Probation Officer Job Profile

Pursuing a probation officer job can provide you with an exciting career as well as allow you to make a difference in the lives of others. Here are the basics of being a probation officer and what you should expect out of the career.

Becoming a Probation Officer

Probation officers are typically required to complete a certain amount of education before being considered for a job. Most employers will require that you least have a bachelors degree in some type of behavioral science. Many are choosing to pursue a master's degree in order to increase their chances of finding employment. Some fields that you might choose to get a degree in are sociology, psychology, and criminology. Before you can get a job as a probation officer, you will also need to gain experience as a social worker or correctional officer. When you find a job, you will go through an on-the-job training process as well.

Basic Tasks

A probation officer acts as a liaison between the court and convicted criminals. If a criminal is sentenced to probation instead of going to prison, a probation officer will be responsible for monitoring them. Probation officers regularly check in with the criminals that they are assigned to work with. They will also be responsible for reporting their progress to the courts. Therefore, there will be a fair amount of paperwork that is involved with the job. Probation officers have to work on the go as they sometimes have as many as 100 cases that they have to attend to at one time. They will utilize technology such as ankle bracelets to keep track of certain criminals. 

In order to be a successful probation officer, you need to be able to deal directly with people. You will have to interact with convicted felons on a daily basis as well as court personnel.

Work Schedule

A typical probation officer will work approximately 40 hours per week. However, you have to be flexible because you will sometimes have to meet with people after working hours. You will also have to do quite a bit of driving to get to appointments.


The average salary for a probation officer is approximately $40,000 per year.

Opportunities for Advancement

Probation officers can advance their career in a number of different ways. Many of them can receive raises or promotions based upon passing civil service tests. Probation officers have the possibility of advancing to a management role over other probation officers. They could eventually become the chief probation officer for a particular area. Probation officers can also become the director of probation departments and oversee many people at once. In order to advance, you will need to pursue a master's degree as well as other forms of continuing education.

Finding a Job

If you are looking for a job as a probation officer, you should refer to They have a great up to date job board as well as other important information for job seekers.