Parole Officer

While parole officers and probation officers are often discussed together, these two jobs are not identical.

A parole officer works with a person who has been released from a state or federal prison.

A prisoner may be released on parole, but the individual is still not completely free of supervision and the release has strict conditions.

Parole can be revoked for almost any type of infraction.

Learn more about how to be a probation officer.

The role of a parole officer is to help an individual who has been incarcerated adjust to life outside the prison.

They do this by creating a plan for the individual before they are released from prison.

The plan will consist of housing, employment, education, health care, and drug screenings, as well as other activities that will help the parolee rehabilitate and function within society.

A parole officer will observe the parolees and attend parole hearings to make recommendations based on their surveillance and interviews with the individual.

On average, a parole officer may have anywhere from 70 to 130 cases that are active at once.

This position is dangerous as a parole officer is working directly with convicts and their families and friends. How to be a parole officer

Education Requirements

In order to become a parole officer an individual must first obtain a bachelor’s degree.

The most commonly held degrees by parole officers include corrections, criminal justice, psychology, social work, sociology, counseling, business administration, and other degrees related to these areas.

Those who are interested in becoming a federal parole officer will likely have to have at least a year of graduate work in social work, psychology, counseling, or a related field.

Minimum Requirements

Most county and state parole jobs require a bachelor’s degree at the very minimum, with federal positions requiring at least a year of graduate school.

Individuals must be at least 20 years old, carry a valid driver’s license, and complete the required training and certification courses that are required by the county, state, or federal regulations.

Parole officers will often have to become certified within the state that they wish to work in before they are allowed to apply for a position.

Once accepted, they will then go through extensive training before taking on their first case.

Individuals must also be licensed to carry a firearm in the state that they live in.

A drug screening, background investigation, and psychological examination will also be required.

There are some states that require a parole officer to work for at least 2 years in counseling or corrections positions before being considered for a parole officer position.

Salary & Job Outlook

The salary of a parole officer will vary based on the position and the amount of education that an individual has.

Those with at least a year of graduate school under their belt will increase their chances of obtaining a job in this area.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the average yearly salary of a parole officer at $48,190 (2012).

The job growth for these positions is expected to be around -2 to 2% through the year 2022.

Salary Information by State

State Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Alabama1,010$50,470$24.26$67,000$36,310
Arizona2,110$58,340$28.05$79,100$39,560
Arkansas920$45,940$22.09$56,390$37,400
California14,670$97,300$46.78$133,680$61,480
Colorado2,180$65,170$31.33$89,480$49,900
Connecticut1,080$91,690$44.08$110,910$66,000
Delaware370$54,360$26.14$64,410$45,000
Florida4,030$44,300$21.30$58,220$32,280
Georgia2,480$44,830$21.55$58,000$32,910
Hawaii40$67,130$32.27$82,940$47,960
Idaho650$49,490$23.79$59,830$39,300
Illinois2,740$66,450$31.95$94,410$46,940
Indiana1,990$54,710$26.30$76,640$36,730
Iowa950$72,330$34.77$90,160$50,120
Kansas650$47,230$22.71$58,500$37,980
Kentucky790$41,050$19.74$49,670$34,800
Louisiana870$54,870$26.38$73,550$38,480
Maine170$57,860$27.82$63,190$47,470
Maryland1,310$64,200$30.87$79,310$47,590
Massachusetts1,170$83,370$40.08$101,430$47,420
Michigan2,260$65,720$31.60$73,240$48,840
Minnesota1,720$74,630$35.88$95,460$48,510
Mississippi430$38,180$18.35$45,140$28,680
Missouri2,420$42,190$20.29$50,120$34,220
Montana360$48,160$23.15$61,270$36,290
Nebraska710$52,600$25.29$61,230$39,470
Nevada870$65,000$31.25$79,810$47,010
New Hampshire190$66,300$31.88$78,350$50,460
New Jersey2,800$77,670$37.34$97,830$48,370
New Mexico590$49,450$23.77$59,160$42,220
New York5,130$81,370$39.12$103,050$58,910
North Carolina3,300$45,190$21.73$55,640$35,780
North Dakota210$63,340$30.45$81,390$49,800
Ohio2,720$57,580$27.68$78,470$39,100
Oklahoma910$45,860$22.05$58,540$36,730
Oregon1,960$69,720$33.52$92,100$47,090
Pennsylvania4,220$61,850$29.74$84,540$39,690
South Carolina350$49,770$23.93$65,150$41,000
South Dakota330$52,840$25.41$62,110$44,700
Tennessee2,300$47,310$22.75$59,490$37,450
Texas7,090$49,540$23.82$63,540$37,360
Utah790$57,700$27.74$69,200$43,490
Vermont180$70,200$33.75$83,430$57,320
Virginia3,050$49,510$23.80$63,520$37,020
Washington2,010$69,960$33.64$94,270$54,520
West Virginia810$46,900$22.55$61,050$33,100
Wisconsin1,340$52,530$25.25$63,190$42,390
Wyoming160$52,030$25.02$62,780$46,860

Annual Average Salary: Top 10 States

The top earning state in the field is California, where the average salary is $97,300.

These are the top 10 earning states in the field:

  • California - $97,300
  • Connecticut - $91,690
  • Massachusetts - $83,370
  • New York - $81,370
  • New Jersey - $77,670
  • Minnesota - $74,630
  • Iowa - $72,330
  • Vermont - $70,200
  • Washington - $69,960
  • Oregon - $69,720
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists, OCC Code 21-1092, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Michael Morales

About Michael Morales

Michael Morales is the Webmaster and Editor in Chief for Legalcareerpaths.com. With a strong background in Web Publishing and Internet Marketing, he currently works as an independent consultant. A former paramedic and ems educator, he enjoys punishing himself doing triathlons and endurance sports. Michael currently lives in sunny Northern California, home of the highest tax rates in the world.

3 Responses to Parole Officer

  1. Avatar
    Rodney Richardson #

    I think they play a vital role in the criminal justice system, where professionals help individuals reintegrate into society and lead productive lives.

  2. Avatar
    Brian Rocha #

    The ability of parole officers to build trusting relationships with their clients is impressive, as it fosters positive change and promotes successful reentry into the community.

  3. Avatar
    Don Alderson #

    It is not about enforcing rules, it’s about making a positive impact on people’s lives and contributing to the betterment of our communities.

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