Probation Officer Salary
The average Probation Officer in the United States earns approximately $40K per year. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is location, though years of experience and the individual firm have a (lesser) impact as well. Male Probation Officers are just a bit more common among those who completed the questionnaire than females ones, with male workers composing 52 percent of the field. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Most Probation Officers like their work and job satisfaction is high.
Job Description for Probation Officer
Probation officers are key members of the criminal justice system who help criminal offenders to avoid further misdeeds. They also help to maintain public safety and ensure that individuals who pose a danger to others are kept within the prison system. They work with both the courts and sentencing judges, as well as standard law enforcement officers and the accused or convicted suspects.Read More...
In most court systems, a primary duty of probation officers is to conduct thorough investigations of persons accused of fairly serious crimes. In this investigatory stage, a probation officer must determine what factors in the person's background, education, and environment may have led to the crime in question, and then make recommendations to the court which may be taken into account during sentencing.
In many situations, particularly with non-violent offenders, the court may issue a sentence that includes probation. During that time, the probation officer meets regularly with the offender to ensure that he/she is fulfilling the terms of their probation sentence; typical terms can involve restrictions to travel, rights to bear arms, associations with individuals, alcohol consumption, etc. Probation officers also work with local law enforcement and conduct their own investigations to verify information offered by offenders during probation meetings. During an individual's probation, the officer may make recommendations for relaxing or increasing restrictions for the offender, and they also provide the court with useful information and evidence in the event of a probation violation.
A bachelor's degree in sociology, criminal justice, or a related field is generally required for this position, and most officers also go through rigorous and directed training involving probation laws and regulations within their jurisdiction before being granted certification. Probation officers typically work irregular hours due to the investigatory nature of the work and the need for courtroom appearances and meetings with assigned offenders.
Common Career Paths for Probation Officer
Probation Officers who transition into an upper level Probation Officer or Correctional Treatment Specialist position will not necessarily make much more than they do in their current role. The average Probation Officer or Correctional Treatment Specialist makes $37K a year.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Probation Officer
Probation Officers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Maricopa County, where the average salary comes to $48K.
Popular Skills for Probation Officer
Survey results show that Probation Officers use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Oral / Verbal Communication, Filing Court Documents, Case Management, and Counseling are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Legal Compliance. Those educated in Case Management tend to be well versed in Counseling.
Pay by Experience Level for Probation Officer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $37K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $42K on average. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $45K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $58K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
Probation Officers will find that Los Angeles offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 79 percent. Probation Officers will also find cushy salaries in Minneapolis (+74 percent), Pittsburgh (+37 percent), Dallas (+26 percent), and Phoenix (+24 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 19 percent south of the national average, can be found in St. Louis. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Austin (13 percent lower) and Raleigh (8 percent lower).
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