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Career and Education Opportunities for Probation Officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for probation officers. Currently, 4,200 people work as probation officers in Pennsylvania. This is expected to grow 7% to about 4,500 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 $21 per hour or $45,270 annually on average in Pennsylvania and about $22 hourly or $45,910 per year on average nationally. Earnings for probation officers are better than earnings in the general category of Social Work and Community Services in Pennsylvania and better than general Social Work and Community Services category earnings nationally. People working as probation officers can fill a number of jobs, such as: detention officer, parole agent, and juvenile probation officer.

There are 156 schools of higher education in the Philadelphia area, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia 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 Philadelphia 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

Camden County College - Blackwood, NJ

Camden County College, College Drive, Blackwood, NJ 08012. Camden County College is a large college located in Blackwood, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,951 students. Camden County College has an associate's degree program in Social Work which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.

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.

Philadelphia Biblical University-Langhorne - Langhorne, PA

Philadelphia Biblical University-Langhorne, 200 Manor Ave, Langhorne, PA 19047-2990. Philadelphia Biblical University-Langhorne is a small university located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,343 students and an admission rate of 98%. Philadelphia Biblical University-Langhorne has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Bucks County Community College - Newtown, PA

Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Rd, Newtown, PA 18940-4106. Bucks County Community College is a large college located in Newtown, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,260 students. Bucks County Community College has an associate's degree program in Social Work which graduated seven students 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: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.