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Occupational Profile

Sheriff

Sheriffs ensure the safety and security of people, highways and provincial buildings.

  • Avg. Salary $68,080.00
  • Avg. Wage $34.02
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook Down
NOC & Interest Codes
The Sheriff is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Police Officers (Except Commissioned)
NOC code: 6261
METHODICAL

Interest in analyzing information to investigate crimes and accidents

DIRECTIVE

Interest in driving when patrolling assigned areas to maintain public safety and order; and in enforcing laws and regulations and arresting criminal suspects; may supervise and co-ordinate the work of other police officers

SOCIAL

Interest in speaking to the public when participating in crime prevention, public information and safety 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

Sheriffs and Bailiffs
NOC code: 6461
METHODICAL

Interest in copying to serve statements of claims, summonses, warrants, jury summonses, orders to pay alimony and other court orders; in serving writs of execution by seizing and selling properties and distributing the proceeds according to court decisions; and in issuing warrants for imprisonment, arrest or apprehension

directive

Interest in handling to locate properties and make seizures and removals under various acts of Parliament; and in providing courthouse security for judges, security support for sequestered juries and perimeter security for the court house

social

Interest in speaking while escorting prisoners to and from courts and correctional institutions, and also while attending court, escorting witnesses and assisting in maintaining order

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

Duties
Updated Feb 22, 2017

Duties vary considerably from one position to another but, in general, sheriffs ensure the safety and security of people, highways and property such as courthouses, government buildings and museums. They work in close co-operation with other law enforcement agencies.

Sheriffs are recruited and trained by the Government of Alberta for service in 1 of 4 streams.

Court security and prisoner transport sheriffs:

  • maintain safety and security in Alberta's 71 provincial courthouses
  • provide security for everyone attending court
  • transport offenders to and from court facilities
  • assist with prisoner transfers between correctional facilities, federal institutions and police and RCMP lockups
  • transport prisoners from other provinces to attend court in Alberta
  • assist with the movement of children in the care of the courts due to programs such as Protection of Children Abusing Drugs (PChAD).

Protection services sheriffs:

  • provide 24-hour security at the Legislature and Government Centre grounds
  • respond to alarms at key government building (for example, the Edmonton Law Courts, the Lieutenant Governor's residence) and take action as necessary
  • provide specialized personal security to the Lieutenant Governor, members of cabinet and other high ranking officials as required
  • ensure critical energy sector facilities have security management plans (for example, counter-terrorism plans)
  • manage security information and intelligence and develop threat assessments.

Traffic sheriffs:

  • enforce traffic safety
  • assist RCMP to conduct impaired driving investigations at checkstop locations 
  • investigate property damage collisions
  • deliver awareness and educational presentations.

Investigative service sheriffs work under the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) toprovide specialized assistance with ongoing investigations. Sheriffs in this stream:

  • investigate properties suspected of being used for illegal activity.
  • track and apprehend individuals with outstanding warrants.
  • provide surveillance assistance to law enforcement agencies in Alberta that are carrying out ongoing provincially focused investigations.
  • monitor and supervise repeat offenders in the community.
Working Conditions
Updated Feb 22, 2017

Sheriffs generally work a standard 38.75 hour work week, although some specialized units work longer shifts. Weekend, holiday and night shifts usually are required because security and other services must be provided around the clock.

Sheriffs work both indoors and outdoors in all kinds of weather and may be required to stand or walk for hours at a time, or ride in a vehicle for a complete shift. At times, they must use force and may be required to lift items that weigh over 20 kilograms in emergency situations.

Sheriffs work in stressful, emotional and sometimes dangerous situations (for example, arresting law breakers, executing arrest warrants).

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Feb 22, 2017

Personal characteristics such as honesty, integrity, maturity, good judgment, patience, intelligence, good observational skills and basic good humour are essential in this occupation. Sheriffs also need to be:

  • physically fit and able to meet visual acuity standards
  • able to work with all kinds of people in a variety of situations
  • able to use their own initiative and work with a minimum of supervision
  • able to work as part of a team.

They should enjoy having clear rules and guidelines for analyzing information and investigations, taking charge of situations and dealing with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Feb 22, 2017

Education requirements vary depending on the sheriff's primary role:

  • Court security and prisoner transport sheriffs require a two year diploma in a related field or two years progressively responsible related experience or equivalent.
  • Specialized sheriffs require a two year diploma in a related field plus two years progressively responsible related experience or equivalent.

Related Education

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

Lethbridge College

Medicine Hat College

Mount Royal University

Simon Fraser University - Burnaby

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Feb 22, 2017

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

In Alberta, sheriffs are employed by the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General department. Applicants must:

  • have a valid Alberta Class 5 Driver's Licence (valid Alberta Class 4 Driver's Licence for Law Court Sheriffs)
  • submit a current Driver's Abstract
  • have valid Standard First Aid and CPR (adult, child and infant) certification
  • submit a current and clear criminal records check
  • provide proof of successful completion of the PARE (Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation) test or a sanctioned equivalent physical test with a completion time of 4 minutes 45 seconds or better within the previous three months
  • be eligible to qualify for firearms certification
  • be eligible for appointment as a peace officer
  • be available and pass recruit training.

The Sheriff Introduction training program runs for 10 weeks at the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General Training Academy in Edmonton.

Promotion to sergeant generally requires years of experience.

In Alberta, sheriffs are part of two larger 2011 National Occupational Classifications,  4311: Police officers (except commissioned) and 4421: Sheriffs and bailiffs.

98% of people employed in the Police officers (except commission) group work in the Public Administration (PDF) industry

97% of people employed in the Sheriffs and bailiffs group work in the 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 industries listed above)
  • 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.

Over 9,300 Albertans are employed in the Police officers (except commission occupational group. This group is not expected to grow from 2016 to 2020.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Feb 22, 2017

Depending on the nature of their work, Sheriffs can be part of two larger 2011 National Occupational Classifications, 4311: Police officers (except commissioned) and 4421: Sheriffs and bailiffs.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Police officers (except commissioned) occupational group earned on average from $42.65 to $45.27 an hour. The overall average wage was $43.68 an hour. For more information, see the Police officers (except commissioned) wage profile.

Albertans in the Sheriffs and bailiffs occupational group, on the other hand earned on average from $28.66 to $35.50 an hour. The overall average wage was $34.02 an hour. For more information, see the Sheriffs and bailiffs wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Languages (other than English)
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Legal Studies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Feb 22, 2017

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General website: www.solgps.alberta.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works 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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