Probation officer

Shelby Jellum


probation officers work with legal offenders to help them become productive in the community.

Probation officers assist offenders who are sentenced to probation. They provide resources to offenders to help in their rehabilitation. They discuss treatment options and arrange for offenders to enter treatment programs. They write reports that outline the offender's progress. Probation officers usually work with juveniles or adults. Some work with both.

Parole Officers
Parole officers supervise offenders who have been released from prison on parole. They help people re-enter society. They carefully monitor parolees and lead them to services such as substance abuse treatment or job training. They also help them find medical treatment or housing.

Skills and Abilities

Communicate- express ideas clearly, listen to others and understand.

Reason and problem solve- notice when something is wrong or likely to go wrong, Use reasoning discover answers to problems, Develop rules or follow guidelines when arranging items in a certain order

manage oneself, people, time, things- check how well one is doing, motivate peoplw while they work.

Work with people- Be aware of others' reactions and change behavior in relation to them, persuade others to approach things differently.

Working conditions

Interpersonal relationships-

  • Have a high level of social contact. They work closely with offenders, attorneys, judges, and parole boards.
  • Deal with physically aggressive or violent offenders on a daily basis.
  • Are indirectly responsible for the public's safety. They are responsible for preventing their clients from committing future crimes.
  • Are somewhat responsible for work outcomes.
  • Communicate with clients and coworkers daily by telephone or in person.
  • Write letters and memos on a daily basis.
  • Often communicate with clients and coworkers by e-mail.
  • Work in a group or as part of a team.

Physical Work Conditions

    • Almost always work indoors, but also work outdoors to visit or monitor clients.
    • Are exposed to diseases and infections on a daily basis. They may supervise clients who are ill.
    • Almost always use a vehicle to visit or monitor clients.
    • Sometimes are exposed to contaminants.
    • Work near other people, but usually have a few feet of space separating them from others.
    Work Performance
    • Must be very exact in performing the job. Errors could seriously endanger public safety.
    • Repeat the same tasks over and over, such as visiting clients.
    • Make decisions on a daily basis that strongly impact clients. They can make most decisions without consulting with a supervisor.
    • Are usually able to set most tasks for the day without talking to a supervisor. This is because they do many of the same tasks with each client.
    • Must meet strict deadlines on a daily basis.
    • Work in a moderately competitive atmosphere.
    • Usually work a regular 40-hour week.
    • May be on-call 24 hours a day.
    • May travel to visit clients. The amount of travel and field work depends on the assignment and the work location.

Wages & outlook

Mn- $32.15 outlook- few

Us- $32.17 outlook- moderate

Related Occupations

Career program of study

Overview- Lawn enforcement and police science programs prepare people to work as police and other security officers.

Program admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language. For this program, schools recommend that you know how to use a computer and the Internet.

Most programs require you to pass a background criminal check. In addition, you usually have to pass a physical exam and be able to speak, read, write, and understand English.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

English compisition

Political science



Typical course work

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

  • Command Spanish
    •Correctional Institutions
    •Crime Scene Procedures
    •Criminal Law and Justice
    •Crisis Intervention
    •Cultural Diversity
    •Firearms Training
    •Ground Fighting
    •Hazardous Materials Handling
    •Interview and Interrogation
    •Introduction to Law Enforcement
    •Juvenile Delinquency and Justice System
    •Narcotics and Drugs
    •Parole and Probation
    •Physical Fitness
    •Police Responsibilities, Ethics, and Rights
    •Public Safety
  • Related programs

    Schools that offer this program

    Large amount of schools across Minnesota offer this program.

    College choice:
    Minnesota State University

    Located in Mankato, Mn. with a size of 55,000

    Admission requirements

    Deadline- rolling admission for fall semester

    test required- ACT

    Test scores- go by GPA


    About 17,878 a year for tuition, books, fees, living in dorms

    Financial Aid

    Deadline- March 5 ( fall term)

    required forms- FHFSA/ SAR


    Name of company: Blue Earth County

    Type of Company: probation officer

    Contact Person:  Steve Rick

    Questions & answers about the job

    What kind of tasks do you do on a typical day or in a typical week?

    - supervise adults on probation, watch court ordered requests

    what type of tasks do you spend most of your time doing?

    -meeting with people

    What excites you most about this job?

    -working with people, work with people to change them for the better.

    What are some difficult or frustrating parts of this career?

    -working with people who have no respect for authority

    What  characteristics does a person in this job need to have?

    -think skin and an open minded

    Do you usually work independently or as part of a team?


    What types of decisions do you make?

    -Are they being compliant with supervision, have the authority to send them to jail if they don't do what court asks, etc

    How does your work fit into the mission of the organization?

    -ensuring public safety

    What types of advancement opportunities are available for entry level worker in this area?

    - start out as a P.O 1 > go to P.O 2 (advanced) > then supervisor

    I read that stress is an issue in this occupation. Have you found that to be true?

    - yes, hard people can put alot of stress on you

    Is this career changing? how?

    - Depends on the person and the circumstance

    Questions about Working Conditions

    What  kind of hours do you work?

    -40 hours

    Is your schedule flexible or set?

    - Yes mine is flexible. It doesn't matter what times i'm in as long as i get my full 40 hours in for that week.  Some peoples are set though

    Are those hours typical for most jobs in this occupation or do some types of jobs have different hours?

    - some have different set hours like in jail or a bailiff

    Does this career include or require travel?

    - it can depend on the county your in, and weather you want to or not. I've gone all over Minnesota for some cases

    Do you have any health concerns associated with your career?


    How does this career affect your life style?

    -Working with criminals who can be threatening can change how safe you are with your family.

    Questions about training

    How did you prepare for this career?

    - went to school for a 4 year degree at MSU, i did an internship and worked with P.Os before i graduated college.

    How did you find this job?

    -I volunteer with agents and when i moved away i kept in contact with Blue Earth and the people so right when the job opened they let me know immediately and i got lucky enough to apply for it right away and got the job.

    Do you have any advice on how people interested in this career should prepare?

    -touch base with the career, volunteer and do an internship

    What type of entry level job offers the most learning opportunities?

    -Work with juveniles, adults, jail, prison, halfway house, case manager. theres alot!

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