Having a career as a probation or parole officer can be fulfilling, even financially. But your earnings as a probation and parole officer is dependent on many factors, such as your experience, education, location, your employer, and even your function within your workplace. Therefore, it’s important to consider all these factors, especially when you are calculation a parole officer salary among various job offers. Let’s take a look at an in-depth break down of a parole officer’s salary, by using the Minimum Salary Schedule for Probation Officers in the state of Indiana, as a guide to understanding how salary is calculated.
Offices Value Experience, Education, and Leadership
According to the Probation Department for the state of Indiana, the most a beginning parole officer will make is $31,456. That’s for a new probation officer with zero experience, and without an adjustment for advanced training, certification, education, and other skills that make them a strong parole officer. In addition, the base salary does not include contributions to other benefits, such as PERF/retirement program, disability, medical or other insurance programs, or deferred compensation.
Parole officers might start off small, but as they gain more experience, education, and significant leadership roles, their base pay increases. For example, the state of Indiana increases the base pay of a parole officer with a master’s degree by 5 percent. Then, after every year the parole officer is on the job, he or she can expect a small increase in their base pay for their experience. For example, after finishing one year, the beginner parole officer can see their salary move from$31,456 to $33,860, an additional $2,404.
As you gain experience, you are also more likely to take on a leadership role as a supervising parole officer, assistant chief parole officer, or chief parole officer. You get an added bonus in these positions, and that bonus increases when you are in charge of a large or growing department.
The method of calculating salary by the Probation Department in Indiana is not very different from other states or offices. Many departments start with a base salary, and increase it according to the skills attained through experience or education, promoting the officer up the pay grade ladder. No matter where you move, or what department and state you join, you’ll find that these positions value skills, leadership, and education, especially as you gain experience year after year. While the particulars might vary state to state (some places require a college degree, while others might allow someone who meets all requirements plus some training or certification begin), you can rest assured that success and promotion is based on experience.
Steps to Increase Your Salary
In addition, you should open your search for parole officer jobs geographically, and consider places where they will pay more for your position, in a place that has a lower cost of living. For example, California pays the largest salary to parole officers in the state, but where you live in California can make a difference in your average cost of living. New Jersey has a growing market of parole officer jobs, and has a lower cost of living than California.
In addition, you might find better success at increasing your salary by staying in your chosen place, gain years of experiences, and become a chief parole officer, supervising others in your office. You can go back to school and receive further training and education that will add more to your base salary. Always consider the possibility of advancement as you begin your career, or decide to make moves.
And don’t forget to calculate the health care benefits or Social Security that can differ, based on your employer. Maybe your base salary is lower in comparison to other states, but you might be provided better benefits, which means savings long-term.
To learn more about improving your parole officer salary, contact us. We can connect you to the education and experiences needed to advance your career today.