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Career and Education Opportunities for Probation Officers in Houston, Texas

There are many career and education opportunities for probation officers in the Houston, Texas area. There are currently 6,000 jobs for probation officers in Texas and this is projected to grow 21% to 7,240 jobs 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%. 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 $16 per hour or $33,460 annually on average in Texas and about $22 hourly or $45,910 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for probation officers are better than in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services in Texas, and better than the overall Social Work and Community Services category nationally. Probation officers work in a variety of jobs, including: juvenile probation officer, pre-parole counseling aide, and truant officer.

There are eighty-one schools of higher education in the Houston area, including five within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree to start your career as a probation officer. Probation officers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a probation officer if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Houston 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.


University of Houston-Downtown - Houston, TX

University of Houston-Downtown, 1 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002-1014. University of Houston-Downtown is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 12,283 students. University of Houston-Downtown has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

University of Houston - Houston, TX

University of Houston, 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX 77204-2018. University of Houston is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,080 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Houston has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Social Work which graduated 129 and two students respectively in 2008.

Lee College - Baytown, TX

Lee College, 511 S Whiting, Baytown, TX 77520. Lee College is a medium sized college located in Baytown, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,968 students. Lee College has an associate's degree program in Social Work which graduated four students in 2008.

University of Houston-Clear Lake - Houston, TX

University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, TX 77058-1098. University of Houston-Clear Lake is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 7,638 students. University of Houston-Clear Lake has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated seven students in 2008.

Texas Southern University - Houston, TX

Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne St, Houston, TX 77004. Texas Southern University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,062 students and an admission rate of 99%. Texas Southern University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.


Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.