The police officer occupation is one of the few jobs where education is not a barrier to earning potential. According to the Ontario government, the average annual police officer salary in Ontario with a high school diploma (or equivalent), earned $106,788 in 2016 compared to police officers with a bachelor’s degree who earned $106,543. Interestingly enough, degree holders earned $245/year less.
This is great news for those who only have a high school diploma but are looking for a fulfilling career with high-earning potential.
While education barriers are relatively low, becoming a police officer in Ontario is not a job that just any high school graduate can land.
In this article, we outline key information to help you land your dream job including:
Job Outlook for Ontario Police Officers
The labour market conditions for police officer jobs are currently “Average”. This indicates that these jobs are not difficult to find nor are they necessarily in abundance. Salaries have increased at a slower rate compared to jobs rated as “Above average”, but faster than those rated as “Below average”.
According to the Job Bank, employment growth and retirement will lead to a moderate number of new positions. In other words, the balanced labour market from 2016 - 2018 means there have been as many jobs available as there have been job seekers.
Top 2 Regions in Ontario
In Ontario, the top two regions with the highest number of expected job openings are currently Toronto and Ottawa. The total number of expected job openings from 2017 - 2021 is between 4,001 - 5,000 with 68% of those jobs being replacement jobs and 32% being new jobs.
In this region, the number of job postings available is 170.
In this region, the number of job postings available is 56.
Other regions have a significantly lower number of opportunities (less than 20).
How Long Does It Take to Become a Police Officer in Ontario?
There is no set time period for the hiring process. It varies between police agencies and also depends on the successful completion of all the stages in the application process. You can expect to set aside 6 months for the application process.
If you are not successful in any part of the process, some police agencies may require a one-year waiting period before another application can be submitted.
To find out how long it takes at the police agency of your choice, contact the police agency directly.
You can also read more about the general guidelines (and disqualifiers) for becoming a police officer in Canada here.
What are the Minimum Requirements for Ontario Police Officer Applicants in Ontario?
Before applying, ensure that you meet the minimum requirements. The following list of application requirements applies to most police agencies in Ontario:
- Minimum 18 years of age
- Fluency in English
- Good driving record
- Be in excellent health
- Have good character
- Canadian high school diploma or equivalent
- Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
- Valid current standard first aid / CPR “C” certification
- Class 'G' driver's license, full driving privileges, and a maximum of 6 demerit points
- Meet the necessary level of physical abilities, vision standards, and hearing standards
- No criminal convictions which have not been pardoned and no criminal charges pending
In addition to the above, the Toronto Police Service requires candidates to meet the following requirements:
- Possess a valid O.A.C.P. (Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Certificate) certificate,
- Be able to pass a security clearance as well as a background investigation, credit check, and reference check.
Willingness to serve anywhere in the province is an additional requirement for those applying to the Ontario Provincial Police.
LEARN MORE: How to Become a Police Officer in Canada & Disqualifiers to Avoid
Police Officer Salaries in Ontario
The provincial hourly rate ranges from $30.05-$57.69/hr with a median hourly wage of $46.15/hr. The salary range for police officers in Ontario is $56k-$117k/year, while the median annual salary is $97,115/year.
The median employment income in 2015 for police officers in Toronto was $107,627. The median employment income in 2015 for police officers in Ottawa was $105,533, and the median employment income in 2015 for police officers in Hamilton was $106,485.
The starting salary at the Toronto Police Service is $70,643.30/year. By the fourth year, expected the annual salary to be $100,923.48/year. Benefits include paid vacation, family medical and dental benefits, life insurance, pension plan, and paternal and maternity leave.
The starting salary at the Ottawa Police Service is $67,615.92/year. By the fourth year, depending on your performance reviews, the annual salary is expected to increase to $99,434.93/year. Benefits include education reimbursement programs, a generous pension plan, medical, dental and vision coverage, life insurance, as well as long-term disability insurance.
Meanwhile, if working for the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the average salary is roughly $100,500/year.
Here is a list of average salaries for police officers in Ontario, according to Glassdoor:
|Toronto Police Service||$108,922||$95K - $115K|
|Peel Regional Police||$77,735||$60K - $93K|
|City of Hamilton||$98,688||$90K – 100K|
|City of Toronto||$102,548||$67K - $117K|
|Ontario Provincial Police||$100,501||$100K – 103K|
|York Regional Police||$86,968||$77K - $95K|
|Ottawa Police Service||$98,508||$56K - $195K|
|Halton Regional Police||$103,049||$98K - $104K|
Looking to get into a career in policing? Check out some of our Paladin to Policing stories.
How to Become an Ontario Provincial Police Officer (OPP)
Interested in joining the Ontario Provincial Police? Here are just a few of the minimum qualifications needed to beat out the competition:
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must have an Ontario Secondary School program diploma (grade 12), or equivalent
- Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Must have a value Class ‘G’ license with no more than six demerit points.
- Must not have a criminal record
- Must be certified in standard first aid and CPR
- Must pass medical, psychological, security, and financial assessment tests
Another must for the OPP? Being in top physical condition and having a willingness to serve. The latter is one to consider as detachments range from being located in large urban areas to small, isolated settings. When applying, you must pick your top six locations.
If you become a successful hire, the Constable Selection System requires a medical assessment be completed. This includes meeting the hearing and vision standards.
Check out this self-assessment tool to see where you stand.
Toronto Police Officer Application Process
The process outlined below belongs to the Toronto Police Service. Most police agencies in Ontario follow a similar process.
- Obtain an OACP Certificate of Results from http://www.OACPCertificate.ca
- Complete medical exams for hearing and vision tests.
- Start an ongoing fitness log; logs from the most current two-weeks may be requested at any time.
- Submit a Toronto Police Service online application
- Pre-Background Questionnaire and written interview
- Complete a fitness assessment, obtaining a minimum of Level 7
- In-person interviews
- Complete the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory
- Background Investigation
- Psychological Assessment
- Conditional Offer of Employment
Applicants can be declined at any stage in the application process. The most suitable candidates in the application pool are selected amongst those who pass every stage.
Once you have been selected, you advance to recruit training. In the Toronto Police Service application process, you are sent to the Ontario Police College for recruit training. Recruits need to pass this program in order to become a police officer.
Prepare for a Police Career at Paladin
Start your career in security and make your police officer application stand out by working at Paladin Security. At Paladin, Canada’s highest paying and most reputable security company, we'll help prepare you to advance into an occupation as a police officer.
Prepare for your policing career with Paladin Security.
I have done bachelor in computer science. Is it necessary to do police course in Ontario for police service
Arpit Agarwal says
Hello I wanted to know whether an ordinary citizen of India can become an officer in the above mentioned .
Christina Heydanus says
Hi Arpit, we currently only hire candidates who live in Canada and are eligible to work in the country. Thank you for your interest in Paladin Security.
Unnati Patel says
I would like to make my career as police officer, and start training with Paladin security
Christina Heydanus says
Hi Unnati, please check out our careers page for open positions with Paladin. https://paladinsecurity.com/careers/
Rena Grimm says
so you don’t have to go to university or college or get a digree in criminal law or law enforcement or whatever it is to become a police officer in Ontario? (my daughter wants to be a police officer soon, she is 16, so I am asking on her behalf)
Christina Heydanus says
Hi Rena, that’s correct! Toronto Police provide all the necessary training for selected applicants.
Sharanjit kaur says
Hey , how are you ? I just want some details about police officer course or process . I am permanent resident since 2014 .
Niki Shemirani says
Hi, I am almost 18 and I will be graduated by the end of this December. I am very interested in becoming a police officer and I’d like to know that is there any specific programs, colleges or even universities that I have to go to, to become a police officer in Toronto? If yes, could you please tell me what are they? If no, could you please tell me what I should do after I got my diploma from high school? Where I should go? Where I can study it?
Christina Heydanus says
Hi Niki, great to hear! If you’d like to become an officer in Toronto, you can apply on the site as no prior training is necessary. However, a background in security is always looked fondly on, as it’s a great place to gain expereince.
Adab Jatt says
I am currently working with Paladin Security and i know, one day I’ll become a police Officer.
Hi everyone, I had my high schooling from different country, what would be my first step towards becoming a cop?
Douglas Cadeau-Mark says
Hi i am wondering if you can become a cop with cochlear implants that gives you average hearing.
Christina Heydanus says
Hi Douglas, while the specifications on the Vancouver Police site (as an example) state hearing standards will be assessed, it’s best if you contact the Recruiting Section for the agency you’re interested in and get a definitive answer before proceeding.