The player can take on several jobs to gain money and, in a select few jobs, items. They are performed during Job Time, a specific routine. By completing a job, you earn a good amount of pay that can be used for Shopping, Gifting, and the Payphone.
There are currently 10 jobs available in The Escapists 1. In The Escapists 2, there are an additional variety of jobs. Each prison (in either game) has a fixed set of jobs available. Here is a list of the jobs mentioned:
To apply for a job, you need to head to the job office. The job office contains a job board and a counter where you can be interviewed. To apply for a job, face the job board, interact with it, and apply for a vacant job. The job board allows you to view the vacancy of a job, its requirements and pay, a brief description, and (if occupied) who is currently occupying it. Applying for and quitting jobs is done at the job board, and attempting to apply for another job while employed will display a confirmation message saying "Swap Jobs".
If you're unemployed and you sit down in a chair in the interview station, an employment officer (categorized as maintenance staff in The Escapists 2), will sit down in a chair across the glass. They will say several quotes (e.g. "We need people like you", "You could take my place one day", "Confirmed moron detected") and if you remain seated until the end, you will earn 10 coins. This can be done once per Job Time. Sitting down at the counter again, or a routine other than Job Time, will not call an employment officer.
Completing the quota for the work period will result in being paid. Pay varies depending on the job and the prison. The Janitor pays the least, followed by the Laundry, Library, Kitchen, Wood Shop, and lastly the Metal Shop (TE1 only). Performing additional work once the quota has been met will not result in additional money, so it is safe to leave once the quota has been met. If you have completed your quota, the guards will not come after you for being seen outside of your workroom. Exceptions to this include the jobs Janitor, Gardener, Mailman, and Library. If you have not completed your quota by the end of the block, the warden will fire you from the job.
In The Escapists, each prison has a "default" job which you will have when you start the game. In The Escapists 2, you start unemployed and can apply for any vacant job as long as you meet the requirements. You can apply for any vacant job at the job board; jobs except default will require a number of intellect or strength in order to get the job. You cannot apply for any job if your Guard Heat is at 50% or above.
If the job you want is taken, you can get inmates fired by distracting them from completing their quota. There are different ways of doing this, you can make them follow you if they have an opinion of 80 or higher (TE1 only), you can talk to them when they have an available favor or are a shop vendor and not click out of the menu until it job time is over (this will cause you to miss job time however) or you can attack them. Instead of knocking them out, get them to chase you until job time ends, as you'll need to knock them out multiple times in order to get them fired. If you do knock them out (in The Escapists), steal their shirt so they'll have to go get one from their cell. You can also tie them up with a Length of Rope or Roll of Duct Tape, but this causes their OPN to drop to zero. If you are unable to tie them down when you knock them out, be sure to follow the medics to the Infirmary. The later the inmate is, the quicker they'll wake up and try to reach their job room, so you will have to keep attacking/distracting them as they wake up from the infirmary beds.
It is important that you keep track of the targeted inmate in order to distract them quickly; many jobs take place in a single room locked with a Green Key Door. You can make a plastic green key if you want to be sure, but otherwise you'll have to plan ahead and make sure they're distracted. It is often best to attack them once (out of sight of guards) before Job Time, which will cause them to chase you around instead of going immediately to their job when the routine begins.
The Escapists Jobs
Get Dirty Outfits from the laundry storage, put it in the laundry machine, then put the cleaned clothes into the clean laundry storage. You need to wash 15 outfits (or 10 in the Xbox One edition or 4 on mobile) to fulfill the quota.
Salary: $30 (Jungle Compound), $35 (Center Perks)
Kitchen (The Escapists)
Utility: The job gives you access to an infinite supply of Cooked Food, which can be used to decrease fatigue by 10% or raise the opinion of other inmates by 10. Since Cooked Food is not contraband, a Contraband Pouch isn't required to smuggle it out.
Salary : $45 (Shankton State Pen and Center Perks)
Utility: This gives you access to unlimited Sheets of Metal as long as you can deal with the scanner! You can use this to create/upgrade your Shovel and create Plated Outfits for a large increase in defense. It also has the best salary from all jobs.
Intellect needed: 80 INT
Salary: $70 or $30 on console version (HMP-Irongate and Shankton State Pen), $70 (Center Perks), $30 (Banned Camp)
Collect a mop, broom, or hoe from the janitor's office and use it to remove patches of dirt you find around the prison.
Utility: Take the Tub of Bleach from the storage. Whenever an inmate is knocked out take their Inmate Outfit, make an Infirmary Overalls, and give it to inmates to raise their opinion. Alternatively, you can craft a Jar of Ink with the overalls to get a Guard Outfit.
Salary $30 (Center Perks), $20 (Elsewhere)
Collect letters from the mailroom and deliver them to other inmates. You can "give" the letters to the inmates directly if you find them. You can also leave the items ON the desks, not IN : Select the mail from the inventory and click the desk to put the mail on it. Putting the mail inside the desk will do nothing. You need to deliver 7 mails to fulfill the quota. The "Task Master" in Santa's Sweatshop is a rename of this job.
Utility: Can be used to enter other inmates cells during work period without being yelled at by the guards.
Intellect needed: 70 INT
Santa's Sweatshop DLC Task Master Salary: $5
Utility: This job is very useful for getting Timber (useful tool for crafting tools and Timber_Brace), but be careful, as you will have to pass with a Contraband Pouch or chip a hole in the wall. This is not needed in Shankton State Pen since there is no Contraband Detector in the entrance to wood-shop. This is also useful for getting a Wooden_Doll in Santa's Sweatshop.
You can dig tunnels in Woodshop, since you have access to timbers (needed to make supports). But beware, the guards patrol it, and if you find holes / tunnels you'll be sent to solitary.
Intellect needed: 55 INT
Grab a Hoe or a Rake from Gardening supply crate and use it to remove weeds around the prison.
New weed will always spawn somewhere else in the prison when you remove a weed, sometimes in the same spot you just removed one.
Utility: You can freely roam the prison while doing your job. You can use the Hoe as a 2/5 weapon, which is as efficient as a Comb Shiv, Toothbrush Shiv, and a Comb Blade.
Note: In the prison Stalag Flucht, the guards don't patrol the area or go inside the job area, so you can use trowels or other digging tools to dig tunnels but cover the hole with the desk and be careful about metal detectors!
Salary: $13 - $33
Tailor (Called Outfit Making on Console and Mobile)
Take 3 Fabrics, craft it into a piece of clothing and place it in the container. You need to make 15 clothes to fulfill your quota.
Intellect needed: 33 INT
Deliveries (Called Unloading on Console and Mobile)
Take a package and place it in the proper container. You must to put 25 boxes in the good containers to fulfill the quota, or 6 boxes on the Nintendo Switch version. Currently one of the jobs with the highest payout.
Utility: The Guards do not patrol this space, allowing you to store Contraband items there (The guards of HMP-Irongate WILL patrol!). The space is also often adjacent to outside space and can be used as an easy access to outside with a Fake Wall Block or a Poster.
Intellect needed: 65 INT
Salary : $55
Collect books from the library and deliver them to the inmates they're addressed to. You can either give it to them personally or leave it ON (not in) their cell desk. You must deliver a minimum of 7 books to fulfill the quota. You can fulfill the quota quicker if you give the books to the inmates personally (only 5 books required).
Utility: This job allows you to freely enter other inmates' cells, similarly to the Mailman job. You also can obtain infinite books for your use.
Salary : $15 (everywhere)
These Jobs are exclusive certain prisons.
Intellect needed: 65 INT
Salary ; $55?
The Escapists 2 Jobs
These jobs can be found in any prison, though each prison only has four jobs available. Jobs available in a prison do not change.
Take packages of letters from the container and place them in the 'coloring machine'. Take the colored mail package (Blue Mail Bag, Red Mail Bag or Green Mail Bag) and place it in the corresponding container.
Take Seeds and a Trowel from the supply room. Use the Trowel to 'dig holes' (not digging tunnels), then place the seeds into the holes. You can also 'harvest' the plants later to obtain a Potted Plant for each full-grown crop. This job works in rotations: First you must dig the holes and plant the seeds to complete your quota, then (at next Job Time) you must harvest the plants to complete the quota.
Requires 30 strength, 30 intellect, and cashes a $40 paycheck.
Take Timber from the supply box. Use it to craft Unglued Furniture, craft that with Glue to make Glue Readied Furniture, place that in the machine to make Finished Furniture, place the final product in a bin.
Calls for 30 strength, 40 intellect, and pays $55.
You need 40 strength, 40 intellect, to do this $50-salary job.
Doing this job successfully will increase dogs' opinions of you - dogs with high opinions will not sniff you for contraband. Note that you cannot see a dog's opinion. Do be mindful that guards will frequently patrol this area, so it is very dangerous to come to the kennels when you have high heat. However, you can still hide in the doghouses the dogs live in, similarly to lockers.
Requires 30 strength and 30 intellect. Will pay $40.
Requires 60 strength and 30 intellect. Pays $35.
Take Shoe Bodies and Shoe Soles from a bin. Craft them into Machine Ready Shoes. Place these in a machine to get Ready Shoes. Craft two Ready Shoes together to make Pairs of Shoes, then place these in a bin.
Requires 40 strength and 80 intellect. You earn $75 each Job Time.
Kitchen (The Escapists 2)
Take Pastry Cases and Pie Fillings from the fridge. Craft them into an Uncooked Pie. Place the Uncooked Pie in the oven. When the oven is activated, a bar will show up with three sections, from left to right: blue, green, red. A small indicator moves slowly from left to right, and you must interact again when it is in the green zone to obtain a Cooked Pie. Blue zone will yield an Uncooked Pie, while red zone yields Burnt Pie. Once you have a Cooked Pie, place it on the counter to complete part of your quota.
Requires 30 strength and 40 intellect. Pays $60.
Take a Soldering Iron and Safety Goggles from a bin. Holding the Soldering Iron, go to each marked electrical panel and interact to open a system similar to some workouts. Fix the electrical panel by using the interact button, and move on to the next one.
Requires 30 strength and 80 intellect. Pays $75.
Requires 50 strength and 80 intellect, pays 70 coins.
Take Heavy Duty Protectors from a bin. Then take some minerals from a bin and place them on the machine of corresponding color (they can be red, green or blue).
Requires 70 strength, 50 intellect, salary of 45 coins.
These jobs are exclusive to certain prisons.
This job is exclusive to Santa's Shakedown. Take Tree Decorations (4 in total, there are four trees) from the supply box. Find each tree in the compound and decorate them in a similar manner to fixing toilets.
Needs 40 strength, 40 intellect, and a 50 coin salary.
Exclusive to Santa's Shakedown. Take Timber from a box, place it in a machine to make a Wooden Soldier. Craft a Readied Paint Brush from materials in the box, then craft that with Wooden Soldier to make a Painted Wooden Soldier. Place this in a bin.
Requires 30 strength and 80 intellect. Pays $75.
Exclusive to Snow Way Out. Take letter bags from the bin and place them in the incinerator.
Requires 60 strength, 30 intellect, and has a 35 coin paycheck.
Exclusive to Snow Way Out. A robot will arrive and sit in a chair. Take Oil Cans from a bin and interact with the robot. By using a system similar to certain workouts, the robot will be 'serviced' and the Oil Can will disappear. The robot will leave the room and another will come, repeating the process. When the quota is complete, robots will still arrive but it is not necessary to service them.
Requires 30 strength and 55 intellect. Pays $40.