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 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 Outlook

Average

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  • Estimate decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 15 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 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)

Hourly Pay

$23.48

Minimum

$32.00

Median

$38.94

Maximum

Annual Pay

$33,490

Minimum

$73,003

Median

$87,781

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

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 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

750

employed in 2016

92.8%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

29.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
70.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.2

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%
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36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

50.6%

Northern

24.4%

Halifax

11.9%

Cape Breton

8.1%

Annapolis Valley

5.0%

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

98.0%

Public Administration

1.3%

Management, Admin & Other Support

0.7%

Other Industries

What is the age of Employment?

33.3%

35-44

29.0%

25-34

27.5%

45-54

7.2%

55-64

4.3%

65+

2.9%

15-24

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

54.4%

College certificate or diploma

$60,880 median annual income
21.5%

Bachelor's degree

N/A
14.6%

High school

$60,847 median annual income
4.4%

Trades certificate

$57,219 median annual income
3.8%

University 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

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

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 - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

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 - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

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

Corrections

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

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.

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

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

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

Criminal justice/police science

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

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.

Institutions providing this program

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Ravensberg College

3660 Commission Street, 2nd Floor

Halifax, NS B3K 0A5

(902) 482-4704

Criminology

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 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.

Institutions providing this program

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

Social sciences - General

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

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.

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

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

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
Correctional Service of Canada - Atlantic Region
1045 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Moncton, NB E1C 1H1
Tel: (506) 851-6313
Fax: (506) 851-6316

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.