Probation Officer

Some individuals who are charged with crimes are allowed to serve out their sentences in the community rather than remain incarcerated. In such cases however the behavior and whereabouts of these criminals must be monitored. Probation officers who are sometimes known as “community supervision officers” work in the field of law enforcement. They monitor individuals that are on probation to make sure that they do not commit any more crimes and also to check that they are getting prescribed rehabilitation services for such things as drug and alcohol abuse. Probation officers are federal or state government employees and they can be responsible for as many as 100 cases at a time. Each time a case is assigned probation officers interview their assigned individuals to determine what type of social services and oversight is needed. Detailed records are kept about their clients’ activities and progress. When their clients violate a court order probation officers must notify the court. The website says that applicants for probation officer jobs are usually expected to have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as sociology or criminal justice. Having a graduate degree in psychology or related field makes applicants more marketable. On-the-job training is usually given and upon completion probation officers must be certified. Sometimes probation officers work in an assistant capacity for up to a year but employers usually look for individuals with some experience in the correctional or social welfare fields. Employment opportunities in this field are expected to grow over the coming decade. According to the website probation officers in the United States earn an average annual salary of $42000. However depending on location and employer those with extensive experience can earn more than $78000 a year.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $60000
High Salary: $78000
Low Salary: $42000
Tasks: Supervises people on probation.
Updates the court on clients' activities.
Petitions courts to modify probation orders.
Keeps detailed records of visits with clients.
Also Called: Parole Officer
Community Supervision Officer
Court Officer
Probation Social Worker
Additional Resources: