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KILLER_CLOWN
05-05-2011, 10:58 PM
Prison guards can retire at the age of 55 and earn 85% of their final year's salary for the rest of their lives. They also continue to receive medical benefits.

By ALLYSIA FINLEY

Roughly 2,000 students have to decide by Sunday whether to accept a spot at Harvard. Here's some advice: Forget Harvard. If you want to earn big bucks and retire young, you're better off becoming a California prison guard.

The job might not sound glamorous, but a brochure from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations boasts that it "has been called 'the greatest entry-level job in California'—and for good reason. Our officers earn a great salary, and a retirement package you just can't find in private industry. We even pay you to attend our academy." That's right—instead of paying more than $200,000 to attend Harvard, you could earn $3,050 a month at cadet academy.

It gets better.

Training only takes four months, and upon graduating you can look forward to a job with great health, dental and vision benefits and a starting base salary between $45,288 and $65,364. By comparison, Harvard grads can expect to earn $49,897 fresh out of college and $124,759 after 20 years.

As a California prison guard, you can make six figures in overtime and bonuses alone. While Harvard-educated lawyers and consultants often have to work long hours with little recompense besides Chinese take-out, prison guards receive time-and-a-half whenever they work more than 40 hours a week. One sergeant with a base salary of $81,683 collected $114,334 in overtime and $8,648 in bonuses last year, and he's not even the highest paid.

Sure, Harvard grads working in the private sector get bonuses, too, but only if they're good at what they do. Prison guards receive a $1,560 "fitness" bonus just for getting an annual check-up.

Most Harvard grads only get three weeks of vacation each year, even after working for 20 years—and they're often too busy to take a long trip. Prison guards, on the other hand, get seven weeks of vacation, five of them paid. If they're too busy racking up overtime to use their vacation days, they can cash the days in when they retire. There's no cap on how many vacation days they can cash in! Eighty officers last year cashed in over $100,000 at retirement.

The cherry on top is the defined-benefit pension. Unlike most Harvard grads working in the private sector, prison guards don't have to delay retirement if their 401(k)s take a hit. Prison guards can retire at the age of 55 and earn 85% of their final year's salary for the rest of their lives. They also continue to receive medical benefits.

So you may be wondering what it takes to become a prison guard. For one, you have to be a U.S. citizen with a high-school diploma or equivalent. Unfortunately, you can't have any felony convictions, but don't worry, possession of marijuana is only an infraction in California.

There's also a vision test, background investigation, psychological evaluation, physical exam, tuberculosis screening, and a fitness test that measures your grip strength. The hardest part, however, is the written test, which includes word problems like this sample test question: "Building D currently has 189 inmates, with 92 beds unfilled. Building D is currently at what capacity?" If you've somehow forgotten how to add and divide, you can bone up on your basic math with Barron's "Correction Officer Exam" prep book.

The application process may seem like a piece of cake compared to Harvard's, but the correctional officer academy is actually more selective than Harvard. Over 120,000 people apply every year, according to the state Legislative Analyst's Office, but the academy only enrolls about 900. That's an acceptance rate of less than 1%. Harvard's is 6.2%. The job also has a better retention rate than Harvard. Only 1.7% dropped out of the service last year, compared to 2% who left Harvard.

If your parents aren't thrilled about you turning down Harvard to become a prison guard in California, just show them the job brochure. Then explain that in another few years instead of paying off thousands of dollars in college loans you'll be taking cruises together. They'll be speechless.

Ms. Finley is assistant editor of OpinionJournal.com.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704132204576285471510530398.html

Bump
05-06-2011, 12:09 AM
I think I may have found my calling.

FishingRod
05-06-2011, 11:18 AM
They may be a few not so good things left off the recruiting poster.

like getting shanked from time to time

Rain Man
05-06-2011, 12:31 PM
They may be a few not so good things left off the recruiting poster.

like getting shanked from time to time


Like that doesn't happen at Harvard.

Rain Man
05-06-2011, 12:33 PM
If you meet and marry a woman in the California prison, you don't have to take her out to dinner very often, either. You can just put $5.00 in her commissary account once a month and she'll be grateful.

Brock
05-06-2011, 12:38 PM
There's probably a lot less (fewer?) feces being thrown at you at Harvard.

Pitt Gorilla
05-06-2011, 12:40 PM
That is really bizarre. Not surprising (given that it's California), but bizarre.

blaise
05-06-2011, 12:44 PM
Anyone that thinks that's such a great deal can go apply with the prison system. I'm sure most are hiring.

mlyonsd
05-06-2011, 12:45 PM
If you meet and marry a woman in the California prison, you don't have to take her out to dinner very often, either. You can just put $5.00 in her commissary account once a month and she'll be grateful.

And most of your weekends are still free to watch football, etc.

2bikemike
05-06-2011, 12:47 PM
Its not just the prison guards, police and fire fighters get pretty much the same deal.

morphius
05-06-2011, 12:53 PM
Its not just the prison guards, police and fire fighters get pretty much the same deal.
Yup. One of my parents neighbors took an early retirement as a cop on Omaha because the benefits were just too good to turn down.

RedNeckRaider
05-06-2011, 12:55 PM
Anyone that thinks that's such a great deal can go apply with the prison system. I'm sure most are hiring.
I have known a couple of guys that worked as guards in prisons. They hated it and were miserable and ended up quiting~

Hydrae
05-06-2011, 12:59 PM
"Building D currently has 189 inmates, with 92 beds unfilled. Building D is currently at what capacity?"

67% :D

Fruit Ninja
05-06-2011, 01:20 PM
That shit is a terrible job, Everyday you go to work your looking atinsane criminals that at any opportunity want to beat the living shit out of you. Hell, even kill you.

YOu get to look at pure misery every workday of your life. That sounds really fun. Gang fights? your the one that has to get in there to try to stop some of that shit. Who's the guy who has a shiv? you dont know. Fuck that job. I've got a good friend who's done about 14 years and some of them stories i been told arent nothing nice.

2bikemike
05-06-2011, 05:34 PM
Yup. One of my parents neighbors took an early retirement as a cop on Omaha because the benefits were just too good to turn down.

Yep a buddy of mine retired with 30 years and is receiving 100% of his pay. He did not work a day over 50. He was able to use unused vacation to buy a couple of years to hit the 30 year mark. Another thing their Overtime counts as a part of their salary so if they work a whole bunch of OT prior to retirement the pad the kitty quite nicely.

Why would anybody keep working if you could draw 85-100% of your pay. I would retire and find a less stressful job.

notorious
05-06-2011, 07:34 PM
I get paid 0% of my salary when I retire.


Yay!

HolyHandgernade
05-06-2011, 07:50 PM
Oh, its a, "You should hate that group over there that is getting something you don't at a job that you either won't/can't take because it is undesirable/difficult work to attract and train individuals to do so we're going to paint it as just another 9-5 job any moron could/would want to do so as to distract you from the "real world" practice of corporations canning your ass after years of service to avoid paying you any kind of retirement/severance so as not to dent their bloated executive salaries and be able to call that "normal" type of opinion piece. I guess it was fantastic for what it was.

RJ
05-06-2011, 09:09 PM
The problem with that argument is that you're comparing apples to picnic benches.

Bump
05-06-2011, 10:04 PM
which planateers do you think would go all Kevin Bacon on the prisoners?

BigRichard
05-07-2011, 05:09 AM
which planateers do you think would go all Kevin Bacon on the prisoners?

The color of Red is coming to mind.

banyon
05-07-2011, 12:42 PM
Oddly, this Bloomberg article has the same topic, but a couple of different observations.

California, Texas, and State Workers' Pay

As California tries to close a $15.4 billion budget gap, state workers—who earn 25.2 percent more than their counterparts in Texas—face cuts

By David Mildenberg and James Nash
BW Magazine



May 2, 2011
Seriously?

http://images.businessweek.com/mz/11/19/popup_mz_1119_26pol_california_vs_texas.jpg

California's prison guards make more than twice their counterparts in Texas—$71,000 a year, compared with $31,000. That difference is true for state workers in general: While in 2009 the average private-sector worker in California made 12.5 percent more than in Texas, the disparity among state workers was 25.2 percent, according to Commerce Dept. figures. The difference underlines the benefits—and taxpayer costs—of working in a union-friendly state and may help explain why California has more intractable fiscal difficulties than Texas. Although Texas has a budget deficit of $4.3 billion this year, it has the second-highest credit rating from Standard & Poor's (MHP). California has the lowest rating of any state and is struggling to close a deficit of $15.4 billion this year.

The difference in state worker pay can be explained in part by California's cost of living, which is almost 15 percent higher than in Texas. Yet the power of collective bargaining is even more important, says Oran McMichael, a longtime labor organizer in Texas. Excluding court and legislative employees, unions represent 85 percent of all state workers in California, says Lynelle Jolley, a spokeswoman for the state's Personnel Administration Dept. While Texas doesn't have figures for its employees in unions, the proportion is probably less than 10 percent, State Auditor John Keel says.

Higher pay means higher pensions. Texas' retired teachers get an average of $18,372 a year, compared with $25,440 for teachers in California. The average stipend for retired state employees in Texas rose 3.9 percent in the five years through fiscal 2010; in California it jumped 32 percent from 2004 to 2009, according to the largest pension plans in both states.

The contrasting experiences of Texas and California may provide lessons for states such as Ohio, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, where Republican governors have focused on curbing employment costs to hold down taxes while balancing budgets. State workers in both California and Texas are being targeted for cuts, though the pressure is more intense in the former. State employees there haven't received an across-the-board raise since 2009 and are now required to take one unpaid day off each month, says Jolley.

The higher pay, however, makes for a more consistent workforce. California's 10 percent turnover rate for prison guards is about half the level it is in Texas. "Our people view their work as a career, not just as something to have until something better comes along," says Ryan Sherman, a spokesman for the California Correctional Peace Officers Assn. in Sacramento.

The bottom line: California, where most public employees are covered by unions, faces a higher pension and salary burden than Texas.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_19/b4227025728517.htm

prhom
05-08-2011, 04:33 PM
Anyone that thinks that's such a great deal can go apply with the prison system. I'm sure most are hiring.

Except the OP says:

Over 120,000 people apply every year, according to the state Legislative Analyst's Office, but the academy only enrolls about 900. That's an acceptance rate of less than 1%.
The job also has a better retention rate than Harvard. Only 1.7% dropped out of the service last year, compared to 2% who left Harvard.

I'm sure not every prison system is so generous, but clearly there are plenty of people who think it's a great deal in CA. Seems like the salary and benefits are good enough to keep people there too.

Jaric
05-09-2011, 07:32 AM
Anyone that thinks that's such a great deal can go apply with the prison system. I'm sure most are hiring.

This. I hate my job with the fury of a thousand burning suns.

But a bad day at work for me usually just involves pain in the ass clients or some new silly process from upper management.

Not getting shanked or having human waste thrown at me by societies degenerates.

These are not the droids we're looking for.