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Career Definition for a County Juvenile Authority
County juvenile authorities who work with young offenders monitor their progress and help them avoid further criminal activity. Their day-to-responsibilities may include assessing offenders and making incarceration or rehabilitation recommendations, requesting drug tests and providing information about occupational training. They may also develop and implement preventative programs that address substance abuse and truancy issues. Additional duties of a country juvenile authority may include meeting with offenders' families and writing reports.
|Education||High school diploma or equivalent required, bachelor's degree encouraged|
|Job Skills||Comfort working with youths, decisive, emotionally stable, good communication and organization|
|Median Salary (2015)||$49,360 for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)||4% for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
While a high school diploma and relevant work experience may suffice for some positions; students who are interested in corrections and probationary work may need a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. Applicable majors typically include the social and behavioral sciences criminal justice, sociology or social work. Candidates for employment must complete a federal- or state-training program and take a certification exam. Additional certifications, licenses or training in unarmed defense, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid or social work may also be necessary.
County juvenile authorities should be comfortable working with youths in potentially stressful or dangerous situations. They should also be decisive and emotionally stable with good analytical, communication and organizational abilities.
Employment and Earnings Outlook
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), probation officers and correctional treatment specialists will see a growth of 4% in employment between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, including county juvenile authorities, was $49,360 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Alternate Career Options
Look into these other careers in law enforcement as well:
Correctional officers work with convicted or suspected offenders who are awaiting trial or incarcerated. Entry-level hiring requirements include a high school diploma, after which officers attend a training academy and receive on-the-job training. Postsecondary coursework and experience in the field may help candidates qualify for a position with a federal agency. Between 2014 and 2024, employment opportunities for correctional officers are expected to grow by 4% nationwide, or slower than average, as reported by the BLS. In May 2015, correctional officers were paid a median yearly salary of $40,530.
Police and Detectives
The BLS reports that employment prospects for police and detectives may also increase by just 4% nationwide between 2014 and 2024. Working in shifts, their primary duties include acting proactively to safeguard people and property, often in dangerous and physically stressful situations. Formal education requirements can vary from a high school diploma to completion of a bachelor's program and agency training programs. As of May 2015, police and sheriff's patrol officers earned median yearly salaries of $60,270.