Probation Officer Salaries: Insights Across States

Probation Officer Salaries: Insights Across States

Average Pay for Probation Officer: Top States in 2024


Understanding the average pay for probation officer roles is crucial for professionals and agencies alike. These roles are essential in the criminal justice system, where probation officers supervise and support offenders. However, salaries can vary based on several factors.

If you’re in a hurry, here are the key numbers:

  • Average Salary in Texas: $63,044
  • Salary Range in Texas: $56,164 to $70,138
  • Sample Salary in Abbott, TX: $57,184
  • Sample Salary in Addison, TX: $63,560

Probation officers’ salaries are influenced by location, education, and years of experience. For instance, those working in larger cities or with advanced qualifications often earn more. Understanding these variations helps in setting realistic salary expectations and negotiating better compensation.

Probation officer salary comparison across states - average pay for probation officer infographic brainstorm-4-items

Average Pay for Probation Officers Across the U.S.

Probation officer salaries vary significantly across the United States due to factors like location, cost of living, and local government budgets. Let’s take a closer look at these variations and identify some of the top-paying states.

State Variations

Texas: In Texas, the average pay for probation officers is $63,044 annually, with a typical range between $56,164 and $70,138. However, salaries can differ widely even within the state. For example, in Abbott, TX, the average salary is $57,184, while in Addison, TX, it’s $63,560.

California: California is known for its high cost of living, which is reflected in the salaries of probation officers. In Los Angeles, probation officers earn competitive wages, often significantly higher than the national average.

Minnesota: Minnesota also offers attractive salaries for probation officers. The top earners in this state can make substantial incomes, making it a desirable location for those in this profession.

Top States

Here are some of the top-paying states for probation officers:

  • California: Known for high salaries but also a high cost of living.
  • Texas: Offers competitive salaries with significant variations based on the city.
  • Minnesota: Provides attractive compensation, especially for top earners.

USA map showing top-paying states for probation officers - average pay for probation officer

Understanding these state variations is crucial for probation officers considering relocation or negotiating their salaries. It’s clear that where you work can significantly impact your earnings.

Next, we’ll dive into the factors influencing these salary differences.

Factors Influencing Probation Officer Salaries


Education plays a big role in determining a probation officer’s salary. Generally, higher education levels lead to higher pay. Most probation officers need at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social work, or psychology. Some states and federal positions may prefer or require a master’s degree.

Specialized certifications, like those in domestic abuse or drug and alcohol cases, can also boost your earning potential. For instance, officers with specialized training often handle more complex cases, which can come with higher salaries.


Experience is another key factor. Entry-level probation officers usually start at the lower end of the pay scale. As they gain experience, their salaries typically increase.

In Texas, for example, the average salary for probation officers is $63,044. However, this can range from $56,164 for those just starting out to $70,138 for more experienced officers.


Location significantly impacts salaries. Urban areas often pay more than rural areas due to the higher cost of living and increased workload. For example, probation officers in Addison, TX earn an average of $63,560, while those in Ackerly, TX earn around $56,991.

Even within the same state, salaries can vary widely. In Texas, cities like Ace and Addison offer higher pay compared to smaller towns like Abbott and Abernathy.

Understanding these factors can help you negotiate a better salary and make informed career decisions. Next, we’ll compare state and federal probation officer salaries to see how they stack up.

Comparison of State vs Federal Probation Officer Salaries

State Salaries

State probation officer salaries can vary widely depending on the location, experience, and specific duties involved. For instance, in Texas, the average salary for a probation officer is $63,044, but this can range from $56,164 to $70,138 depending on the city and other factors. Cities like Addison offer higher salaries ($63,560), while smaller towns like Ackerly have lower averages ($56,991).

In other states, the variation is also significant. For example, in California, probation officers in Los Angeles can earn a higher hourly wage compared to those in rural areas. This reflects the cost of living and the demand for such roles in urban settings.

Federal Salaries

Federal probation officers tend to have a more standardized pay scale, often influenced by federal pay grades and steps. According to discussions on platforms like Reddit, federal probation officers in areas with a high cost of living, such as Washington D.C., can earn salaries upwards of $107,000. This is significantly higher than many state-level positions.

Federal benefits and compensation packages also tend to be more comprehensive. For instance, federal retirement plans are often 20 years, compared to 30 years for many state officers. This makes federal positions attractive despite the initial lower salary in some cases.

Key Differences

  • Standardization: Federal salaries are more standardized and often come with better benefits and retirement plans.
  • Location Impact: State salaries vary more widely based on location, with urban areas typically offering higher pay.
  • Career Progression: Federal positions may offer quicker salary progression due to structured pay grades.

Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision on whether to pursue a state or federal probation officer role. Next, we’ll look at the average pay for probation officers in key states.

Average Pay for Probation Officer in Key States


In California, probation officers often find themselves working in bustling cities like Los Angeles. The hourly wage for probation officers in Los Angeles can range from $25 to $35 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications.

On a monthly basis, this translates to approximately $4,333 to $6,067. Annually, probation officers in Los Angeles can expect to earn between $52,000 and $73,000. However, it’s worth noting that top earners, especially those with significant experience or advanced degrees, can make upwards of $90,000 per year.


Probation officers in Texas have a diverse salary range, influenced by the city’s cost of living and local demand. The average salary for a probation officer in Texas is $63,044 as of April 24, 2024. The salary range typically falls between $56,164 and $70,138.

For instance, in Abbott, TX, the average salary is $57,184, while in Addison, TX, it’s higher at $63,560. This variation underscores the importance of location within the state.

Monthly salaries in Texas range from about $4,680 to $5,845. The annual salary range is between $56,164 and $70,138, reflecting the wide disparity based on the city and other factors like education and experience.


Minnesota is another state where probation officers can earn a competitive salary. In this state, the average pay is generally higher compared to many other regions.

The top earners in Minnesota can make over $75,000 annually, thanks to the state’s robust support for its criminal justice system and the high demand for qualified officers. This makes Minnesota an attractive option for those looking to maximize their earning potential in this field.

Next, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about probation officer salaries to provide more clarity on this career path.

Frequently Asked Questions about Probation Officer Salaries

What is the highest salary for a probation officer?

The highest salary for a probation officer can vary significantly depending on location and experience. In Los Angeles, for example, top earners can make well over $100,000 annually. This high salary is often due to the city’s large population and the high cost of living, which necessitates competitive wages to attract and retain qualified professionals.

How much do federal probation officers make in Texas?

Federal probation officers in Texas generally earn more than their state counterparts. For instance, while the average salary for a state probation officer in Texas is $63,044 annually, federal probation officers can make upwards of $75,000 to $80,000 per year depending on their experience and specific location within the state. This higher pay is often attributed to the federal benefits package and the increased responsibilities of federal positions.

What state has the highest paid probation officers?

California often tops the list when it comes to the highest paid probation officers. In certain cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, salaries for top earners can exceed $100,000 annually. Other states with high salaries for probation officers include New York and Illinois, where the average pay can also be quite competitive.

Here’s a quick list of states with some of the highest salary ranges for probation officers:

  • California: $60,000 – $100,000+
  • New York: $55,000 – $95,000
  • Illinois: $50,000 – $90,000

These figures highlight the significant variation in salaries across different states and underscore the importance of location in determining a probation officer’s earning potential.


The role of a probation officer is both challenging and rewarding, offering a unique blend of community service and law enforcement. As we’ve seen, the average pay for probation officers varies significantly across different states, influenced by factors such as education, experience, and location.

Career prospects for probation officers are promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a steady growth rate for this profession, ensuring continued demand for qualified individuals. The job not only offers a stable income but also provides opportunities for specialization and advancement, such as focusing on juvenile probation or working with specific offender populations.

At JED™ Platform, we understand the complexities and demands of the probation officer role. Our advanced technology solutions are designed to support probation officers in their daily tasks, making their work more efficient and less intrusive. Our platform offers real-time data and continuous monitoring, ensuring public safety while also providing the tools needed for effective offender supervision.

For more detailed insights into probation officer salaries and to explore how our solutions can help you in your career, visit our Probation Officer Pay page.

We are committed to supporting the essential work of probation officers, ensuring they have the resources and technology needed to succeed.