Jail Guards

Jail Guards

We're hiring for 2018!

Working as a Vancouver Jail Guard offers a unique opportunity with a competitive salary, benefits and a flexible work schedule. Jail guards have restricted peace officer status, but are not police officers. They perform specific authorized duties.

The position lends itself to developing life experience and communication skills, and can also provide preparation for future careers within the criminal justice system, such as policing or corrections.

The Vancouver Jail is located adjacent the Provincial Courthouse at Main Street and East Cordova. It is a challenging work environment – on any given night you may deal with everything from intoxicated persons to murderers.

Many VPD officers began their careers in the Vancouver Jail. For some it was a chance to mature; for others, it was a great employment opportunity while they worked their way through college or university.

The qualification and selection of Jail Guards is similar to that of our police officer hiring process.


  1. Attend an Information Session at the Justice Institute of B.C. in New Westminster. Please dress professionally.

  2. Download and complete an application package and an integrity and lifestyle questionnaire according to the stated directions.

  3. Mail your completed forms to:

    Vancouver Police Department
    2120 Cambie Street
    Vancouver, BC V5K 5J5

OR drop them off at our Public Information Counter in a sealed envelope marked "Attention: Recruiting."



To apply for a position as a Vancouver Jail Guard, you must meet the following requirements:

  • minimum 19 years of age
  • Grade 12 graduation or GED equivalent
  • physically fit and in excellent health
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • vision corrected to 20/20 and must meet colour vision standards
  • no business or employment conflict of interest
  • no criminal convictions, no adult criminal charges pending
  • no history of improper conduct, poor employment, military, education or driving record, that would affect your suitability for uniform duties
  • standard first aid / CPR certification (minimum 16-hour course meeting provincial standards, issued within one year prior to application date - current "Level C" CPR certificate equivalent to Canadian/American Heart and Stroke Foundation)

The following are considered assets, but not pre-requisites to applying:

  • previous experience as a prison guard or peace officer
  • second language fluency

Selection Process

  • attend an Information Session at the Justice Institute of BC in New Westminster
  • receive your application form at the Information Session
  • entrance exam – a score of 50% is required to pass (sample written exam)
  • integrity and lifestyle questionnaire - documents outlining your personal background
  • Correctional Officers Physical Abilities Test (COPAT)
  • intake interview – conducted by a Recruiting detective, this includes a review of your integrity and lifestyle questionnaire
  • polygraph examination
  • medical exam (with your own doctor)
  • background investigation


Training for new Jail Guards is approximately 13-16 weeks in duration. It takes place on weekday evenings and on weekends in Vancouver. You will be paid during training, and sworn in as a Jail Guard. Training includes, but is not limited to:

  • legal studies
  • use of force
  • policy and procedures
  • on the job "jail" training

Work Duties

Vancouver Jail Guards

  • books, searches, guards, escorts and attends to the welfare of inmates in the cell area
  • monitors, controls and restricts the movement of persons within the unit
  • appraises behavioural situations that may be potentially dangerous; restrains aggressive or violent inmates; responds to emergencies and maintains non-complex records
  • works independently within clearly defined methods and procedures, however, unusual matters or problems are referred to a superior who reviews work performance in terms of continued alertness, attitude and adherence to established practices and procedures

Work Schedule

Once jail guards are hired, they join an auxiliary employee list, where the work schedule is based on staffing needs in the jail and the auxiliary jail guard's availability. A part-time auxiliary jail guard may advance to a full-time position dependent on vacancies and qualifications.

Full-time employement offers a work week consisting of:

  • four days on, four days off
  • 12-hour shifts – two days (6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) and two nights (6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.)
  • 2,191 hours annually


Each pay increment is attained yearly for full-time Jail Guards, and after 2,088 hours worked for part-time casual Jail Guards.

Jail Guard

  • Step 1: $25.98 hourly
  • Step 2: $28.20 hourly
  • Step 3: $30.50 hourly

As of January 1, 2018:

  • Step 1: $26.63 hourly
  • Step 2: $28.91 hourly
  • Step 3: $31.26 hourly


Full-time Jail Guards enjoy extensive benefits, such as:

  • three weeks of holidays annually (to start)
  • overtime pay when working holidays
  • uniforms and uniform cleaning supplied
  • medical and dental coverage
  • access to gym facilities (guards are expected to be physically fit)
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Social Media

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Follow @VPDRecruiting on Twitter.

Police Information Check

*Please note, you must obtain and include a Police Information Check (also known as a criminal records check) that includes a Vulnerable Sector Check, in the jurisdiction in which you live as part of your online application - fees vary. Information for Vancouver residents

Recruitment FAQs

See the VPD's Recruitment FAQs for some frequently asked questions (and answers) on our recruitment process.