Career and Education Opportunities for Probation Officers in Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for probation officers. There are currently 3,700 working probation officers in Arizona; this should grow 12% to about 4,130 working probation officers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for probation officers, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.3% over the next eight years. In general, probation officers provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole.
Income for probation officers is about $20 per hour or $41,810 annually on average in Arizona. Nationally, their income is about $22 per hour or $45,910 per year. Probation officers earn more than people working in the category of Social Work and Community Services generally in Arizona and more than people in the Social Work and Community Services category nationally. Jobs in this field include: crime prevention worker, detention worker, and prisoner classification interviewer.
There are seventy-six schools of higher education in the Phoenix area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Phoenix where you can get a degree to start your career as a probation officer. Probation officers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a probation officer if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Probation Officer
In general, probation officers provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. They also make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.
Probation officers consider with offenders how such issues as drug and alcohol abuse and anger management problems might have played roles in their criminal behavior. They also write reports describing offenders' progress. Equally important, probation officers have to manage medical or substance abuse treatment services in line with individual needs or court orders. Finally, probation officers ready and maintain case folders for each assigned inmate or offender.
Every day, probation officers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.
It is important for probation officers to design rehabilitation programs for assigned offenders or inmates, establishing rules of conduct and objectives. They are often called upon to inform offenders or inmates of requirements of conditional release, such as office visits or educational and employment stipulations. They also gather data related to offenders' backgrounds by talking to offenders, their families and friends, and other people who have relevant data. They are sometimes expected to design liaisons and networks with other parole officers and aftercare agencies to develop for helping offenders with life adjustments. Somewhat less frequently, probation officers are also expected to conduct prehearing and presentencing investigations and testify in court regarding offenders' backgrounds and recommended sentences and sentencing conditions.
Probation officers sometimes are asked to assess the suitability of penitentiary inmates for release under parole and statutory release programs and submit recommendations to parole boards. They also have to be able to supervise people on community-based sentences, including people on electronically monitored home detention and manage postrelease services, such as employment and social activities. And finally, they sometimes have to investigate alleged parole violations, using interviews, surveillance, and search and seizure.
Like many other jobs, probation officers must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Phoenix include:
- Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
- Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
- Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Probation Officer Training
Mesa Community College - Mesa, AZ
Mesa Community College, 1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202. Mesa Community College is a large college located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 23,825 students. Mesa Community College has an associate's degree program in Social Work which graduated one student in 2008.
Glendale Community College - Glendale, AZ
Glendale Community College, 6000 W Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,228 students. Glendale Community College has an associate's degree program in Social Work which graduated eight students in 2008.
Estrella Mountain Community College - Avondale, AZ
Estrella Mountain Community College, 3000 N Dysart Rd, Avondale, AZ 85323-1000. Estrella Mountain Community College is a medium sized college located in Avondale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,358 students. Estrella Mountain Community College has an associate's degree program in Social Work which graduated five students in 2008.
Paradise Valley Community College - Phoenix, AZ
Paradise Valley Community College, 18401 N 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85032. Paradise Valley Community College is a medium sized college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,105 students. Paradise Valley Community College has an associate's degree program in Social Work.
Phoenix College - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix College, 1202 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013. Phoenix College is a large college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,917 students. Phoenix College has an associate's degree program in Social Work which graduated two students in 2008.
Arizona State University - Tempe, AZ
Arizona State University, , Tempe, AZ 85287. Arizona State University is a large university located in Tempe, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 67,082 students and an admission rate of 82%. Arizona State University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Social Work which graduated 110, 285, and four students respectively in 2008.
Chandler/Gilbert Community College - Chandler, AZ
Chandler/Gilbert Community College, 2626 E Pecos Rd, Chandler, AZ 85225-2499. Chandler/Gilbert Community College is a large college located in Chandler, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,409 students. Chandler/Gilbert Community College has an associate's degree program in Social Work.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 1,567,924, which has grown by 18.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Phoenix, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Phoenix cost $218,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 2,176 new homes were built in Phoenix, down from 6,560 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Phoenix are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 22.7% of Phoenix residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Phoenix is 10.0%, which is greater than Arizona's average of 9.3%.
The percentage of Phoenix residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. San Francisco Xavier and Good Shepherd Convent are among the churches located in Phoenix. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Phoenix is home to the Arizona Highway Patrol Headquarters and the Gila Valley Lookout as well as Indian Bend Park and Stephen Park. Shopping centers in the area include Alta Vista Shopping Center, Arcadia Plaza Shopping Center and Arcadia Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Phoenix can choose from Four Seasons Limousine LLC, Maricopa Manor B&B Inn and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.