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Correctional Peace Officer

Correctional peace officers ensure the safe care, custody, control, and rehabilitation of incarcerated offenders, as well as the safe reintegration of offenders back into the community.

Also Known As

Correctional Officer, 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: Correctional Service Officers (6462) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Correctional Service Officers (G622) 
  • 2011 NOC: Correctional service officers (4422) 
  • 2016 NOC: Correctional service officers (4422) 
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
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

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

Abilities

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

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Correctional peace officers provide safety and security for offenders who:

  • Have been charged and remanded to custody
  • Are awaiting trial
  • Have been sentenced to provincial correctional facilities (sentences of 2 years less a day) or federal penitentiaries (sentences of 2 years or more)
  • Have been found in violation of release conditions and placed back into custody

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

  • Ensure security in minimum-security, medium-security, maximum-security and multi-level institutions
  • Act as primary responders to emergencies, such as medical emergencies, fire or escape attempts
  • Act as positive role models for offenders
  • Observe inmate behaviour through dynamic and static security, such as personal interaction and electronic monitoring
  • Foster positive relationships with inmates to assist with intelligence gathering, prevent disturbances and escapes and maintain a safe environment
  • Maintain control by enforcing laws, regulations, policies and rules
  • Prepare reports such as observational, disciplinary, search and seizure, evidence handling and inmate case reports
  • Maintain accurate and complete records
  • Conduct formal and informal counts and hourly patrols to ensure the inmates’ well-being
  • Conduct security searches of inmates, cells, vehicles, buildings, inmate visitors or staff members 
  • Work as part of an inmate case management team, when working as a parole officer, educational instructor or Aboriginal liaison officer

They may also:

  • Drive inmates to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals and worksites
  • Help manage cases
  • Write reports for the national parole board
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • 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, including night shifts.

The work can be stressful and hazardous. Correctional officers must always be on the alert for drugs, weapons, other banned items, inmates breaking rules, volatile behaviour, and outbreaks of violence. At federal medium- and maximum-security institutions and on escorts, they are required to carry firearms. Applicants must be comfortable knowing they may have to lawfully take a life during their career.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Correctional peace officers need:

  • An impartial nature
  • Responsibility and maturity
  • A positive attitude
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Writing skills
  • Leadership abilities
  • The ability to remain calm in high-stress situations
  • The ability to restrain offenders as required
  • An understanding that their role is rehabilitative, not punitive

They should enjoy:

  • Having clear rules and guidelines, while being comfortable making on-the-spot decisions
  • Working with a team
  • Dealing with people
  • Supervising others
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education High school diploma

For roles in the federal or provincial government, correctional peace officers must:

  • Have a valid driver’s licence
  • Pass a medical exam
  • Pass the Correctional Officer Physical Ability Test (COPAT) / PAR (provincial only)
  • Obtain security clearances, including fingerprinting
  • Pass aptitude and psychological exams
  • Successfully complete approximately 12 weeks of correctional officer basic training

To work for the federal government, officers also need CPR, AED (automated external defibrillator) and first aid certifications.

Correctional peace officers with the federal government should have at least a high school diploma plus 2 years of relevant work experience dealing with people. Applicants with less education may succeed if they have 2 or more years of previous corrections experience or similar, know Indigenous culture and languages or have equivalent experience and knowledge. Being multilingual and having a multicultural background is a strong asset.

Employers prefer post-secondary education in a related area. Examples are correctional services, criminal justice, police studies, sociology, psychology, or criminology. Volunteer experience with people in crisis is a definite asset, especially for provincial positions where correctional peace officers are often hired as casual employees.

Interviewers assess applicants’ abilities and skills and whether they are personally suitable. If hired beyond a casual position, they are invited to attend correctional officer basic training. Federally, those who qualify are invited to attend the Correctional Service Canada Correctional Training Program (CTP).


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

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 31, 2019
  • Certification Not Regulated

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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

Some correctional peace officers work with young offenders in young offender institutions. Others work with female offenders at specific provincial centres or women’s federal institutions. Still others may work at regional psychiatric centres, minimum-security institutions, Aboriginal healing lodges, or work camps.

Moving up to supervisory or other positions depends on education, experience, personal suitability, and training.

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 1.7% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 58 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
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: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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
$36.55
Per Hour
Average Salary
$75,595.00
Per Year
Average Hours
39.6
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

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

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $29.69 $31.56 $30.65 $29.79
Overall $29.69 $39.49 $36.55 $37.26
Top $37.39 $39.62 $38.33 $37.39

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
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
N/A
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
N/A
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
N/A
Vacancy Rate
N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Correctional Service Canada website: www.csc-scc.gc.ca

Government of Alberta website, Justice and Solicitor General: www.alberta.ca/ministry-justice-solicitor-general

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

Updated Mar 31, 2019. 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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