Police officers protect the public’s safety, make sure that federal, provincial and municipal laws are followed, and prevent and investigate crime.
This career group includes military police and railway police.
Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a police officer is like.
Police officers in B.C. work for police departments (PDs) that serve specific cities such as the Vancouver PD or Victoria PD. They also work for B.C. Transit Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which is run by the federal government. The RCMP provides contract policing to cities and towns that don’t have their own police force. In addition, they provide contract policing for the Province of B.C.
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 3,380
Police officers work in indoor and outdoor settings and may have to deal with a range of weather conditions. They may spend their shifts in patrol cars, in an office setting at a police detachment or at different types of crime and accident scenes. Police work can be dangerous and has the potential for injuries.
Source: 2016 Census
To be a police officer, a secondary school diploma is required. In addition, completion of a college program or university degree in law and security or in the social sciences is usually needed. A three- to six-month police training program is provided upon being hired.
Physical ability, strength, fitness and vision requirements must be met, and psychological or other tests may also be needed.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
The ability to remain calm during highly stressful situations is crucial for a person with this job. Police officers regularly interact with members of the public, including those accused of crimes and victims of crimes. For many people, contact with a police officer may come during an upsetting, scary or tragic time in their life and they may react with anger, fear or even act violently. Good communication skills and empathy are needed since police officers deal with many people each day.
Police officers often work in culturally diverse neighbourhoods and communities and it’s important for them to understand different cultures and ways of life. In addition, being able to speak a second language is a valuable skill.
Police officers can progress in this career or work in specialized policing fields if they have the required work experience and have completed specialized courses.