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Occupational Profile

Correctional Peace Officer

Correctional peace officers are responsible for the safe care, custody and control of people who have been charged and remanded to custody, are awaiting trial in a court of law and offenders who have been sentenced either to provincial correctional facilities or federal penitentiaries.

  • Avg. Salary $66,859.00
  • Avg. Wage $32.93
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook Down
Also Known As

Correctional Officer, Guard, Law Enforcement Officer, Prison Guard

NOC & Interest Codes
The Correctional Peace Officer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Correctional Service Officers
NOC code: 6462
METHODICAL

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

DIRECTIVE

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

social

Interest in escorting prisoners in transit and during temporary leaves

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 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 More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Correctional peace officers' duties vary depending on the security classification of the correctional institution and the types of programs offered. In general, correctional officers:

  • ensure security at all times in the institution
  • act as positive role models for offenders
  • observe inmate behaviour and work toward establishing positive relationships to prevent disturbances and escapes
  • exercise effective disciplinary controls through the enforcement of centre rules 
  • prepare discipline reports and case reports on inmates in their units, and maintain accurate, comprehensive records 
  • conduct security searches that may include searching inmates and inspecting cells, vehicles and buildings.

They also may:

  • drive passenger vehicles and trucks involved in transporting inmates to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals and work sites
  • assist in managing individual cases or writing reports for the National Parole Board.

Some correctional officers work with young offenders in young offender institutions and some work at minimum security work camps.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Correctional peace officers work both indoors and outdoors and are on their feet most of the time. Shift work is required. The work can be stressful and hazardous because correctional officers always must be on the alert for breaches of institutional rules, drugs and other prohibited items and potential outbreaks of violence.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Correctional peace officers need the following characteristics:

  • responsible and mature
  • in good physical condition and able to restrain offenders when required
  • good oral communication skills for co-ordinating group activities
  • good written communication skills for report writing
  • the leadership and interpersonal skills required to establish and maintain positive relationships with inmates, staff and the public
  • the ability to make quick and sound decisions in response to security or discipline problems
  • the ability to work effectively as part of a team.

They should enjoy having clear rules and guidelines for their work, dealing with people and supervising others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Candidates for correctional peace officer positions in the federal or provincial government must have a valid driver's licence and pass a medical exam, the Correctional Officer Physical Abilities Test (COPAT) and security clearance requirements including fingerprinting.

Those employed with the federal government must have at least Grade 12 education, and CPR, automated external defibrillator (AED), first aid certification. Post secondary education in correctional services, criminal justice, police studies, sociology, psychology or criminology is preferred. Volunteer work experience with people in crisis is a definite asset. Applicants abilities, skills, and personal suitability is assessed during an interview and those qualifying are invited to attend Correctional Services Canada Correctional Training Program (CTP).

Correctional peace officers with the provincial government should have at least a high school diploma plus two years of work experience. Their work experience should be relevant with a particular emphasis on dealing with people. Applicants who have less education may be considered if they have two years of previous corrections experience, knowledge of Aboriginal languages and culture, or equivalent experience and knowledge.

 

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

In Alberta, federal correctional officers are employed in penitentiaries in Bowden, Drumheller, Grande Cache and Edmonton. Provincial correctional officers are employed in institutions in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Peace River.

Advancement to supervisory positions depends on experience and training.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

In 2015, correctional peace officers employed by the provincial government earned $25 to $37 per hour.

Correctional peace officers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4422: Correctional service officers.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Correctional service officers occupational group earned on average from $27.57 to $34.52 an hour. The overall average wage was $32.93 an hour. For more information, see the Correctional service officers wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Languages (other than English)
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Legal Studies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website: justice.alberta.ca

Corrections Canada website: www.csc-scc.gc.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 29, 2015. 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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