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Career and Education Opportunities for Probation Officers in Omaha, Nebraska

Probation officers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Omaha, Nebraska area. There are currently 330 jobs for probation officers in Nebraska and this is projected to grow by 16% to about 390 jobs 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. Probation officers generally provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole.

A person working as a probation officer can expect to earn about $17 per hour or $35,610 annually on average in Nebraska and about $22 per hour or $45,910 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services, people working as probation officers in Nebraska earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services nationally. Probation officers work in a variety of jobs, including: attendance officer, probation counselor, and correctional probation officer.

There are thirty-one schools of higher education in the Omaha area, including five within twenty-five miles of Omaha where you can get a degree to start your career as a probation officer. Given that the most common education level 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 Omaha 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

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.

Dana College - Blair, NE

Dana College, 2848 College Dr, Blair, NE 68008. Dana College is a small college located in Blair, Nebraska. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 565 students and an admission rate of 71%. Dana College has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

College of Saint Mary - Omaha, NE

College of Saint Mary, 7000 Mercy Rd., Omaha, NE 68106. College of Saint Mary is a small college located in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 953 students and an admission rate of 45%. College of Saint Mary has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated three 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.

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska photo by Yassie

Omaha is located in Douglas County, Nebraska. It has a population of over 438,646, which has grown by 12.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Omaha, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Omaha are valued at $105,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,576 new homes were built in Omaha, down from 1,905 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Omaha are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 28.7% of Omaha residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Omaha is 4.7%, which is greater than Nebraska's average of 4.5%.

The percentage of Omaha residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 54.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Calvary Baptist Church, Calvary Chapel of Omaha and Calvary Foursquare Gospel Church are all churches located in Omaha. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church.

Omaha is home to the Gibson and the Cedar Hills Golf Course as well as Al Caniglia Field and Adams Park. Shopping malls in the area include Frederick Square Shopping Center, North Park Shopping Center and Oak View Mall. Visitors to Omaha can choose from Countryside Suites, Hampton Inn Omaha-Central and Townhouse Inn for temporary stays in the area.