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Career and Education Opportunities for Probation Officers in Dallas, Texas

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for probation officers in the Dallas, Texas area. Currently, 6,000 people work as probation officers in Texas. This is expected to grow by 21% to about 7,240 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for probation officers are expected to grow by about 19.3%. In general, probation officers provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole.

Probation officers earn approximately $16 per hour or $33,460 per year on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $22 per hour or $45,910 per year. Earnings for probation officers are better than earnings in the general category of Social Work and Community Services in Texas and better than general Social Work and Community Services category earnings nationally. Probation officers work in a variety of jobs, including: correctional counselor, truant officer, and detention officer.

The Dallas area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Dallas where you can get a degree 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 Dallas 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.
  • 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

University of North Texas - Denton, TX

University of North Texas, Chestnut Ave., Denton, TX 76203-1277. University of North Texas is a large university located in Denton, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 34,795 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of North Texas has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated fifty-five students in 2008.

Texas Woman's University - Denton, TX

Texas Woman's University, 304 Administration Dr, Denton, TX 76201. Texas Woman's University is a large university located in Denton, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,341 students and an admission rate of 56%. Texas Woman's University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated forty-seven students in 2008.

Eastfield College - Mesquite, TX

Eastfield College, 3737 Motley Dr, Mesquite, TX 75150-2099. Eastfield College is a large college located in Mesquite, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,501 students. Eastfield College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Social Work which graduated zero and five students respectively in 2008.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University - Waxahachie, TX

Southwestern Assemblies of God University, 1200 Sycamore, Waxahachie, TX 75165. Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a small university located in Waxahachie, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,891 students and an admission rate of 98%. Southwestern Assemblies of God University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas photo by File Upload Bot

Dallas is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 1,279,910, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Dallas, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Dallas cost $295,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, 1,198 new homes were constructed in Dallas, down from 2,090 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Dallas are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.7% of Dallas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Dallas is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Dallas residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Samaritano Methodist Church, Penuel Seventh Day Adventist Church and Peoples Baptist Church are all churches located in Dallas. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Dallas is home to the Camp Wisdom and the North Bishop Avenue Commercial Historic District as well as Trinity River Greenbelt Park and Buckner Park. Shopping centers in the area include Wynnewood Village Shopping Center, Valley View Center Shopping Center and Galleria Shopping Center at Dallas. Visitors to Dallas can choose from Benjamin West Dallas LLC, Bucks Bar and Candlewood Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.