Juvenile Probation Officer

Guide young offenders toward a lawful lifestyle.
picture of Juvenile Probation Officer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$31,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Juvenile Probation Officers do?

A Juvenile Probation Officer supervises juvenile offenders who have been sentenced to probation, either instead of prison or in combination with it as part of a reduced sentence. Unfortunately, criminals are like candies: They come in all shapes and sizes — including miniature. A Juvenile Probation Officer works with the miniature.

Because they typically would rather reform young people than punish them, many Judges give offenders under 18 years of age probation when they’re arrested for drugs, theft, vandalism, or violence. In that case, it’s your job as a Juvenile Probation Officer to make sure they stay on the straight and narrow until their probation is over.

To do that, you work with youth offenders to develop a plan that will help them rehabilitate, make amends, and otherwise satisfy the terms of their probation. Often, this plan includes a combination of counseling, community service, court appearances, and academic performance.

Of course, it’s also your job to make sure this plan is followed. That requires visiting the juvenile offenders at home, or meeting with them at your office. It also requires conferencing regularly with their parents or guardians, Teachers, and Guidance Counselors.

For Probation Officers who work with adults, the job is primarily about enforcing rules and ensuring compliance. Because you work with young people, however, you do a lot more than babysit the criminals in your case files. You also mentor them, serving as a role model who encourages improved behavior and helps guide them on the path to a more productive future.

Should I be a Juvenile Probation Officer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Certified Juvenile Probation Officer, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, Deputy Juvenile Officer See More

    How to Become a
    Juvenile Probation Officer

    Most Juvenile Probation Officers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:afa9fa&chl=|certificate+%287%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2886%25%29|master%27s+%287%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,86
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