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Correctional Peace Officer

Correctional peace officers maintain the safety and security of a correctional centre. They ensure the safe care, custody, control, and rehabilitation of individuals staying there. They also work toward the safe reintegration of individuals into the community.

Also Known As

Correctional Officer, Correctional Worker, Law Enforcement Officer, Officer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 6462: Correctional Service Officers

2006 NOC-S

  • G622: Correctional Service Officers

2011 NOC

  • 4422: Correctional service officers

2016 NOC

  • 4422: Correctional service officers

2021 NOC

  • 43201: Correctional service officers

2023 OaSIS

  • 43201.00: Correctional service officers
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Federal and provincial correctional centres house individuals who have been:

  • Charged and awaiting trial
  • Sentenced
  • Found in violation of release conditions and placed back into custody

Whether an individual is assigned to a federal or provincial correctional centre depends on their situation. For example, those who have been sentenced to 2 years less a day stay at provincial facilities, while those with longer sentences stay at federal facilities.

Correctional peace officers work at federal or provincial correctional centres to maintain a safe and secure environment for the individuals staying there. They also ensure the safety of centre staff and the public. Their duties vary depending on the correctional institution and the programs offered.

Correctional peace officers enforce laws, regulations, policies, and rules to maintain a safe environment in the facility. They:

  • Observe behaviour using dynamic security practices such as communication and personal interactions with clients
  • Observe behaviour through static security such as electronic monitoring and cameras
  • Conduct security searches of individuals, cells, vehicles, buildings, visitors, and staff members 
  • Act as primary responders to emergencies, such as security incidents, medical emergencies, fire, escape attempts, or outbreaks of violence

Correctional peace officers also contribute to a client’s casework to help a client move towards rehabilitation. They:

  • Ensure security in minimum-security, medium-security, maximum-security, and multilevel institutions
  • Act as positive role models for clients
  • Foster positive relationships with clients
  • Prepare observational, disciplinary, search and seizure, evidence handling, and casework reports
  • Maintain accurate and complete records
  • Work as part of a case-management team with program support staff such as parole or probation officers, educational instructors, or psychological and spiritual support staff

 They may also escort clients to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals, and worksites.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 21, 2023
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Correctional peace officers work both indoors and outdoors. They are on their feet most of the time. They work shifts, which may include night, weekend, and holiday shifts.

The work can be unpredictable and potentially hostile. Correctional peace officers must always be on the alert for threats to the security of the facility and the safety of those in it. These threats may include drugs, weapons, other banned items, and outbreaks of violence.

Provincial correctional peace officers must be able to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). They must be clean-shaven where the face piece of the equipment seals to the skin of the face.

Federal correctional institutions have different security levels such as minimum-security, medium-security, maximum-security, and multilevel. At federal medium- and maximum-security institutions and on escorts, correctional peace officers carry firearms.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Correctional Service Officers

2006 NOC: 6462

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in copying to prepare admission, program, release, transfer and other reports


Interest in supervising prisoners during work assignments, meals and recreation periods, and in patrolling assigned areas and reporting any problems to supervisors; may supervise and co-ordinate work of other correctional service officers


Interest in escorting prisoners in transit and during temporary leaves

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Correctional peace officers need:

  • An impartial nature
  • Responsibility, integrity, and maturity
  • A professional demeanor
  • A positive attitude
  • Conflict management skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Leadership ability
  • The ability to remain calm and function effectively in high-stress situations
  • The ability to work in a team
  • An understanding that their role is rehabilitative, not punitive

Correctional peace officers must be able to work within a clear policy framework with distinct rules and guidelines.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 21, 2023
  • Minimum Education High school diploma

Correctional peace officers must have a high school diploma plus 2 years of relevant experience. Employers may consider equivalencies such as 1 year of experience for 1 year of education and vice versa.

Employers prefer post-secondary education in a related area. This could include a degree or diploma in:

  • Correctional services
  • Criminal justice
  • Police studies
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Criminology

Volunteer experience with people in crisis, being multilingual, or having a multicultural background are strong assets.

Correctional peace officers also must:

  • Have a valid driver’s licence
  • Pass a medical questionnaire
  • Pass the Correctional Officer Physical Ability Test (COPAT)
  • Hold standard first aid and CPR with automated external defibrillator (AED) certifications
  • Obtain security clearances, which may include fingerprinting

Besides the above, different employers have additional requirements.

Those working for the Government of Alberta in youth centres need a current Certified Criminal Records Check and a Vulnerable Sector Check. Experience working with youth is an asset. All provincial correctional peace officers complete correctional officer basic training in their first year of work, after getting hired.

Those working for the Government of Canada need to pass aptitude and psychological exams. Interviewers assess applicants’ abilities, skills, and personal suitability. Those who qualify are invited to attend the Correctional Service Canada Correctional Training Program (CTP). They must successfully complete the CTP to be hired.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 21, 2023
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Some correctional peace officers work in penitentiaries and women’s correctional centres. Extra training is required for women’s centres. Moving up to supervisory or other positions depends on education, experience, personal suitability, and training.

Government of Alberta institutions are located in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Peace River, and Red Deer. Other provincial correctional peace officers work in young offender centres.

Government of Canada penitentiaries are located in Bowden, Drumheller, Edmonton, Grande Cache, and Maskwacis. Other federal correctional peace officers work in:

  • Indigenous healing lodges
  • Minimum-security institutions
  • Regional psychiatric centres

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 4422: Correctional service officers occupational group, 95.1% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 4422: Correctional service officers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.9% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 66 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Correctional peace officer salaries in the Government of Alberta range from $ 53,523 to $73,032 (Source: Government of Alberta, 2023 estimates).

Correctional peace officer salaries in the Government of Canada range from $66,974 to $84,045 (Source: Government of Canada, 2022 estimates).

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Correctional service officers

2016 NOC: 4422
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 4422 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $26.13 $34.15 $30.62 $28.79
Overall $30.11 $42.00 $36.45 $35.41
Top $32.05 $42.86 $37.69 $35.66

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 21, 2023

Correctional Service Canada website:

Government of Alberta, Public Safety and Emergency Services website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 21, 2023. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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