Social Policy Researchers, Consultants, and Program Officers

(NOC 4164)

in All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers conduct research, develop policy and implement or administer programs in areas such as consumer affairs, employment, home economics, immigration, law enforcement, corrections, human rights, housing, labour, family services, foreign aid and international development. They are employed by government departments and agencies, industry, hospitals, educational institutions, consulting establishments, professional associations, research institutes, non-government organizations and international organizations or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 90 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4880 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

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 grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. 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. Social Policy Researchers, Consultants, and Program Officers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are 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 65% of Social Policy Researchers, Consultants, and Program Officers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $67,460. 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)

Hourly Pay

$17.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$40.38

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,549

Minimum

$55,844

Median

$88,167

Maximum

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$26.88

Median

$46.15

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers conduct research, develop policy and implement or administer programs in areas such as consumer affairs, employment, home economics, immigration, law enforcement, corrections, human rights, housing, labour, family services, foreign aid and international development. They are employed by government departments and agencies, industry, hospitals, educational institutions, consulting establishments, professional associations, research institutes, non-government organizations and international organizations or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

The following is a summary of main duties for some jobs in this group:

  • Social policy researchers develop social programs, social legislation, or proposals based on demographic, social and economic analysis and the evaluation of pilot projects.
  • Home economists conduct research, advise consumers on the selection and proper use of food products, textiles and other consumer goods and teach household management skills. They may also provide consultative services in the areas of development and promotion of new food products, retail buying, social program administration and small business endeavors.
  • Housing policy analysts identify and assess economic, demographic, and social developments and report on their implications for housing policy.
  • International aid and development project officers plan, organize, and administer foreign aid and international development policies and programs.
  • Social survey researchers develop questionnaires, coordinate and conduct surveys, analyze data, and compile and interpret statistics on social issues and policy areas.
  • Social services planners conduct research, develop social programs, assess, coordinate and develop awareness of existing social services, and ensure that duplication of services is avoided. They may also work with land use planners to determine the impact of major land use plans for transportation, housing, and recreational facilities projects.

Sample job titles

  • child-care services liaison officer
  • citizenship officer
  • consumer advisor
  • employment equity consultant
  • employment standards specialist
  • human rights specialist
  • job creation and employment services evaluation officer
  • labour policy analyst
  • social policy analyst
  • social survey researcher

Skills

To work in these fields, you should be organized, resourceful, and able to co-operate with others in a team. You must be able to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing. You will need an interest in research and familiarity with computers. Advanced computer and technical skills for data manipulation and statistical analysis may be required in some positions.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree or college diploma in a social science, or related discipline, or in business administration is usually required.
  • A master's degree in a social science or related discipline or in business administration may be required.
  • Home economists require a bachelor's degree in home economics, home economics education, human ecology, nutrition and food sciences or family and consumer studies.
  • Registration is available, but voluntary, for home economists.
  • Certified immigration consultants must be registered members of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants.

Other considerations

Many of the jobs in these jobs rely upon government funding. Therefore, changes in government spending levels will affect job opportunities for policy and program officers. Progression to managerial positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

680

employed in 2016

90.7%

employed full-time

3.7%

self employed

78.9%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
21.1%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
48.7

median age

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

55,420

employed in 2016

79.3%

employed full-time

6.5%

self employed

64.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

64.0%

Halifax

12.4%

Northern

11.8%

Cape Breton

6.2%

Annapolis Valley

3.7%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

57.8%

Public Administration

9.6%

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Leasing

8.9%

Other Services

7.4%

Health Care and Social Assistance

5.9%

Other Professional Services

What is the age of Employment?

39.7%

45-54

28.8%

35-44

15.1%

25-34

13.7%

55-64

4.1%

65+

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

36.6%

35-44

29.3%

45-54

24.4%

55-64

4.9%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

36.2%

Bachelor's degree

$55,887 median annual income
27.6%

Doctorate

N/A
14.5%

College certificate or diploma

$43,506 median annual income
8.6%

High school

$16,482 median annual income
4.6%

University advanced certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

29.2%

Bachelor's degree

$43,533 median annual income
21.5%

College certificate or diploma

$28,183 median annual income
17.2%

Master's degree

$35,978 median annual income
14.3%

High school

$25,801 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$60,991 median annual income

Education & training

Aboriginal studies

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the history, sociology, politics, culture, and economics of the aboriginal peoples of the Americas from earliest times until the present, with particular emphasis on U.S. and Canadian populations and their problems but including reference to Caribbean and Latin American native peoples.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

African American/Black studies

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the history, sociology, politics, culture, and economics of the North American peoples descended from the African diaspora; focusing on the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, but also including reference to Latin American elements of the diaspora.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Applied economics

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of economic principles and analytical techniques to the study of particular industries, activities, or the exploitation of particular resources. These programs include courses in economic theory; microeconomic analysis and modelling of specific industries and commodities; the economic consequences of resource allocation decisions; regulatory and consumer factors; and the technical aspects of specific subjects as they relate to economic analysis.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Bioethics/medical ethics

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of ethics, religion, jurisprudence, and the social sciences to the analysis of health care issues, clinical decision making, and research procedures. These programs include courses in philosophical ethics, moral value, medical sociology, theology, spirituality and health, policy analysis, decision theory, and applications to problems such as death and dying, therapeutic relationships, organ transplantation, human and animal subjects, reproduction and fertility, health care justice, cultural sensitivity, needs assessment, professionalism, conflict of interest, chaplaincy, and clinical or emergency procedures.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Biological and physical sciences

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that is either a general synthesis of one or more of the biological and physical sciences, or a specialization which draws from the biological and physical sciences.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Business administration and management - General

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to plan, organize, direct, and control the functions and processes of a firm or organization. These programs include courses in management theory, human resources management and behaviour, accounting and other quantitative methods, purchasing and logistics, organization and production, marketing, and business decision-making.

Institutions providing this program

Maritime Business College - Dartmouth

45 Ochterloney Street, Suite 100

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6

(902) 463-6700

Eastern College - Halifax

6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111

Halifax, NS B3L 0B7

(902) 423-3933

Success College

800 Sackville Drive

Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8

(902) 865-8283

Academy of Learning - Halifax

6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre

Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

(902) 455-3395

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Unit 37, 115 Chain Lake Drive

Halifax, NS B3S 1B3

(877) 491-6774

Business administration, management and operations - Other

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Business Administration, Management and Operations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Canadian studies

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the history, society, politics, culture, and economics of one or more of the peoples of Canada and its pre-Columbian, colonial, and pre-Confederation predecessors, including immigrant flows and related borderlands and island groups.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Computer and information sciences and support services - General/other

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, General.

Institutions providing this program

Academy of Learning - Halifax

6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre

Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

(902) 455-3395

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Development economics and international development

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the systematic study of the economic development process and its application to the problems of specific countries and regions. These programs include courses in economic development theory, industrialization, land reform, infrastructural development, investment policy, the role of governments and business in development, international development organizations, and the study of social, health, and environmental influences on economic development.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Dietetics and clinical nutrition services - Other

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition Services.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Dietetics/dietitian (RD)

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to integrate and apply the principles of the food and nutrition sciences, human behaviour, and the biomedical sciences to design and manage effective nutrition programs in a variety of settings. These programs include courses in human nutrition; nutrient metabolism; the role of foods and nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention; planning and directing food service activities; diet and nutrition analysis and planning; supervision of food storage and preparation; client education; and professional standards and regulations.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Dispute resolution

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that provides individuals with skills in negotiation, mediation, and arbitration, that can be applied to resolve disputes in a variety of settings, including business, legal, domestic, and labour relations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Education - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general theory and practice of learning and teaching; the basic principles of educational psychology; the art of teaching; the planning and administration of educational activities; school safety and health issues; and the social foundations of education.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Ethnic, cultural minority and gender studies - Other

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Ethnic, Cultural Minority and Gender Studies.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

International business/trade/commerce

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to manage international businesses and/or business operations. These programs include courses in the principles and processes of export sales, trade controls, foreign operations and related problems, monetary issues, international business policy, and applications to doing business in specific countries and markets.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

International public policy analysis

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the systematic analysis of public policy issues related to relationships among nations and among governments and non-governmental entities. These programs include courses in international politics, governance, financial policy, and security affairs; globalization; economic and social policies of developing nations; and applications to specific public policy topics such as labour and employment, immigration, and human rights.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

International relations and national security studies, other

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to International relations and national security studies.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Mathematics and statistics - Other

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to Mathematics and Statistics.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Peace studies and conflict resolution

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the origins, resolution and prevention of international and inter-group conflicts. These programs include courses in peace research methods and related social scientific and psychological knowledge bases.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Public administration

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to serve as managers in the executive arm of government; and that focuses on the systematic study of executive organization and management. These programs include courses in the roles, development, and principles of public administration; the management of public policy; executive-legislative relations; public budgetary processes and financial management; administrative law; public personnel management; professional ethics; and research methods.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Public policy analysis

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the systematic analysis of public policy issues and decision processes. These programs include courses in the role of economic and political factors in public decision making and policy formulation; microeconomic analysis of policy issues; resource allocation and decision modelling; cost/benefit analysis; statistical methods; and applications to specific public policy topics.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Sociology

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Statistics - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the relationships between groups of measurements, and similarities and differences, using probability theory and techniques derived from it. These programs include courses in the principles in probability theory, binomial distribution, regression analysis, standard deviation, stochastic processes, Monte Carlo method, Bayesian statistics, non-parametric statistics, sampling theory, and statistical techniques.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Public Service Commission of Canada - Atlantic
1505 Barrington Street, Suite 1525, Maritime Centre
Halifax, NS B3J 3Y6
Tel: (877) 998-7979
Fax: (888) 457-5333
Institute of Public Administration of Canada
1075 Bay Street, Suite 401
Toronto, ON M5S 2B1
Tel: (416) 924-8787
Fax: (416) 924-4992
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
200 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, QC K1A 0G4
Tel: (800) 230-6349
Fax: (819) 953-6088

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.