Royal Canadian Mounted Police Job Information

Explore a Career with the RCMP

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer. Michael Wheatley/Getty Images

Their signature red dress blouse and khaki campaign hat may very well be the most recognizable police uniform in the world. They also happen to be among the best-known law enforcement agencies in the world, enjoying similar legendary status as Scotland Yard, the FBI, and the Texas Rangers. That respect and world renown, though, is but one of many reasons to consider joining the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and becoming a “mountie.”

History of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The RCMP traces its roots back to 1873 with the creation of a central police force by the Canadian parliament. Original known as the North-west Mounted Police, the new force was sent west to protect and patrol Canada’s western frontier.

Though formed and organized much like a military regimen, the Canadians were careful to emphasize the mounted force as a policing organization as opposed to an army. The red uniforms are an homage to the British red coats. In the 1920s, the force was merged with Canada’s eastern Dominion Police Force and took on the name Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

What Do Royal Canadian Mounted Police Do?

Mounties, as RCMP police officers are fondly called, provide police services to most of the provinces and territories in Canada. As a national police service, the RCMP is responsible for law enforcement, investigations and intelligence gathering at the local, provincial and federal levels.

Like police officers in the United States, RCMP police officers conduct investigations, provide traffic enforcement, perform criminal and contraband interdiction, engage in community policing strategies, give safety education talks and provide security to their areas of assignment.

Unlike the more compartmentalized police operations in the United States, RCMP officers may often find themselves the only law enforcement service in a region.

Though federal officers, RCMP police function more like local law enforcement officers throughout Canada.

Where Do RCMP Mounties Work?

The RCMP contracts with most provinces in Canada, and mounties may work just about anywhere the RCMP needs to staff officers.Two notable exceptions are Ontario and Quebec, where the two provinces provide their own provincial police forces.

Though they enjoy nationwide jurisdiction, much of the RCMP's area of responsibility covers rural areas and territories where a full-fledged local or municipal police force would be too expensive and impractical to maintain.

After graduation from RCMP basic police training, new officers may be stationed anywhere in Canada, based on the needs of the agency. Therefore, the RCMP is adamant that anyone they hire be ready and willing to serve anywhere in the country, and emphasize that they may likely be sent to rural and remote areas. RCMP police officers may move several times throughout their career as the needs arise or as they attempt to move into specialty units or promotional opportunities.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Mountie?

The requirements to become a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are quite similar to those of many police departments in the United States.

To apply, you have to be at least 19 years old, a Canadian citizen and at least a high school graduate. You must also be proficient in the English or French languages.

Aspiring RCMP police officers face stringent background investigations. They undergo psychological evaluations and a polygraph exam as part of the very selective hiring process. It’s very important to stay out of trouble and avoid drug use, criminal behavior and other similar issues that could keep you from getting hired.

Once hired, RCMP cadets attend residential training at The Depot, the RCMP training facility located in Regina, Saskatchewan. The intensive 24-week program is taught in both English and French and provides the basic skills Canadian police officers need to keep themselves and others safe and protect the public.

Cadets are given a stipend during their training and their housing, meals, and travel to and from The Depot are covered.

How Much Do Royal Mounted Police Officers Earn?

Keeping in mind that salary and benefits should not be the driving force in deciding whether or not you want to be a police officer, RCMP officers start their careers earning more than $50,000 (Canadian). According to the RCMP, officers can expect to earn $82,000 after 36 months in the service.