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Correctional Service Officers

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NOC:4422
Occupation:Correctional Service Officers
Category:Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

About the job

Nature of work:

Correctional service officers guard offenders and detainees and maintain order in correctional institutions and other places of detention. They escort prisoners in transit and supervise prisoners during work assignments, meals, and recreation. Their role is to observe the behaviour of prisoners and prepare reports, and to prevent disturbances and escapes. They are employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments. Correctional service officers who are supervisors are included in this group.

Job duties:
Correctional service officers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Observe conduct and behaviour of offenders and detainees to prevent disturbances and escapes.
  • Supervise offenders during work assignments, meals and recreation periods.
  • Patrol assigned area and report any problems to supervisor.
  • Observe behaviour of offenders and prepare reports.
  • Escort detainees in transit and during temporary leaves.
  • Prepare admission, program, release, transfer and other reports.
  • May supervise and coordinate work of other correctional service officers.
Sample job titles:
  • correctional facility guard
  • correctional officer
  • correctional service officer
  • correctional services unit supervisor
  • corrections officer
  • detention guard
  • head correctional officer
  • jailer
  • penitentiary guard
  • prison guard
Skills:

To work in these jobs, you should be physically fit and in excellent health, and have a valid driver's licence. Cultural sensitivity, patience, and mental stability are important. You must be resourceful and able to work on your own carrying out instructions given by your employer. It will be necessary to gain a good knowledge of the regulations pertaining to your work. Excellent communication, observation, and problem-solving skills are essential. You should also be able to communicate with and gain the respect of the public.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is required.
  • Post-secondary education in correctional services, police studies or criminology may be required.
  • Correctional officer recruits must successfully complete the Correctional Service of Canada training course to be employed by federal institutions.
  • Correctional officer recruits are usually required to complete a basic training course to be employed by provincial/territorial institutions.
  • Physical agility, strength and fitness requirements must be met.
  • First aid certification and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training are usually required.
Other considerations:

Candidates are required to pass the appropriate background check. Correctional service supervisors require experience as a correctional service officer.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline slightly over the next few years, which may affect the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Correctional Service Officers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. With employment conditions being seasonal in nature, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year are fairly common. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 79% of Correctional Service Officers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $74,762. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Correctional Service Officers750decline slightly15Low
Minimum: $23.48
Median: $32.00
Maximum: $38.94
Minimum: $33,490
Median: $73,003
Maximum: $87,781
Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services55,420Moderate growth4,880Low
Minimum: $14.00
Median: $26.88
Maximum: $46.15
Minimum: $5,616
Median: $44,335
Maximum: $92,599
Correctional Service OfficersCompared to: Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
Percent employed full-time93%79%
Percent self-employed25%6%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentCorrectional Service OfficersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern5%x12%$30,581
Northern51%$60,38116%$33,660
Cape Breton12%x13%$32,974
Halifax24%$39,10547%$41,209
Annapolis Valley8%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeCorrectional Service OfficersCompared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% Employed% Employed
15-243%N/A
25-3429%5%
35-4433%37%
45-5428%29%
55-647%24%
65+4%5%
Median Age3844
GenderCorrectional Service OfficersCompared to: Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% Employed% Employed
Female29%64%
Male71%36%
EducationCorrectional Service OfficersCompared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolN/Ax2.8%$11,346
High school14.6%$60,84714.3%$25,801
Trades certificate4.4%$57,2194.2%$35,678
College certificate or diploma54.4%$60,88021.5%$28,183
University certificate or diploma3.8%x2.6%$35,967
Bachelor's degree21.5%x29.2%$43,533
University advanced certificate or diploma1.3%x3.4%$47,801
Master's degreeN/Ax17.2%$35,978
DoctorateN/Ax4.6%$60,991
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.2%$83,456
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Correctional Services Division
P.O. Box 7
Halifax, NS B3J 2L6
Tel: (902) 424-7640
Fax: (902) 424-0693
justweb@novascotia.ca
Correctional Service of Canada - Atlantic Region
1045 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Moncton, NB E1C 1H1
Tel: (506) 851-6313
Fax: (506) 851-6316
atlanticrecruitment@csc-scc.gc.ca

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Corrections
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to study the theories and principles, of correctional science and to function as professional corrections officers and other workers in incarceration facilities.
See all institutions providing this program+
Success College
800 Sackville Drive
Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8
(902) 865-8283
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Criminal justice/police science
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to perform the duties of police and public security officers, including patrol and investigative activities, traffic control, crowd control and public relations, witness interviewing, evidence collection and management, basic crime prevention methods, weapon and equipment operation and maintenance, report preparation and other routine law enforcement responsibilities.
See all institutions providing this program+
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Ravensberg College
3660 Commission Street, 2nd Floor
Halifax, NS B3K 0A5
(902) 482-4704
firststep@ravensbergcollege.ca
Program Name:Criminology
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the systematic study of crime as a sociopathological phenomenon, the behaviour of criminals, and the social institutions evolved to respond to crime. These programs include courses in the theory of crime, psychological and social bases of criminal behaviour, social value systems and the theory of punishment, criminal law and criminal justice systems, penology, rehabilitation and recidivism, studies of specific types of crime, social attitudes and policy, and applications to specific issues in law enforcement administration and policy.
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Eastern College - Halifax
6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111
Halifax, NS B3L 0B7
(902) 423-3933
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Program Name:Social sciences - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general study of human social behaviour and social institutions using any of the methodologies common to the social sciences and/or history, or an undifferentiated program of study in the social sciences.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Program Name:Sociology
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the systematic study of human social institutions and social relationships. These programs include courses in social theory, sociological research methods, social organization and structure, social stratification and hierarchies, dynamics of social change, family structures, social deviance and control, and applications to the study of specific social groups, social institutions, and social problems.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.