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 like consumer affairs, employment, home economics, immigration, law enforcement, corrections, human rights, housing, labour, family services, foreign aid and international development. They work for government departments and agencies, industry, hospitals, educational institutions, consulting firms, professional associations, research institutes, non-government organizations and international organizations or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 195 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

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

  • Estimate 770 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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.

The median employment income for 61% 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

$20.43

Minimum

$33.33

Median

$46.15

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,549

Minimum

$55,844

Median

$88,167

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$14.74

Minimum

$33.28

Median

$46.76

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 like consumer affairs, employment, home economics, immigration, law enforcement, corrections, human rights, housing, labour, family services, foreign aid and international development. They work for government departments and agencies, industry, hospitals, educational institutions, consulting firms, professional associations, research institutes, non-government organizations and international organizations or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Social policy researchers:

  • Develop social programs and policies, social legislation, or proposals based on demographic, social and economic research, analysis, and the evaluation of pilot projects.

Home economists:

  • Help consumers select and use food products, textiles, and other consumer goods and teach household management skills. They may also consult on the development and promotion of new food products, retail buying, social program administration, and small business endeavours.

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, analyse 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 make sure service duplication is avoided. They may also work with land use planners to determine the effect 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

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

805

employed in 2016

87.5%

employed full-time

4.4%

self employed

78.8%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
21.2%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
48.7

median age

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

55,420

employed in 2016

76.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

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

median age

Where will I likely work?

65.2%

Halifax

12.7%

North Shore

12.0%

Cape Breton

6.3%

Annapolis Valley

3.8%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

58.6%

Public administration

9.8%

Finance and insurance

9.0%

Other services (except public administration)

7.5%

Health care and social assistance

6.8%

Professional, scientific and technical services

What is the age of Employment?

27.0%

45-54

23.0%

55-64

23.0%

35-44

16.0%

25-34

7.0%

65+

4.0%

15-24

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

24.2%

35-44

22.7%

45-54

21.4%

25-34

17.2%

55-64

8.4%

15-24

Top levels of education

34.2%

Bachelor

$56,689 median annual income
28.0%

Master

$66,896 median annual income
15.5%

College Diploma

$60,199 median annual income
8.7%

High school

$44,676 median annual income
4.3%

Diploma Above Bachelor

$68,624 median annual income

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

28.9%

Bachelor

$45,929 median annual income
21.2%

College Diploma

$35,398 median annual income
16.8%

Master

$71,043 median annual income
14.6%

High school

$29,055 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$100,443 median annual income

Education & training

Area Studies

College or University Program

These programs focus on the history, society, politics, culture, and economics of a defined area, region, or country.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Bioethics/Medical Ethics

College or University Program

These programs focus on applying ethics, religion, jurisprudence, and the social sciences to the analysis of health care issues, clinical decision making, and research procedures. They 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

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Biological and Physical Sciences

College or University Program

This includes 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

Wolfville, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Business Administration and Management

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to plan, organize, direct, and control the functions and processes of a firm or organization. They 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

Lower Sackville, NS

Academy of Learning Career College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

Middleton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

Springhill, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

Yarmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

Stellarton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Various, NS

Computer and Information Sciences

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on computing, computer science, and information science and systems as part of a broad and/or interdisciplinary program. Such programs are undifferentiated as to title and content and are not to be confused with specific programs in computer science, information science, or related support services.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Development Economics and International Development

College or University Program

These programs focus on the systematic study of the economic development process and its application to the problems of specific countries and regions. They 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

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Dietetics/Dietitian (RD)

College or University Program

These programs prepare students 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. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Education - General

College or University Program

These programs focus 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

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies

College or University Program

These programs focus on the history, sociology, politics, culture, and economics of various racial and ethnic groups, women’s studies, gay/lesbian studies, folklore studies, disability studies, and deaf studies.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Intercultural/Multicultural and Diversity Studies

College or University Program

These programs focus on the dynamic social relations between and among majority and minority groups and different minority groups, and ways to promote mutual tolerance, inter-group cooperation, and the leadership and management of diverse groups and diversity issues in family, educational, recreational, and work settings. They include courses in ethnic and cultural studies, group psychology, sociology, anthropology, conflict resolution, human services and resources, and applications to various functional environments.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

International Business

College or University Program

These programs prepare students to manage international businesses and/or business operations. They 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

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

Truro, NS

Mathematical Statistics and Probability

University Program

These programs focus on the mathematical theory underlying statistical methods and their use. They include courses in probability theory, parametric and nonparametric inference, sequential analysis, multivariate analysis, Bayesian analysis, experimental design, time series analysis, resampling, robust statistics, limit theory, infinite particle systems, stochastic processes, martingales, Markov processes, and Banach spaces.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution

College or University Program

These programs focus on the origins, resolution and prevention of international and inter-group conflicts. They include courses in peace research methods and related social scientific and psychological knowledge bases.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Public Administration

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to serve as managers in the executive arm of government and focus on the systematic study of executive organization and management. They 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

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Public Policy Analysis

University Program

These programs focus on the systematic analysis of public policy issues and decision processes. They 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

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Sociology

College or University Program

These programs focus on the systematic study of human social institutions and social relationships. They 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

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Statistics

College or University Program

These programs focus on the relationships between groups of measurements, and similarities and differences, using probability theory and techniques derived from it. They 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

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Public Service Commission of Canada - Atlantic
Dartmouth, NS
Institute of Public Administration of Canada
Toronto, ON
Global Affairs Canada
Gatineau, QC
Association of Black Social Workers
Dartmouth, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.