The California correctional officer salary scale starts at just over $3,000 per month for those enrolled in training and goes up to more than $6,000 per month at the top of the scale, making California the highest-paying state for this occupation in the United States. Correctional officers also receive bonuses and incentives for working in certain areas, speaking a second language or maintaining physical fitness.
Correctional officers and youth correctional officers with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation receive a monthly salary of $3,050 while they are enrolled in the Basic Correctional Officer Academy or the Basic Correctional Juvenile Academy. During their time in the apprenticeship program, correctional officers and juvenile correctional officers receive raises of 5 percent every six months until reaching the top of the apprentice salary range.
Trained Officer Salary
California correctional officers and juvenile correctional officers are paid a minimum of $3,774 per month after successfully graduating from the Basic Correctional Officer Academy or the Basic Correctional Juvenile Academy. Correctional officers receive raises of 5 percent annually until reaching the maximum salary level.
The top salary level for a correctional officer or youth correctional officer employed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is $6,144 per month.
Incentives and Bonuses
An incentive of $175 is paid to correctional officers employed at the correctional training facility, San Quentin or Salinas Valley State Prison, while an annual bonus of $2,400 is paid to correctional officers who work at Avenal, Calipatria, Centinela, Chuckawalla Valley and Ironwood State Prisons after completion of 12 qualifying pay periods in a row. Other incentive pay includes $100 per month for those the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation recognizes as having and using bilingual skills in the workplace. Correctional officers and youth correctional officers with an associate of arts degree, bachelor of arts degree or 60 semester units from an accredited college or university are eligible for a bonus of $135 per month. Those who have worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for less than five years receive $65 per month for successfully passing the department's physical fitness test. After five years, this bonus doubles to $130 per month.
Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages survey shows California is the highest-paying state for correctional officers, employing 40,260 of them in 2008 at an annual mean wage of $63,230, which works out to about $5,270 per month or $30.40 per hour. The national mean salary for correctional officers is $41,340, or $19.88 per hour.
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