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Career and Education Opportunities for Probation Officers in Lincoln, Nebraska

Probation officers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Lincoln, Nebraska area. Currently, 330 people work as probation officers in Nebraska. This is expected to grow by 16% to about 390 people by 2016. 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 $17 hourly or $35,610 yearly on average in Nebraska and about $22 hourly or $45,910 yearly on average nationally. Probation officers earn more than people working in the category of Social Work and Community Services generally in Nebraska and more than people in the Social Work and Community Services category nationally. People working as probation officers can fill a number of jobs, such as: detention attendant, offender employment specialist , and probation and patrol agent.

There are twenty-five schools of higher education in the Lincoln area, including five within twenty-five miles of Lincoln 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.

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 Lincoln 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Probation Officer Training

University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Lincoln, NE

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 14th and R St, Lincoln, NE 68588. University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a large university located in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,573 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

Nebraska Wesleyan University - Lincoln, NE

Nebraska Wesleyan University, 5000 St Paul Ave, Lincoln, NE 68504-2794. Nebraska Wesleyan University is a small university located in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,081 students and an admission rate of 80%. Nebraska Wesleyan University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Creighton University - Omaha, NE

Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178. Creighton University is a medium sized university located in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,059 students and an admission rate of 79%. Creighton University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

Union College - Lincoln, NE

Union College, 3800 S 48th, Lincoln, NE 68506. Union College is a small college located in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 914 students and an admission rate of 64%. Union College has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated six students in 2008.

University of Nebraska at Omaha - Omaha, NE

University of Nebraska at Omaha, 6001 Dodge St, Omaha, NE 68182-0225. University of Nebraska at Omaha is a large university located in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,213 students and an admission rate of 84%. University of Nebraska at Omaha has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated thirty and fifty-nine students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska photo by Stack

Lincoln is situated in Lancaster County, Nebraska. It has a population of over 251,624, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Lincoln, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Lincoln cost $170,100 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, five hundred thirty-nine new homes were constructed in Lincoln, down from eight hundred twenty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Lincoln are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, educational services, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 33.3% of Lincoln residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Lincoln is 4.1%, which is less than Nebraska's average of 4.5%.

The percentage of Lincoln residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.4%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint John Baptist Church, Calvary Baptist Church and Calvary Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Lincoln. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Lutheran Church.

Lincoln is home to the Cedars Home and the AGP Grain Cooperative Elevator as well as Abel Stadium and 40th and Highway 2 Park. Shopping malls in the area include Gateway Mall, Sutter Place Mall and Edgewood Shopping Center. Visitors to Lincoln can choose from Comfort Suites, Ramada Limited North and Quality Inn Airport for temporary stays in the area.