Career Path for Corrections Professionals
Officers enjoy many opportunities for career mobility and growth including moving up the ranks and working in different program areas at facilities throughout the province.
Opportunities for Growth
A career in corrections presents many opportunities to take on new posts or move to a whole new position with different responsibilities:
- Living Units - officers supervise and manage inmates through daily routines. They are critical to the overall operation of the centre and are the inmate's first point of contact
- Programs - may include a variety of tasks including delivering correctional programs that address thought patterns, behaviour and lifestyles that are known to contribute to crime; liaising with volunteers; facilitating visits; supervising recreation; escorting inmates or contractors within the centre; supervising the library and assisting the health care centre
- Control - key in responding to emergencies; monitor and manage surveillance, security and communication systems
- Records - responsible for managing movement of inmates between courts and other provincial and federal centres
- Classification - determines where an inmate is placed within the correctional centre considering multiple complex factors
- Tactical Teams - specially trained officers to respond to centre emergencies
- Critical Incident Response Teams - specially trained officers who provide support to colleagues in times of stress
- Honour Guard - formal group of officers who represent corrections in ceremonies, parades, funerals and memorial events
Start as a security officer
As a paramilitary structure, the entry rank and training position is: security officer. While working as a security officer, you will gain experience in a variety of settings within the centre. After completing the required training, you will be promoted to correctional officer—a rank that will be identified by a single chevron on your uniform.
Seek new challenges as a correctional officer
Throughout your career as a correctional officer, you will have numerous opportunities to develop new skills and challenge yourself in new posts. A variety of service areas and programs within provincial correctional centres gives employees opportunities to try new things, and with nine centres throughout the province—each with different assets—BC Corrections can continue to meet your lifestyle priorities as they evolve.
Career paths in corrections
Our correctional officers are supported by a variety of other corrections professionals within our centres. They include instructors, supervisors and managers. After you've gained experience as a front-line officer, you may wish to apply for other positions in the correctional centres. Ongoing discussion with your supervisors will help form a plan to prepare you for future opportunities.
Hundreds of opportunities in the BC Public Service
Many B.C. correctional officers have successfully transitioned into other areas of the BC Public Service, including probation, court services, policy and numerous investigation and enforcement positions. As a provincial public servant, you'll continue to receive the same great benefits enjoyed as a correctional officer in other areas of government.
Are you a career advisor or career counsellor?
Our Career Advisor Guide (PDF, 755KB) will assist you in providing information and facilitating sessions on careers as B.C. correctional officers. It includes labour market information, articles and activities for use in classroom and advisory settings.