The police officer occupation is one of the few jobs where education is not a barrier to earning potential. According to the Ontario government, police officers 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.
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).
Minimum Requirements for Ontario Police Officer Applicants
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.
Police Officer Salaries in Ontario
The provincial hourly rate ranges from $28.31-$57.00/hr with a median hourly wage of $45.08/hr.
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.
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.
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.
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