£16,640 Average salary at age 20
£34,320 Average Salary
39 Average hours per week


Prison service officers (below Principal Officer) direct, co-ordinate and participate in guarding inmates and maintaining discipline in prisons and other detention centres.

Main Tasks

  • Escorts prisoners to and from cells and supervises them during meals, recreation and visiting periods;
  • Watches for any infringements of regulations and searches prisoners and cells for weapons, drugs and other contraband items;
  • Guards entrances and perimeter walls;
  • Investigates disturbances or any other unusual occurrences;
  • Escorts prisoners transferred from one institution to another;
  • Runs prisoner rehabilitation and support programmes;
  • Provides care and support to prisoners in custody including prevention of self harm;
  • Trains and supervises prison staff;
  • Reports on prisoners’ conduct as necessary.


There are no formal academic requirements for entry but candidates must pass a pre-entry test and full medical examination. Basic training is followed by a 12 month probationary period during which further on-the-job training is provided. Background checks are required for entrants, and there are generally nationality restrictions and a lower age limit of 18 years.

What Prison service officers (below principal officer) studied in higher education

A text alternative for this canvas pie chart is provided in the data table below
What Prison service officers (below principal officer) studied in higher education
Occupation Percentage Value
(L4) Social policy4
(W7) Crafts1
(L3) Sociology32
(X2) Research & study skills in education1
(H3) Mechanical engineering1
(C8) Psychology22
(W1) Fine art1
(I7) Computer generated visual & audio effects1
(L2) Politics2
(L9) Others in social studies1
(M1) Law by area1
(M2) Law by topic8
(B9) Others in subjects allied to medicine1
(F4) Forensic & archaeological sciences4
(J7) Biotechnology1
(N1) Business studies4
(L5) Social work1
(C6) Sport & exercise science5
(P3) Media studies1
(V1) History by period4
(L6) Anthropology4

UK Prospects

49000 Workforce Size
0.22% Predicted decline 2024 - 2027
2745 Predicted Replacement 2024 - 2027

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