Probation Officer Salary
The median pay for Probation Officers comes out to approximately $40K per year in the United States, but employers in Los Angeles offer the most; the average salary in that city is around $74K. Probation Officers will also find cushy salaries in Minneapolis (+74 percent), Pittsburgh (+37 percent), New York (+32 percent), and Phoenix (+25 percent). This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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 Officer Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Probation Officer
Maricopa County offers the largest salaries in town — $48K on average.
Popular Skills for Probation Officer
Survey takers who work as Probation Officers report a focused set of job 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 pay less than market rate include Legal Compliance. Most people experienced in Case Management also know Counseling.
Pay by Experience Level for Probation Officer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Probation Officers. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $37K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $42K. Probation Officers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $46K. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $57K.