 as a prison officer.


You could earn up to £38,000 as a prison officer.

What is the salary of a prison officer in the UK?

According to the HM Prison and Probation Service Prison officers’ pay depends on where they work in England or Wales.

These are the starting salaries you can expect depending on the region you live in:

  • Inner London. £35,931.
  • Outer London. £34,140 to £36,140.
  • south and southeast. £32,702 to £34,202.
  • Other locations. £30,702.

According to the Government websitean experienced prison officer can expect to earn a salary of £38,165.

That’s £7,463 more than the lowest starting salary listed above.

Prison officers begin on a 37-hour contract until their initial training is complete.

You may also be able to work overtime and earn more.

One of the perks of working in a prison is the civil service pension scheme, one of the best in the UK.

How can I become a prison officer?

You can become a prison officer by completing advanced level 3 Custody and Detention Officer training.

You can also apply directly for the position.

Qualifications are not essential for this job, but certain qualities and skills are required.

You can also participate Prison officers hired for the first time to plan.

You’ll be placed in one of the UK’s busiest prisons, helping you gain experience and make a difference in the early stages of your career.

If you choose a prison that is 75 minutes from where you live (90 minutes if you live in London), you will:

  • Earn a higher net salary than what is possible in a standard prison officer recruitment process.
  • Start your paid education sooner than if you applied through the standard application process.
  • Start with other new prison officers at the same time.

You can also choose to work in a men’s or women’s prison.

You can also choose up to three preferences if you choose to work in a male prison, or an order of preference for a female prison.

You will be assigned to the prison that has the greatest need for prison officials.

After 23 months you decide whether you want to stay in this prison or move to a prison near you.

What qualifications do I need to become a prison officer?

If you are planning to apply for an apprenticeship, you will likely need:

  • Grades 9 to 4 or A* to C or equivalent GCSEs in English and Maths.

You need to find out about the individual admission requirements of the university you wish to apply to.

If you apply directly, you will need to take an online test to test your judgment and numerical skills.

If you pass, you will take part in an assessment day where you will be tested on:

  • Numerical, reading and writing skills.
  • Fitness.
  • health, hearing and sight.

You’ll also be interviewed and take part in role plays to find out if you have the right personal qualities to be a prison officer.

You must also do the following:

  • Pass advanced background checks.
  • Be over 18 years old.
  • Pass a medical exam.

However, there are skills and qualities that prison officials will use in their job.

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The skills are:

  • Knowledge of public safety and security.
  • Ability to take criticism and work well under pressure.
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
  • Be thorough and pay attention to details.
  • Be flexible and open to change.
  • leadership skills.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills.
  • Legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations.
  • Be able to perform basic tasks on a computer or portable device.

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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