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  • Need some perspective

    OK, I’m looking for different perspectives so that I can make an informed decision.

    Background:
    I work in Southern California doing private security with great benefits and pay. The problem is my plant has closed down and, sometime in the next few years, I will no longer have a job in security.
    I have just been offered a job as a corrections officer for the CDCR. The job is secure, and I like the location, but the pay is less than a third of what I am used too.
    I need to make a decision soon.

    More Info:
    I am marketable and have been offered jobs in my pay level at other plants, but none in places I would want to live. (Most nuke plants are in bad locations.) I have kids so location is important to me.
    I am very afraid in the reduction in pay. It is about 79k a year less, but I think I can budget. I’m not a big money guy so, although high on my list money not the most important thing. CDCR does have good benefits, close to what I have now.
    I have an injured ankle, so I can’t pass the running part of the academy for other jobs I have been offered recently (Border Patrol, County Sheriff). Having talked to some academy instructors for CDCR, I can pass the 2-mile run for this academy.
    I think (no promises) that I can keep my current gig for at least another year, possibly more, but no more than three years.
    I may be able to find another job within my company outside of security, but I don’t know if I would like that.
    I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I think I want to remain in public safety or private security.
    My pay is CDCR will go up, but even at top step it will be about 55k less than I get now; but the location is great.
    My wife and kids are ok with either decision.

    Discussion:
    I want to be solid with my decision, so please give me an earful. I would like to hear from some folks with corrections backgrounds, as I have none.

    Additional question:
    Does anyone know of a corrections forum that’s worth anything? I found a few on a web search and they all look very inactive.

    Thanks much,

  • #2
    CDCR is a good employer.......................STATE employ with state employee benefits.

    Their pay is probably over and above what most State Corrections jobs pay........................That being said if you are working Private Security at a Nuclear plant........................NO ONE is going to be able to top that pay. (other than another Nuclear plant----and you have already discussed that you don't really like those offers)


    The Site called prisonofficer dot org is pretty active and has a LOT of experienced officers who are fairly active.


    The bottom line is that people don't get into corrections expecting to make a lot of money. If you can't or don't think you can make it on the posted salary range-------------------walk away. No run away.
    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

    Comment


    • #3
      While I don't work in corrections, I am actually looking to make the switch from police to NYS Corrections, so I figure my opinion might count for just a little.

      I found myself facing a very similar predicament before I was hired onto my first job as a police officer for a New York State agency. I went from making $220,000 a year as an Information Technology consultant to roughly $60,000 as an entry level police officer. Since then, I took an additional pay cut of $8,000 for a job as an criminal investigator at another New York State agency.

      There were a number of reasons for why I did this:

      - Stability (as you mentioned)
      - A pension
      - Pride, camaraderie, and knowing that I am serving the people of my home state

      As I read about your situation, the answer to me becomes quite clear: I feel that you should accept the position with the CDCR, provided that you can survive on the starting salary, and remain comfortable once you hit top pay. I took a hit of $160,000 initially, and had to make modifications to my standard of living (although not as many as you might think - most of my IT paycheck went into savings). But at the end of the day, I was actually happier than when I was in the private sector.

      On top of that, job stability is worth its weight in gold. As a consultant, I never knew if I'd have a job in 3, 4, 5 years. I mean, I most likely would, but it's no fun having to embark on a job search every few years.

      And most importantly, your wife and kids support you in that decision. Seems like a slam dunk, to me. Whatever you decide on, best of luck to you, and keep us posted.
      NYPD Academy - July 2011 Session

      Comment


      • #4
        IOWA is on point about CDCR's pay. Washington state for comparison starts in at $2700/mo. City and County agencies pay substantially more.

        Here's my question; you think you have about a year left in your current job. How long will it take for your ankle to heal. You can keep your current job, heal up and retest for Border Patrol or County Sheriff. Or you can take on the CDCR job and heal up and prepare for retesting. The downside with this option is its movement between jobs in a short time period and LE agencies might not like that.

        One thing to keep in mind is, prisons tend to have a lot of overtime opportunities. Talk to people at the facility you are looking at and ask about ot opportunities. That might help soften the financial blow.

        Comment

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