What Are the Job Duties of a Parole Officer?

If you interested in helping people rehabilitate and better themselves, you might be a good fit for a position as a parole officer. You can learn about job duties and related career information for parole officers by reading below. Schools offering Corrections degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

As a parole officer, you work with criminals who've recently been released from jail to ensure that they follow the terms of their parole. These terms can include finding employment, not breaking any laws, abstaining from alcohol and drugs, and keeping scheduled meetings with you. To ensure that these criminals, often called parolees, are staying out of trouble, you will meet with them and keep tabs on their actions through contact with their religious groups, neighbors, or families.

You'll also keep detailed records about the progress of the parolees you're working with. You may be required to travel and be available at all hours of the day and night. Many within this vocation work in high-crime areas and interact with people who don't want to work with them. In some circumstances, you may also help ex-offenders integrate back into society by setting up job interviews and educational opportunities. Depending on your employer and work assignments, you may work with juveniles or adults or, in rare cases, both.

Important Facts About Parole Officers

Work Environment Office and Field Setting
Professional Certification None available; advancement based on performance and experience
Key Skills Interpersonal Communication, Empathy, Conflict Resolution, Problem Solving
Similar Occupations Correctional Officer, Social Worker, Detective

Training and Education

A bachelor's degree in a field such as criminal justice or social work is necessary for you to be employed as a parole officer in most cases. You need to be at least 21 years old and have a clean criminal record. You'll undergo a short training program, written, oral, and psychiatric exams and work as a trainee for up to a year before becoming a full-time officer. Gaining communication and computer skills could also be helpful because you'll work directly with people as well as write and file comprehensive reports.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reported that parole officers had a mean annual wage of $49,060 as of May 2014. Officers in vocational rehabilitation programs received the highest average pay, followed by those in local governments, then those in state governments. The state that paid the highest wages was California, with an annual mean wage of $78,060. If you become a parole officer, you should know that from 2014-2024, the employment in the field is expected to grow very little, if at all, according to the BLS.

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