Probation Officer Salary and Career Information

probation officerA median probation officer salary can be upwards of $50,000 and can even reach the high $70,000 for the top 10% in the industry, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. If you have ever considered becoming a probation officer, you will need to understand what you will need to do to qualify for the position and what the job entails. A probation officer’s salary can vary depending on seniority, rank and department the officer works in. For instance, a juvenile probation officer salary may be different than an adult oriented probation officer.

Probation officer jobs are very relevant within the court systems. The primary probation officer duties are to supervise legal offenders who have been sentenced to probation as a mandate by the court in order to fulfill their sentence. Probations officers serve as a supervisor to the client by ensuring that the client is meeting the stipulations set forth by the courts. The probation officer job description usually requires that the officer tracks the progress of each client by ensuring that they are living the productive, non-criminal lifestyle that is required.  The officer’s job is also to report to the courts when stipulated conditions are not being met by the client or if there is concern of criminal behavior or disregard of the law.

Probation officer job requirements also mean that the officer must write appropriate reports on each client and report to the judge as to the progress of the client. Their job is to be the “eyes and ears” of the judge so that the judge can make an appropriate decision on each sentence based on how each client met his or her stipulations and if they did so in the time set by the courts. They are also responsible for investigating court violations made by clients during their probation period.

In most states, a student must obtain a degree in criminal justice, social work or a related field to meet the minimum probation officer qualifications.  However, many probation officers choose to continue their education and graduate with a master’s degree in either psychology, criminal justice or social work. Most universities and several community colleges and even trade schools offer some type or criminal justice degree program. It is important to check with your state to find out the education requirements for becoming a probation officer within that state.

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Once the education requirements have been met, the potential employee must meet the remaining requirements before they can apply for probation officer employment. Age requirements must be met and physical examinations and state certifications must all be passed before an application can be rendered. Many court systems also require that a probation officer work as a trainee for a certain amount of time before they secure a permanent position within that system.

To learn more about  probation officer salary, education and career information, research the field online, call local court systems or visit your local college and ask the questions you need to make an informed decision about your possible new career goal.

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