What do Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists Do?
Though an individual may have broken the law, they could benefit from receiving a second chance. Sometimes they just need proper monitoring and guidance. As a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist you can help to rehabilitate law offenders and get them on the right track.
Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist Skills and Abilities
For a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist proper customer service and social skills are key. You will be able to assist individuals best if you can relate to them. However, you must also be able to be authoritative so that the individuals will not try to take advantage of the situation. Critical thinking will be essential in quickly addressing issues with probates, as well as management skills in overseeing the schedules of both you and your clients. Clear communication, in both oral and written forms, is essential in corresponding with probates, co-workers and your superiors.
Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist Duties
Your main duty as a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist is aiding your clients in transitioning into society as positive, productive citizens. This includes meeting with your clients on a regular basis, administering drug tests when necessary, providing counseling and setting up meetings for physical and mental health treatment, among other duties. You will need to keep track of your interactions by completing various forms and maintaining client files. You may be required to go to court on occasion and sometimes make house visits. The parameters will be different for each case, so your duties will be dependent upon your clients and their specific needs and court orders.
Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist Tools and Technology
Though your duties and daily tasks may vary, there are certain tools and technologies that can benefit you in these positions:
- An automobile
- Body armor
- Breathalyzers and other portable analyzing tools
- Internet browser
- Planner or scheduling software
- Project management software
- Query software
Depending upon where you work you may utilize a few different versions of these items, and you can expect to utilize them often and sometimes concurrently.
Education and Training for Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
To become a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Many professionals seek their degrees in law, social work or another related social science. There is no other traditional education required, however you can expect to receive some on-the-job training at various points throughout your career. It is also your responsibility to stay abreast of the most current laws and regulations in your area, state and nationwide.
Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist Salary
You can expect to make a decent living as a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist with the median salary recorded around $49,000 in 2014. Some individuals reached close to $84,000. The pay can vary dependent upon a few different factors, including
- Geographic location
- Type of institution (government, private, public sector, etc.)
- Full- or part-time
You should take these factors into consideration when determining the particular positions that you will pursue.
Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist Jobs by Geography
California has the greatest amount of openings for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, with twice as many openings available as the next highest state, Texas. Still, there is a strong necessity for such individuals in all areas and the need is only expected to grow. Check within your area to see what opportunities are available to you.