PROBATION OFFICER CAREER PATH
Probation officers dedicate their careers to helping rehabilitate people who have served time behind bars — keeping them out of jail after their sentences have been completed. The probation officer career path offers meaningful work to those who want to impact the criminal justice field.
WHAT EDUCATION AND TRAINING DO PROBATION OFFICERS NEED?
In most cases, a four-year college degree is required to work as a probation officer. Probation officer requirements typically specify that candidates must have degrees in criminal justice, social work, behavioral science or related fields.
Probation officers must also complete job-specific training provided by the employing state or federal government agency, and must pass certification tests at the end of training.
WHAT ARE SOME TYPICAL PROBATION OFFICER DUTIES?
The probation officer job description involves meeting with parolees who have been released from prison on parole. Probation officers rely on their critical-thinking, decision-making, organizational and communication skills to handle the rigors of their jobs.
Here are some examples of typical probation officer duties:
- Interviewing and meeting with probationers and parolees
- Evaluating their progress
- Conducting tests for drugs and other substances
- Providing training and other resources designed to help with the rehabilitation process
- Testifying in court proceedings
- Writing detailed reports
- Maintaining accurate and complete records and files
WHY CONSIDER PURSUING PROBATION OFFICER CAREERS?
Criminal justice professionals who choose to work as probation officers have the opportunity to see the results of their efforts when they are able to help rehabilitate convicted criminals. Of course, in some cases, probationers are not able to meet the goals of their probation plans and probation officers must make difficult, disheartening decisions. However, when a probationer is able to make progress, the probation officer career path can be extremely rewarding.
The median probation officer salary in the U.S., as of May 2019, was $54,290. Probation officers working for local governments earn a slightly higher annual compensation of $57,920. In many cases, probation officers are employees of federal, state or local governments. Thus, they are entitled to government benefit packages on top of their salaries.
ENTER THE PROBATION OFFICER CAREER PATH WITH A DEGREE FROM Generations COLLEGE
Earning your Criminal Justice degree from Generations College is the first step toward becoming a probation officer. Our Criminal Justice degree program provides foundational knowledge in the following areas:
- Constitutional, civil, and criminal law and procedures
- Forensic and evidentiary training
- Criminal justice theory and policy framework
- Ethical pitfalls and how to address them
- The interconnectivity between corrections, parole and probation
Graduates of this accredited two-year program who want to work as probation officers can go on to complete four-year degrees under established articulation agreements with well-known institutions such as DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, Columbia College and many others.
With the flexibility to complete program requirements in-person on our Chicago campus or entirely online, Generations College makes it easier than ever for motivated students to prepare for probation officer careers.