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Probation officer: Salary and conditions

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  • Entrants to the profession start as probation service officers (PSOs). The salary range for PSOs is £21,391 to £27,102.
  • Salaries for qualified probation officers range from £28,185 to £35,727.
  • The normal working week is 37 hours. Occasional work outside of normal office hours may be required.
  • Probation officers may be office based, but they are expected to travel frequently around the local community within the working day. They may also visit clients in their homes. Mileage allowances are provided by the probation trusts.
  • Probation officers may also be based in courts, in prisons or managing approved premises, which provide residential accommodation for offenders and ex-offenders.
  • Self-employment is not an option. However, PSOs and qualified probation officers can obtain temporary or sessional work.
  • Family friendly policies and practices are widely available, such as maternity and paternity leave and flexible working practices.
  • There are currently more women than men working in probation in all grades other than management, where the gender split is roughly equal.
  • In Scotland, criminal justice social workers carry out the work done by probation officers in England. They are employed by local authority social work departments who have responsibility for offenders.
  • In Northern Ireland, probation officers are qualified social workers employed by the Probation Service of Northern Ireland. 

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

Written by Pauline Tait, University of Lincoln
November 2013

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