Probation Officer Training
Individuals who want to become a probation officer must have a completed college degree in criminal justice, corrections, criminal psychology, social psychology, social work, or any related field. However, some states also require at least one year of graduate study. A previous experience in a related field, such as corrections or social psychology, will also be helpful, depending on the type of court he wants to work with.
A probation officer works under the direct supervision of the Chief Officer, First Assistant Chief Probation Officer, or Assistant Chief Probation Officer. Most probation officers work in adult, juvenile or family divisions of probation departments. State and County courts also provide divisions for probation officers. In large areas, probation officers may specialize in one aspect of probation work, such as job placement. In small areas with fewer clients, probation officers handle all aspects of the job.
What are the duties and responsibilities of a probation officer?
Probation officers have a wide range of duties. They carefully investigate an offender’s personal history, background and records of the offenses they have committed. They also analyze the client’s behavior, communicate with family members and employers of clients, and work with lawyers and judges. Probation officers also assist in the rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole.
What are the requirements to become a probation officer?
Applicants for probation officer must be at least 21 years of age, no criminal record, and have excellent interviewing and writing skills. They should also pass the written tests, oral interviews, and physical and psychological examinations.
Probation officers must complete a special training where a new probation officer will work with an experienced probation officer. After the training, they can meet with offenders who are sentenced with probation or supervision. These offenders do not need to go to prison for their crime but do need a recommended probation sentence.
How much does a probation officer earn?
The average salary of a probation officer depends on his experience, education, industry and location. Likewise, probation officers in large cities, such as Washington and Los Angeles, earn more than probation officers in less populated, rural areas.
According to PayScale.com, the annual salary of a probation officer with less than a year of experience ranges from $27,978 to $38,343 while a probation officer with more than 20 years of experience can earn between $44,173 and $77,989.
Similarly, probation officers of the Federal government receive the highest pay in the field, ranging from $33,048 to $61,335, while probation officers of state and local government may receive between $31,631 and $45,988. Meanwhile, probation officers who work in private companies earn the lowest pay in the industry. Their annual salary ranges from $24,000-$36,461.