Probation officer coursework combines technical and legal concepts with psychology, social science and public safety themes. A criminal justice program teaches students about judicial, corrections and security systems.
In order to pursue a bachelor's degree in a related field, prospective students must merely possess a high school diploma or equivalent. Other program requirements may include an internship, certification exam, and state-sponsored training.
Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice
Courses teach students to work with incarcerated populations, recently released criminals and other correctional professionals. Typical courses include:
- Justice system processes and public law
- Corrections processes and facilities
- Security and police administration
- Juvenile justice system
- Criminal investigation
Employment Outlook and Career Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that opportunities for probation officers are expected to increase by 4% from 2014 through 2024. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earned a median annual salary of $52,910 in May 2015. The majority of opportunities for probation officers are with local and state government agencies.
Continuing Education Information
In addition to a bachelor's degree, probation officers are usually required to complete training programs sponsored by state or federal government agencies. In most cases probation officers must pass a comprehensive test after completing a training program. Requirements vary by state and employer.
After successfully completing a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, social work, or psychology, students will enter a job field growing at a rate of 4% over the next decade and will see continuing education opportunities in the form of state-sponsored training programs.