How to Become a Police Officer in Canada
Published August 22, 2023.
Job prospects are very strong for those seeking to become a police officer in Canada. From 2022-2031, an estimated 38,900 police officer positions are expected to be available across the country. Quebec, in particular, has excellent job prospects over this period.
The steps to becoming a police officer in Canada vary from province to province. In this blog, we’ll discuss the basic requirements to become a police officer and also some additional requirements from specific provinces. We’ll also share the responsibilities that police officers have and the average salary that they earn.
What is needed to become a police officer in Canada?
In order to become a police officer, you must have permanent status in Canada either as a permanent resident, Canadian citizen, provincial nominee, protected person or refugee. Other requirements that most police agencies ask for are:
- Proficiency in English and/or French
- A Canadian high school diploma or equivalent
- Excellent vision, hearing and overall health
- Strong physical abilities
- Excellent character
- No criminal convictions and no criminal charges pending
Each province has its own set of requirements, in addition to the above. For example, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) expects all applicants to have a valid BC Class 5 driver’s license and an excellent driving record. VPD applicants must also have a current first aid certification and an additional 30 academic post-secondary credits.
The Toronto police force expects applicants to be at least 18 years old, with a valid driver’s license and a maximum of 6 demerit points. They also ask for current certification in first aid and CPR. More information about province-specific requirements to become a police officer are available here.
What responsibilities does a police officer have in Canada?
Police officers have an enormous amount of authority but they are expected to use that authority responsibly. If you are planning to become a police officer in Canada, it’s important to understand the kinds of duties you would have on a day-to-day basis. The typical job duties of a Canadian police officer include:
- Responding to emergency calls and complaints from the public and arresting suspected criminals
- Executing search warrants as needed
- Patrolling assigned areas to maintain public safety and order
- Providing emergency assistance to victims of crimes, accidents or natural disasters
- Monitoring traffic to ensure motorists are adhering to the rules of the road
- Controlling and managing crowds at public events and protests
- Performing administrative tasks such as managing and updating files
What is the average police officer salary in Canada?
In Canada, police officers earn between $28 and $58 per hour. This amount varies slightly from province to province. In Ontario, police officers can expect to get anywhere between $31.25 and $57.69 per hour. Police officers based in Newfoundland and Labrador earn between $25 and $54.22. More information about a police officer’s earnings in Canada is available here.
If you’re a newcomer with permanent status in Canada, you can apply to become a police officer once you meet the necessary criteria. Specialized training or certification may be required for specific elements of policing.
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