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Correctional Services Worker

Correctional services workers supervise adult and young offenders, and administer a wide variety of correctional programs and services.

  • Avg. Salary $80,043.00
  • Avg. Wage $42.06
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
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) 
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 29, 2015

In general, correctional services workers in correctional or young offenders centres have the following responsibilities: 

  • evaluate, classify and assess offenders
  • develop case plans and provide group and individual counselling
  • orient newly admitted offenders
  • prepare offenders for release into the community
  • assist in policy development
  • write reports and perform administrative tasks.

Correctional services workers in a living unit environment (inside a correctional residential facility or young offender centre) also are responsible for the behaviour management and security of offenders assigned to their particular living unit.

Correctional services workers usually work in one of the following areas:

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

  • are responsible for security
  • supervise daily living routines
  • evaluate and assess young offenders and develop, implement and monitor case plans
  • provide leisure and recreational activities
  • conduct structured group meetings and provide one-to-one counselling
  • communicate with 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 in a correctional residential facility perform a variety of security and casework duties with adult offenders. They may:

  • conduct security checks of the unit
  • orient new offenders to the unit
  • provide individual counselling, group counselling and referrals
  • assist in pre-release and release planning
  • maintain records of offenders' behaviour
  • escort offenders.

Correctional centre caseworkers usually:

  • examine offenders' backgrounds and make recommendations regarding training and individual program plans
  • compile and classify personal, educational, employment and criminal information
  • develop treatment and program plans
  • advise offenders of their rights of appeal and facilitate access to the appropriate resources
  • maintain contact with institutional and community resources and government agencies involved with after release care and rehabilitation of offenders.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Hours of work and working environments vary considerably depending on the type of work. For example, correctional services workers escorting offenders on day parole may take offenders to visit parents who are in hospital. Institutional staff work shifts.

Physical requirements also vary depending on the type of position and the employer. Correctional services workers may be required to restrain offenders in some circumstances. Those who conduct security checks and orient new offenders must be ready to respond if a dangerous situation arises.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Correctional services workers need the following characteristics:

  • maturity and good judgment
  • strong interpersonal skills
  • strong oral and written communication skills.

They should enjoy dealing with and helping people, having clearly defined rules and organized methods, supervising others and encountering situations that entail some stress, risks or the unexpected.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 29, 2015

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

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 Mar 29, 2015

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Correctional services workers primarily are employed in:

  • correctional centres
  • young offender centres
  • open custody group homes
  • community attendance centres.

They may be employed by:

  • the federal government
  • the provincial government
  • private sector social service agencies.

Experienced correctional services workers may advance to supervisory positions or, if they have the required qualifications, 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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in Public Administration industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 29, 2015

In 2015, correctional services workers employed by the provincial government earned $30.00 to $46.00 per hour.


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 $37.85 $33.31 $33.74
Overall $33.74 $47.52 $42.06 $42.43
Top $40.06 $47.82 $43.41 $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 29, 2015

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General 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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