Correctional Service Officers

(NOC 4422)

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

Correctional service officers guard offenders and detainees and maintain order in prisons 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 work for federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Correctional service officers who are supervisors are included in this group.

Job Outlook

average

Read more

  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 55 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2022

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

  • Estimate 1830 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 5515 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • 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 remain largely the same over the next few years. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major 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.

Hourly Pay

$28.04

Minimum

$35.90

Median

$46.32

Maximum

Annual Pay

$33,490

Minimum

$73,003

Median

$87,781

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$16.30

Minimum

$30.00

Median

$51.30

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Correctional service officers guard offenders and detainees and maintain order in prisons 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 work for federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Correctional service officers who are supervisors are included in this group.

Job duties

Correctional service officers:

  • 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

  • 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

  • High school is required.
  • College 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.

By the numbers

Quick look

800

employed in 2016

89.9%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

29.6%
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70.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.2

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%
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36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

50.6%

North Shore

$75,121 median annual income
24.4%

Halifax

$74,041 median annual income
11.9%

Cape Breton

$63,829 median annual income
8.1%

Annapolis Valley

$78,467 median annual income
5.0%

Southern

$29,817 median annual income

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

98.7%

Public administration

1.3%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

What is the age of Employment?

33.0%

25-34

28.0%

35-44

21.0%

45-54

11.0%

55-64

4.0%

15-24

2.0%

65+

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

53.8%

College Diploma

$68,933 median annual income
21.9%

Bachelor

$78,062 median annual income
14.4%

High school

$74,074 median annual income
4.4%

Trade Certification

N/A
3.1%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

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

Corrections

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to study the theories and principles, of correctional science and to function as professional corrections officers and other workers in incarceration facilities.

Institutions providing this program

Maritime Business College

Lower Sackville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Criminal Justice/Police Science

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students for 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.

Institutions providing this program

Ravensberg College

Halifax, NS

Halifax Regional Police Training School

Dartmouth, NS

Criminology

College or University Program

These programs focus on the systematic study of crime as a sociopathological phenomenon, the behaviour of criminals, and the social institutions evolved to respond to crime. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Eastern College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, 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

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Correctional Services Division
Halifax, NS
Correctional Service of Canada - Atlantic Region
Moncton, NB

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.