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Correctional Services Worker

Correctional services workers supervise adult and young offenders. They also run a variety of correctional programs and services.

  • Avg. Salary $80,817.00
  • Avg. Wage $42.52
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Correctional Centre Caseworker, Living Unit Officer, Youth Justice Worker

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: Classification Officers, Correctional Institutions (4155.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Probation and Parole Officers and Related Occupations (E025) 
  • 2011 NOC: Probation and parole officers and related occupations (4155) 
  • 2016 NOC: Probation and parole officers and related occupations (4155) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Correctional Services Worker is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Classification Officers, Correctional Institutions

Interest in mentoring in order to plan rehabilitation programs with offenders by identifying needs and setting goals and objectives; and in advising and counselling inmates regarding their problems


Interest in co-ordinating information to prepare classification reports


Interest in recommending types of incarceration and interventions considered most beneficial for the rehabilitation of inmates, and in developing suitable rehabilitation programs

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 Mar 31, 2019

Correctional services workers work in correctional or young offenders centres. They:

  • Assess offenders
  • Develop case plans
  • Provide group and one-on-one counselling
  • Orient offenders when they arrive
  • Prepare offenders for release into the community
  • Provide feedback on policies
  • Write reports
  • Do other administrative tasks

Correctional services workers who work inside a residential correctional facility or young offender centre manage the behaviour of the offenders assigned to them. They also monitor their security.

Youth justice workers work in young offender centres or open custody group homes. They work with young people who have been charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and are in custody or temporary detention. In general, youth justice workers:

  • Ensure security
  • Supervise daily routines
  • Assess young offenders
  • Develop, implement, and monitor case plans
  • Provide leisure activities
  • Conduct group meetings
  • Provide one-on-one counselling
  • Talk to probation officers, parents, guardians, and others to plan for the release of the young person into the community
  • Prepare custody progress reports for court reviews of custody sentences

Living unit officers work in residential correctional facilities. They work with adult offenders. They have a variety of security and casework duties. They may:

  • Do security checks of the unit
  • Orient new offenders to the unit
  • Provide one-on-one and group counselling
  • Provide referrals
  • Help with pre-release and release planning
  • Maintain records of offenders’ behaviour
  • Escort offenders

Correctional centre caseworkers usually:

  • Check offenders’ backgrounds and suggest training and program plans
  • Compile and document details about offenders’ lives, education, work, and criminal records
  • Develop treatment plans
  • Advise offenders about their rights of appeal
  • Arrange offender access to suitable resources
  • Stay in contact with the institutional and community resources and government agencies that care for and rehabilitate offenders after release
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Work hours and settings vary widely depending on the role. For example, correctional services workers who escort offenders on day parole may take them to visit parents in hospital. Institutional staff work shifts.

Physical requirements also vary. Correctional services workers may sometimes need to restrain offenders. They must be ready to respond if a dangerous situation arises. This may happen during security checks or when orienting new offenders.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Correctional services workers need:

  • Maturity and good judgment
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • The ability to cope with stressful, risky, and unexpected situations

They should enjoy:

  • Supervising others
  • Helping people
  • Assessing levels of offender risk and recommending interventions
  • Working with clearly defined rules and organized methods
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Entry-level correctional services worker positions generally require a 2-year diploma or a university degree in a related field. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted. Knowledge of Indigenous culture or languages is an asset.

Federal correctional services workers need to be Level 1 correctional peace officers first. For more information, see the Correctional Peace Officer occupational profile.

Related Education

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

Badlands Community College

Grant MacEwan University

Medicine Hat College

NorQuest College

Red Deer College

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Correctional services workers mainly work in:

  • Correctional centres
  • Young offender centres
  • Open custody group homes
  • Community attendance centres

They may work for:

  • The federal government
  • The provincial government
  • Private-sector social service agencies

Experienced correctional services workers may advance to supervisory positions. If they have the qualifications, they may transfer to other areas in correctional service.

Correctional services workers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4155: Probation and Parole Officers and Related Occupations. In Alberta, 96% of people employed in this classification work in Public Administration [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the Public Administration industry
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 4155: Probation and parole officers and related occupations occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019
Probation and parole officers and related occupations

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 $30.99 $39.98 $33.83 $33.74
Overall $33.49 $47.82 $42.52 $43.15
Top $38.33 $50.18 $43.88 $43.63

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.

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.

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 31, 2019

Correctional Service Canada website:

Government of Alberta website, Justice and 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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