1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Probation services officer

Probation services officer

Alternative titles for this job include

Probation services officers (PSOs) supervise people serving community and prison sentences who are considered to be 'low-risk'.

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter


£28,500 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a probation services officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • applying directly


You may find it helps your application if you take a college course like:

  • a diploma in public services
  • a qualification in youth and community work
  • A levels

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information

Direct Application

You could apply directly for job vacancies with probation services. You'll need:

  • experience of working with vulnerable people or people who have challenging behaviour
  • a minimum of 5 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications

You can get experience through volunteering or paid work, or by contacting your local community rehabilitation company for opportunities.

If you're successful with your application, you'll train on the job. You'll do the Level 3 Diploma in Probation Practice during your first 12 months to qualify as a probation services officer.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more information about careers, training and job vacancies as a probation services officer from the Ministry of Justice.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • leadership skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • gather information and interview offenders
  • assess the risk an offender may pose to the public
  • prepare court reports
  • deliver individual or group programmes to challenge offending behaviour
  • help clients get work or training, housing, or drug and alcohol treatment
  • arrange and supervise community work placements for offenders
  • supervise residents living in approved accommodation
  • support victims of crime
  • give education or employment support to prisoners in the community or before their release
  • work with other agencies like the police, drug and alcohol services, social services, and health organisations

Working environment

You could work in a prison, in a court, in the community or in an office.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into a supervisory role, or train as a probation officer.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a probation services officer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Public Services First Diploma

  • Start date: 11 September 2023
  • Location: Bexhill on Sea

Public Services BTEC Level 2

  • Start date: 01 September 2023
  • Location: Sleaford

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.