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Juvenile Probation Officer

Career Overview

In most states juvenile crime is handled differently than with adult offenders. A juvenile probation officer handles individuals under the age of eighteen. The juvenile probation officer has a case load of juveniles for whom he or she is responsible. The oversight role requires developing an education and treatment plan for the offender that includes required benchmarks.

A juvenile probation officer will track an offender's school attendance, work obligations, any drug testing, and family situation. The juvenile probation officer is the court's link to juvenile offenders who are often under the guardianship of the court; the probation officer writes reports and gives the court verbal updates at court appearances for which the juvenile is scheduled.

Many juveniles are sentenced to probation in lieu of incarceration. They are allowed to continue with their lives provided their conduct meets with the approval of their assigned probation officer.


In virtually all states a bachelors degree in criminal justice, psychology, social services or a related field is required. Some states require a masters degree.

Current Employment

In 2006 there were 94,000 probation officers in the United States. About 20,000 of those are juvenile probation officers.

Job Outlook

On a national basis this job classification is expected to grow at the average rate of overall employment categories. There is a significant "burn-out" rate due to the overwhelming size of caseloads, especially in urban centers.

Salary Range

Lowest 10%  $13.65  $28,400
Median Salary  $21.40  $44,510
Highest 10%  $36.44  $75,790

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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