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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.

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) 
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.

Classification Officers, Correctional Institutions

2006 NOC: 4155.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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

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

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
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

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.

Traits & Skills
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
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

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.

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

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.

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: 2019-2023 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.

Probation and parole officers and related occupations

2016 NOC: 4155
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 4155 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 $31.18 $42.06 $34.68 $33.95
Overall $37.47 $51.31 $43.68 $43.62
Top $40.31 $53.44 $45.13 $43.89

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 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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