Juvenile Probation Officer Careers in San Diego County, California

Probation officers play a vital role in the San Diego County area. Officers here can serve both adult and juvenile clients. San Diego County deputy probation officers work with juvenile offenders on a variety of issues and in many settings. These range from guidance counseling in an office to field supervision and surveillance.

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The salary for a deputy probation officer working in the juvenile field ranges between $53,560 to $65,104 per year, with officers having to navigate a competitive and selective application process before completing an intensive course of training which qualifies them to begin careers in juvenile justice.

Education, Experience, and Other Qualifications

For a candidate’s application to be considered, he or she must meet certain minimum standards having to do with education and relevant experience. In addition to having a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution, candidates interested in learning how to become San Diego County juvenile probation officers must also:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be in the process of obtaining, or possess U.S. citizenship
  • Possess a valid California Class C driver’s license
  • Have the ability to obtain a California Class B driver’s license
  • Meet one of the following conditions:
    • At least one year of experience working as a correctional deputy probation officer or an equivalent
    • At least one year of employment history such as:
      • School teacher
      • First-line supervisor in the military
      • Counseling and treatment technician
      • Criminal investigator

San Diego County’s Juvenile Probation System

Juvenile probation in San Diego County requires officers with specialized skills allowing them to carry out difficult assignments in a limited amount of time. Officers manage juvenile caseloads that include tasks such as:

  • Intake interviews, risk assessments, and background investigations
  • Providing juveniles with community resources that will assist and instruct them in how to become constructive and contributing members of their families and peer groups
  • Supervision, unannounced visits, and surveillance
  • Compiling reports for the court using information obtained from interviews and investigations

Juvenile probation officers also have the chance to participate in non-traditional activities; at a recent open house at the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility officers acted as tour guides for visiting teens and their families who were interested in getting a closer look first hand at the juvenile detention system in a program reminiscent of Scared Straight.

Training for the Juvenile Field

Probation officers in San Diego County are required to attend a training course totaling 170 hours where they will learn the fundamentals of probation. Officers will be able to begin successful careers with the solid instructional foundation they receive during this training course, which includes topics such as:

  • Juvenile detention decisions
  • Juvenile justice system and procedures
  • Investigative interviewing
  • Writing reports for juvenile court
  • Searches: evidence, legality, and contraband
  • Emergency medical aid

Applying in San Diego County

Candidates may only make their applications online by locating a vacancy posting for a deputy probation officer on the county’s jobs website.

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The San Diego County Human Resources Department will screen applications to ensure candidates meet the minimum requirements, and applicants may be allowed to proceed through the application process, which includes:

  • Criminal history and background investigation: candidates with felony convictions will be disqualified
  • Psychological evaluation and test
  • Polygraph exam
  • Medical exam
  • Urinalysis drug test

Jobs in the juvenile field for probation officers are offered in San Diego as well as the cities of:

  • Chula Vista
  • Oceanside
  • Escondido
  • Carlsbad
  • El Cajon
  • Vista
  • San Marcos
  • All other areas of San Diego County

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