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Career and Education Opportunities for Probation Officers in Wilmington, Delaware

If you want to be a probation officer, the Wilmington, Delaware area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 340 working probation officers in Delaware; this should grow 21% to 420 working probation officers in the state by 2016. This is better than 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.

The average wage in the general category of Social Work and Community Services jobs is $19 per hour or $40,298 per year in Delaware, and an average of $19 per hour or $39,924 per year nationwide. Probation officers work in a variety of jobs, including: juvenile detention officer, chief juvenile probation officer , and attendance officer.

The Wilmington area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including ten within twenty-five miles of Wilmington where you can get a degree as a probation officer. The most common level of education for probation officers is a Bachelor's degree. 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 Wilmington 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.
  • Medical Social Worker. Provide persons, families, or vulnerable populations with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, or AIDS. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making necessary referrals for other social services.
  • Mental Health Social Worker. Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and education.
  • 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

Rutgers University-Camden - Camden, NJ

Rutgers University-Camden, 406 Penn, Camden, NJ 08102. Rutgers University-Camden is a medium sized university located in Camden, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,398 students and an admission rate of 51%. Rutgers University-Camden has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Eastern University - Saint Davids, PA

Eastern University, 1300 Eagle Rd, Saint Davids, PA 19087-3696. Eastern University is a small university located in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,907 students and an admission rate of 62%. Eastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

Bryn Mawr College - Bryn Mawr, PA

Bryn Mawr College, 101 N Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. Bryn Mawr College is a small college located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,758 students and an admission rate of 49%. Bryn Mawr College has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Social Work which graduated seventy-five and three students respectively in 2008.

Holy Family University - Philadelphia, PA

Holy Family University, 9801 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114-2009. Holy Family University is a small university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,528 students and an admission rate of 72%. Holy Family University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

Temple University - Philadelphia, PA

Temple University, 1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096. Temple University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,343 students and an admission rate of 61%. Temple University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated seventy-one and 167 students respectively in 2008.

Widener University-Main Campus - Chester, PA

Widener University-Main Campus, One University Place, Chester, PA 19013-5792. Widener University-Main Campus is a small university located in Chester, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,913 students and an admission rate of 66%. Widener University-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated eleven and 117 students respectively in 2008.

University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania, 1 College Hall 34th and Spruce Sts, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303. University of Pennsylvania is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,060 students and an admission rate of 17%. University of Pennsylvania has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Social Work which graduated 135 and four students respectively in 2008.

La Salle University - Philadelphia, PA

La Salle University, 1900 W Olney Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19141-1199. La Salle University is a medium sized university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,176 students and an admission rate of 68%. La Salle University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

Cabrini College - Radnor, PA

Cabrini College, 610 King of Prussia Rd, Radnor, PA 19087-3698. Cabrini College is a small college located in Radnor, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,580 students and an admission rate of 70%. Cabrini College has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated three students in 2008.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania - West Chester, PA

West Chester University of Pennsylvania, University Avenue and High Street, West Chester, PA 19383. West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a large university located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,619 students and an admission rate of 47%. West Chester University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated forty-three and forty students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Wilmington, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Wilmington is located in New Castle County, Delaware. It has a population of over 72,592, which has shrunk by 0.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Wilmington, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Wilmington are valued at $58,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-eight new homes were built in Wilmington, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Wilmington are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is finance and insurance, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.4% of Wilmington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wilmington is 13.3%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%.

The percentage of Wilmington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Saint Andrews Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Beth Shalom Congregation are among the churches located in Wilmington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Wilmington is home to the Interchange 3 and the The Rocks as well as Rodney Square and Cool Spring Park. Visitors to Wilmington can choose from Howard Johnson Restaurants, Riverview Motel and Hotel Du Pont for temporary stays in the area.