The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics* (BLS) projects that the career outlook for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is excellent, with positions increasing as much as 19 percent between 2008 and 2018. Moreover, positions for correctional officers and other job opportunities in the criminal and juvenile justice fields are expected to be favorable as well.
Within the corrections and juvenile justice fields, individuals may pursue positions such as:
- corrections officer
- corrections administrator
- detention officer
- probation officer
- parole officer
- treatment specialist
- caseworker or counselor
- substance abuse specialist
- delinquency prevention specialist
- policy analyst
- program evaluator
The majority of these positions are housed in state and local governments in prisons, youth correctional facilities and community agencies.
There are also opportunities for workers with a variety of specialties within adult and juvenile facilities -- including doctors, mental health specialists, teachers, counselors, cooks, facility supervisors and recreational specialists.
Although education was not historically mandatory in the field, it has become increasingly necessary as the profession evolves. Advanced degrees are required for many positions at the federal level and will likely become essential for advancement.