£12,480 Average salary at age 20
£33,280 Average Salary
34 Average hours per week


Probation officers work to rehabilitate offenders. They supervise, counsel and help them before trial, during any prison or community sentence and on release from prison.

Main Tasks

  • Produces pre-sentence reports to the court about an individual’s crime, their personal circumstances, the suitability of sentencing, the likelihood of re-offending and the future risk to the public;
  • Enforces court orders and serves the public by providing a wide range of supervision programmes for those in receipt of a community sentence;
  • Draws up probation plans with offenders and helps them follow it, advises them on any work and helps them with any family or social problems;
  • Works with prisoners in giving advice on problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, addressing training needs, finding work and getting accommodation;
  • Keeps accurate and comprehensive records.


Candidates are recruited with a variety of academic qualifications or with relevant experience. In England and Wales all candidates must complete a two-year Diploma in Probation studies. There is a minimum age limit of 20 years to undertake training. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, entry requirements are the same as for social workers. Background checks including a CRB check are required.

What Probation officers studied in higher education

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What Probation officers studied in higher education
Occupation Percentage Value
(L4) Social policy1
(L3) Sociology16
(C8) Psychology9
(L2) Politics2
(B7) Nursing1
(M1) Law by area1
(M2) Law by topic5
(L5) Social work63
(L6) Anthropology2

UK Prospects

22200 Workforce Size
2.41% Predicted growth 2024 - 2027
1659 Predicted Replacement 2024 - 2027

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