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Security in Delaware

Delaware, located on the east coast of the United States, is the only state completely located on the Delmarva Peninsula. The state neighbors Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, and is across the Delaware Bay from New Jersey. Known for white sandy beaches along the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean, one of the biggest industries in the state is tourism, although the northern area of the state has a large commercial and banking industry. The capital of the state is Dover, located in Kent County, while Wilmington is the largest city, located in New Castle County. There are only three counties in the state, and Sussex County takes up almost half of the land in the entire state.

Cost of Living
For those moving to Delaware from metropolitan areas, the cost of living in the majority of the state is significantly lower as Delaware is mostly rural. The highest cost of living in the state is in New Castle County, and this is the area with the highest population. Kent and Sussex Counties, other than the beach areas found in Sussex County, are predominantly rural, keeping the cost of living lower.

Security Positions
According to the State of Delaware Occupational Employment Statistics Program Delaware Wages 2012, employment distribution in protective services, which is what security positions in the state fall under, there were approximately 9,550 positions in the state during 2012. The average hourly rate for those positions was $18.33 per hour. Of these positions, over 3,500 were security guards making, on average $12.25 per hour, while over 1,700 were correctional officers, making $16.58 per hour. The highest paid of these positions were private detectives and investigators who made on average $25.40 per hour, but there were only 40 positions in the state during 2012. The lowest paid were recreational protective service workers, including lifeguards, at $10.16 per hour.

Positions By County
In New Castle County, there were over 6,000 protective service positions with an average salary of $18.42 per hour. Almost 3,000 of those were correctional officers. In Kent County, there were only just over 1,900 in protective service operations, and security guards were in the highest number at 370. In Sussex County, just under 1,400 were employed in protective service positions, and police were in the highest number with 320. However, there is a state prison located in Sussex County, but no correctional officers were listed in the report.

Education Requirements
The type of security position desired will determine the education necessary in Delaware. To become a correctional officer, you must be at least 19 and a half years old, have a high school diploma and hold a valid driver’s license. A background investigation is necessary as well, and there is a written examination. The Basic Officer Training Classes for becoming a correctional officer is a 12-week training course required for correctional officers, and potential job applicants must also take the Correctional Employee Initial Training, which is a 9-week course.

There may be financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships available. Information on courses is available at the State of Delaware website.

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