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Career and Education Opportunities for Probation Officers in Indianapolis, Indiana

If you want to be a probation officer, the Indianapolis, Indiana area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 1,810 people are currently employed as probation officers in Indiana. By 2016, this is expected to grow 14% to 2,060 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for probation officers are expected to grow by about 19.3%. Probation officers generally provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole.

Probation officers earn about $16 per hour or $35,030 per year on average in Indiana and about $22 hourly or $45,910 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services, people working as probation officers in Indiana earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services nationally. Jobs in this field include: juvenile probation officer, correctional probation officer, and truant officer.

There are thirty-six schools of higher education in the Indianapolis area, including three within twenty-five miles of Indianapolis where you can get a degree to start your career as a probation officer. Probation officers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a probation officer if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Indianapolis 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.


Anderson University - Anderson, IN

Anderson University, 1100 E 5th St, Anderson, IN 46012-3495. Anderson University is a small university located in Anderson, Indiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,737 students and an admission rate of 68%. Anderson University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

University of Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN

University of Indianapolis, 1400 E Hanna Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46227-3697. University of Indianapolis is a small university located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,728 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Indianapolis has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, 425 University Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5143. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis is a large university located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,300 students and an admission rate of 70%. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Social Work which graduated sixty-nine, 305, and one students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana photo by File Upload Bot

Indianapolis is situated in Marion County, Indiana. It has a population of over 798,382, which has grown by 2.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Indianapolis, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Indianapolis cost $155,400 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, seven hundred thirty-four new homes were constructed in Indianapolis, down from 1,317 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Indianapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Indianapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Indianapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.3%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.