Police Officers

(NOC 4311)

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

Police officers protect the public, find and prevent crime and do other activities to maintain law and order. They work for municipal and federal governments and some provincial and regional governments.

Job Outlook

Average

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  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 120 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 fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. 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. Police Officers (Except Commissioned) most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 79% of Police Officers (Except Commissioned) who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $99,184. 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

$24.04

Minimum

$41.35

Median

$47.60

Maximum

Annual Pay

$56,982

Minimum

$97,595

Median

$122,030

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

Police officers protect the public, find and prevent crime and do other activities to maintain law and order. They work for municipal and federal governments and some provincial and regional governments.

Job duties

Police officers:

  • Patrol areas to maintain public safety and order and to enforce laws and regulations.
  • Investigate crimes and accidents, carry out search warrants, gather evidence, interview witnesses, compile notes and reports and testify in court.
  • Arrest criminal suspects.
  • Help victims of accidents, crimes and natural disasters.
  • Participate in crime prevention, public information and safety programs.
  • May supervise and coordinate the work of other police officers.

Sample job titles

  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) investigator
  • community relations officer
  • constable
  • crime prevention constable
  • detective
  • harbour police officer
  • highway patrol officer
  • police cadet
  • police officer
  • police sergeant
  • railway police officer
  • RCMP officer
  • crime scene technician
  • police diver

Skills

You should be physically fit and in excellent health. Cultural sensitivity, patience, and mental stability are important. You must be resourceful, able to give and take orders, and able to make decisions quickly. 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.
  • A college program or university degree in law and security or in the social sciences is usually required.
  • A three-to-six-month police training program is required.
  • Physical agility, strength, fitness and vision requirements must be met, and psychological or other tests are also required.
  • Experience as a constable and the completion of specialized courses are required for detectives and sergeants.
  • Specialized training or certification is required for certain areas of policing.

Other considerations

Earnings will generally increase with the officer's rank and years of service. Movement to commissioned police officer positions is possible with additional training and experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,970

employed in 2016

98.2%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

18.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
81.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.4

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?

51.5%

Halifax

14.2%

Annapolis Valley

13.5%

Cape Breton

12.4%

North Shore

8.4%

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

100.0%

Public administration

What is the age of Employment?

35.0%

35-44

35.0%

45-54

19.0%

25-34

9.0%

55-64

1.0%

15-24

1.0%

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

44.7%

College certificate or diploma

$96,419 median annual income
29.9%

Bachelor's degree

$99,857 median annual income
13.5%

High school

$101,025 median annual income
4.8%

Trades certificate

$81,572 median annual income
3.0%

University certificate or diploma

$92,716 median annual income

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

28.9%

Bachelor's degree

$45,929 median annual income
21.2%

College certificate or diploma

$35,398 median annual income
16.8%

Master's degree

$71,043 median annual income
14.6%

High school

$29,055 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$100,443 median annual income

Education & training

Criminal justice/law enforcement administration

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

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to apply theories and practices of criminal justice to structuring, managing, directing and controlling criminal justice agencies, including police departments, law enforcement divisions and units, and protective services.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Criminal justice/police science

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

This instructional program class includes 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

Halifax Regional Police Training School

2 Chapman Street

Dartmouth, NS B3A 0C3

(902) 490-5345

Criminology

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

This instructional program class includes 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

Crisis/emergency/disaster management

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

This instructional program class includes any program focusing on the application of the incident command system model to formulating and implementing effective response to natural and man-made disasters. These programs include courses in contingency planning, hazard and risk assessment, joint operations, law and ethics, emergency response and recovery, event mitigation, emergency rescue and medical operations, incident command, terrorism and national security issues, law enforcement, relief administration, volunteer and citizen coordination, public relations and applications to specific types of incidents.

Institutions providing this program

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Dispute resolution

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class includes 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

Forensic science and technology

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

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the application of the physical, biomedical, and social sciences to the analysis and evaluation of physical evidence, human testimony and criminal suspects. These programs include courses in forensic medicine, forensic dentistry, anthropology, psychology, pathology, forensic laboratory technology, crime scene analysis, fingerprint technology, document analysis, pattern analysis, examination procedures, applicable laws and regulations, and professional standards and ethics.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

International relations and national security studies, other

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

This instructional program class includes 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

Peace studies and conflict resolution

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

This instructional program class includes 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

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Royal Canadian Mounted Police - Nova Scotia
3139 Oxford Street Box 2286
Halifax, NS B3J 3E1
Tel: (902) 426-3644
Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Policing Services Division
P.O. Box 7, 1690 Hollis Street
Halifax, NS B3J 2L6
Tel: (902) 424-4030

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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