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Canada’s Best Jobs 2014: Social, Community or Correctional Services Manager

Working with kids, or with cons

Toronto South Detention Centre

Interior of the Toronto South Detention Centre (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star/Getty)

Median Salary: $67,600
Change in salary (2007–2013): +27%
Total employees: 33,000

A wide range of jobs are covered by this category, as social services can include work in everything from employment support to recreational facilities, while managerial work in correctional services is carried out primarily in the Canadian prison system. If you’re looking to fill a managerial role in any of these capacities though, your prospects are good.

How to Qualify: If you’re looking to be a manager in community services, Service Canada says you’ll likely need a university or college degree or diploma in order to move up the ranks and occupy this job. Same goes for new entrants in social and correctional services. Studies in social sciences are an asset, and a few postsecondary institutions in Canada now offer specific programs in social work. Most importantly, moving into a management position in any of these sectors requires lots of experience in the field. Starting off as a social worker or at an entry level position in community or correctional services is the way to get started.

Money: Salaries for those in managerial roles for community and social services vary across the country, often even amongst regions in provinces. The City of Toronto’s Ontario Works program offers a case study though. Natalie Creer, a manager in employment and social services at Ontario Works in Toronto says that those in “front line delivery” managerial positions make between about $96,000 and $121,000 per year. Correctional Services Canada, meanwhile, has set amounts for salaries depending on which managerial role you occupy. Managers and wardens of various stripes would be included in this category, and can expect to make between about $74,000 and $108,000 per year depending on their rank.

Opportunity: Jobs for managers in healthcare, education, social work, community and correctional services are expected to be in excess supply into 2020, according to Employment and Social Development Canada. All of these areas of employment experienced a shortage of workers for managerial positions between 2008 and 2010, a trend that is expected to continue.

What it’s Like: When it comes to working in correctional services, “it’s not a misconception that it can be a very stressful environment,” says Matt James, the assistant warden of interventions at the medium-security Grande Cache Institution in Alberta. “But the key is this—the job satisfaction that comes from making a concrete contribution to the public safety of Canadians is an extremely motivating thing. It keeps you working hard every day.”

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