How to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer

Children should be given second chances. For those who make serious errors, juvenile probation officers can make serious differences, and hopefully prevent the need for third chances. In addition to encouraging fresh starts, juvenile probation officers do the following for juveniles in trouble with the law:

Consider online Criminal Justice programs currently accepting applicants:
  • Create rehabilitation plans
  • Arrange for necessary rehab, such as substance abuse rehabilitation
  • Set up job training
  • meet with the offender’s family, friends, and community organizations

In addition, juvenile probation officers work for courts, investigating the offender’s background, writing pre-sentence reports, and recommending sentences. As with most careers, the job of the juvenile probation officer has transformed with technology: electronic monitoring devices, reporting kiosks, and advanced drug screening are monitored by juvenile probation officers.


Important Skills for Being a Juvenile Probation Officer

The best juvenile probation officers tend to have several skills in common. These are by no means a “must”, but if your natural skills and qualities align with these it will help you in your day-to-day job.

Listening
Sometimes troubled youths need someone to listen to them to help them.
Diplomacy
Being able to see multiple sides of arguments and figuring out solutions.
Compassion
Being compassionate helps others understand how much they mean to others.

Education of Juvenile Probation Officers

To become a juvenile probation officer, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recommends that you earn at least a bachelor’s degree in social work, criminal justice, psychology, or related field. Further, the BLS states that, for applicants with no previous related work experience, many employers require master’s degrees.

No matter your educational background, most juvenile probation officers undergo some sort of probationary period (such as working as a trainee), for up to one year, before being offered permanent positions. And because of the field’s rising technology, juvenile probation officers should include computer courses in their education.

If you have a lot of patience and believe in second chances, learn more here about becoming a juvenile probation officer.

Related Career Paths

If you are interested in working with youths and juveniles to help them get on the right path, you may be interested in similar career paths. We have written career profile pages for each of the following: