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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 $70,423.00
  • Avg. Wage $33.96
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 2,200
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Correctional Officer, Guard, Law Enforcement Officer, Prison Guard

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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Correctional Peace Officer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Correctional Service Officers

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

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

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.


Related Education

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

Grant MacEwan University

Hope College

Medicine Hat College

Red Deer College

Simon Fraser University - Burnaby

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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 service officers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $26.91 $42.64 $28.95 $28.56
Overall $28.52 $42.64 $33.96 $33.97
Top $33.97 $42.64 $35.57 $36.05

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.

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.

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 Dec 15, 2016

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website:

Corrections Canada website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports 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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