Police Officer Job Overview
Police officers are responsible for preventing crime and keeping the public safe. Specific assignments may vary from one day to the next, but all police offers should have an intimate understanding of the law. They're responsible for enforcing municipal, provincial, and federal statutes. They must work well under pressure and know how to make decisions quickly. Police officers should be well-spoken and detail-oriented. They may have to mediate disputes or give evidence in court.
Police officers can work within specialized units, which may include:
- Emergency Services
- Criminal Intelligence
- Military Police
- Mounted Police
- Canine Units
Police Officer Job Education Requirements
Candidates must have at least four years of high school education or the equivalent for many police officer jobs. To apply for a position as a police officer, the applicant must be at least 18 years of age, in good physical and mental health, and of good moral character.
Applicants to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police must be willing to spend six months at the RCMP Academy Depot for training and be willing to relocate anywhere in Canada. Recruits for other areas may only attend training five days a week with weekends off. Salary and benefits are generally paid during police training.
Police Officer Job Market
Job opportunities for police officers are expected to be fair in the coming years, with steady job openings from retiring officers. Most police officers in Canada spend their working lives on the force. The low turnover means that job openings are highly competitive when they're available. However, police officers in Canada can retire at age 55. Approximately 65 percent of new job openings are expected to come from retiring officers. Previous work in a related area such as security or border patrol can improve an applicant's chances of landing a job as a police officer.
Police Officer Job Salary Information
The average salary for police officer jobs in Canada is between C$60,000 and C$70,000 a year. Hourly wages vary by location. The average hourly wage in London, Ontario, is C$39. Meanwhile, police officers on Prince Edward Island make an average of C$27.28 an hour.Law enforcement salaries increase steadily with experience. Constables in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police begin with a salary of C$50,674. After the first 36 months of service, this has typically increased to C$82,108. Police officers also receive excellent benefits which include vacation days, a pension plan, medical and dental plans, and paid maternity and paternity leave.