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Parole or Probation Officer

Parole officers and probation officers help offenders integrate into the community and, at the same time, protect the community by supervising offenders. Parole officers are employed by Correctional Services of Canada to manage the conditional release of federal and provincial offenders. Probation officers are employed by Alberta Justice and Solicitor General to conduct investigations and prepare presentence reports, and supervise offenders in the community.

  • 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

Parole Supervisor, Probation 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: Probation and Parole Officers (4155.1) 
  • 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 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Parole or Probation Officer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Probation and Parole Officers

Interest in mentoring in order to plan rehabilitation programs with offenders by establishing rules of conduct, goals and objectives; and in referring offenders to community and social service programs


Interest in co-ordinating information to compile case records and in submitting information and recommendations to parole boards; may perform administrative duties


Interest in supervising the terms of probation orders, and in recommending remedial action or initiating court action when probationers or parolees violate the terms of rehabilitation programs; may supervise support staff

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

Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, parole officers:

  • make recommendations regarding the initial placement of an offender in an appropriate federal penitentiary (for any offender who receives a sentence of two years or more, or a suspension of an original federal sentence)
  • investigate offenders' past and present behaviours by interviewing other inmates, institutional authorities, police, family and friends of the offender
  • plan programs for offenders during their imprisonment
  • assess the suitability of penitentiary inmates for release under parole and statutory release, and submit recommendations to the National Parole Board
  • develop liaisons and networks with other parole officers, social welfare and community agencies, staff in correctional institutions, psychiatric facilities and after care agencies
  • supervise those who have been released on parole, day parole or statutory release
  • offer guidance and direction to parolees in dealing with job related and personal problems.

Those working in the private sector are called parole supervisors. They are contracted to supervise parolees who live in communities and rural areas where Correctional Services of Canada does not maintain an office.

In general, probation officers:

  • prepare presentence reports as requested by the court which describe the convicted offender's personal and social life, and make recommendations for sentence including conditions which may be imposed by a court order
  • gather information through interviews with offenders, police, family, friends, employers, school authorities and others as a basis for the court to determine appropriate sentences and to assist in casework and the supervision of offenders
  • supervise individuals who have been released on a pretrial release; sentenced by the court to probation, community service work or conditional sentences or supervision; or released by a correctional or young offender centre on a temporary pass
  • administer and supervise individuals accepted to the alternative measures, extra judicial sanctions and fine option programs.

Parole and probation officers must be aware of available community resources such as psychiatric services and addiction treatment centres in addition to having a working knowledge of client behaviour and motivation.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Parole and probation officers work in offices and courthouses, and visit offenders' homes and workplaces. Parole officers also work in penitentiaries. 

Parole and probation officers sometimes work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to interview offenders and their associates.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Parole and probation officers need the following characteristics:

  • maturity and good judgement
  • effective time management skills
  • strong interpersonal skills
  • strong oral and written communication skills for writing and presenting reports.

They should enjoy dealing with and helping people, having clear rules and organized methods, and supervising others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 29, 2015

Parole officers employed by the federal government must have at least a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with a specialization in sociology, psychology or criminology, or a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies degree. Some parole officers have a master's degree or equivalent. 

Parole supervisors employed in the private sector must have at least a two year college diploma in a related field.

Probation officers employed by the provincial government must have at least a two year diploma or a university degree in a directly related field. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted. For probation officers engaged in a more dynamic counselling model, a four year bachelor's degree specializing in justice or human services may be required.

Knowledge of Aboriginal culture or languages is an asset for parole and probation officers.

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

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

Parole officers are employed by Correctional Services of Canada and private agencies under contract to Correctional Services of Canada. Those employed by Correctional Services of Canada must complete a probationary period of one year. Advancement to section supervisor and area manager positions is based on merit and experience.

Probation officers are employed by the Government of Alberta.

Parole and probation officers 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 the 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 probation officers employed by the provincial government earned $30 to $42 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:

Correctional Services of 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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