Juvenile Probation Officer:
Job Duties and Education
1) The first step to becoming a juvenile probation officer is to get a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Criminal Justice, Corrections, Social Work, or a related field. This is generally the minimum education requirement to work as a juvenile probation officer.
2) Other requirements (age, experience, etc.) vary from state to state as well as from one employer to another. Check with the employers in your state to find out their specific requirements.
3) While getting your degree, volunteer or get a part-time job working in a group home, juvenile residential facility, detention center or department of probation. You may want to get your degree online so you have the flexibility to work and go to school at the same time.
Juvenile Probation Officer Careers
As a juvenile probation officer, you may be responsible for providing probationary supervision to juveniles on probation or parole as determined by the courts. You could make visits to the juveniles' home on a regular basis to ensure that they are in compliance with juvenile court orders. You may assist in their rehabilitation by meeting with youths and their families to conduct social histories and assessments. Based on your findings and observations, you'll write reports that include recommendations for the juvenile court about how they should proceed with each individual.
Juvenile Probation Officers Duties
Listed below are specific duties and responsibilities of juvenile probation officers. Please note that the duties may vary depending upon your location, education and experience.
- Develop a supportive relationship with the youth and serve as a positive role model
- Provide case management of children that have been placed on probation, parole, conditional release, etc.
- Maintain and update case files on all delinquent youth in accordance with the Department of Juvenile Justice standards
- Prepare and deliver reports to the court with recommendations for the treatment of juvenile offenders
- Meet with youth, family, school, and other agencies on a regular basis to ensure offenders' compliance
- Schedule drug testing, searches of the juveniles' room and property
- Verify that all of the youths' obligations to the court are met (community service, fines, court appearances, etc.)
- Ensure that juveniles are held accountable for violations by filing probation violations or imposing sanctions
- Update the judicial system on the progress of your offenders
Juvenile Probation Officer Salary and Job Outlook
Now that you've read the probation officer career description, you're probably wondering how much you can make. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for probation officers is $47,200. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Keep in mind that these highest earners generally have the most education, seniority and responsibilities.
The job outlook for juvenile probation officers is good and the BLS predicts a job growth of 18 percent through 2020, which is about as fast as average for all occupations. There is potential to make more money in this field as your career progresses and as you pursue higher education.
Request information from the criminal justice schools below to learn about their bachelor degree programs in Criminal Justice and Corrections and Juvenile Justice Studies. Get on the right track to a career as a juvenile probation officer.
Online Criminal Justice Schools
- BSCJ - Corrections (Online)
- MSCJ - Corrections (Online)
- Bachelor of Arts - Social and Criminal Justice - Corrections Management (Online)
- Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice - Corrections and Case Management (Online)