Career and Education Opportunities for Probation Officers in Wichita, Kansas
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for probation officers in the Wichita, Kansas area. The national trend for probation officers 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 $18 per hour or $38,500 per year on average in Kansas. Nationally, their income is about $22 hourly or $45,910 per year. Probation officers earn more than people working in the category of Social Work and Community Services generally in Kansas and more than people in the Social Work and Community Services category nationally. Probation officers work in a variety of jobs, including: parole supervisor, correctional probation officer, and offender employment specialist .
There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Wichita area, including three within twenty-five miles of Wichita where you can get a degree to start your career 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 training to become 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 Wichita 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Probation Officer Training
Wichita State University - Wichita, KS
Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0124. Wichita State University is a large university located in Wichita, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,405 students and an admission rate of 86%. Wichita State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated forty-eight and fifty students respectively in 2008.
Bethel College - North Newton, KS
Bethel College, 300 E 27th St, North Newton, KS 67117-0531. Bethel College is a small college located in North Newton, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 501 students and an admission rate of 75%. Bethel College has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.
Newman University - Wichita, KS
Newman University, 3100 McCormick Ave, Wichita, KS 67213-2097. Newman University is a small university located in Wichita, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,435 students and an admission rate of 49%. Newman University has a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated fifty-three students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Wichita, Kansas
Wichita is located in Sedgwick County, Kansas. It has a population of over 366,046, which has grown by 6.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Wichita, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Wichita cost $106,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,012 new homes were constructed in Wichita, down from 1,248 the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Wichita are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 25.3% of Wichita residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.1%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Wichita is 8.8%, which is greater than Kansas's average of 6.3%.
The percentage of Wichita residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Mizpah Baptist Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church and Christ the King Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Wichita. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Wichita is home to the Pleasant Valley and the Wichita Plaza as well as Hyde Park and Watson Park. Shopping centers in the area include Central Heights Shopping Mall, Airpark Shopping Center and Sweetbriar Shopping Center. Visitors to Wichita can choose from Afton Motel, Hampton Inn Wichita-East and Corral Motel for temporary stays in the area.