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U.S. Probation & Pretrial Services Careers

What does it mean to be a team member with the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services system?

U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services staff around the country promote public safety and make a positive difference in the lives of the people they serve. In addition to probation and pretrial officers, individuals from a wide variety of professional disciplines are needed, including specialists in IT, human resources, finance, and administration.  

Probation and pretrial services officers are considered the eyes and ears of the federal courts. They investigate and supervise persons charged with or convicted of federal crimes. Every federal district court employs probation and pretrial services officers to assist people from a first court appearance to the transition back to the community after incarceration.

The varied duties of probation and pretrial services officers include:

  • gathering information through interviews with people involved in the court process and their friends, family members, and others;
  • conducting investigations and preparing reports, using a wide range of technology;
  • submitting recommendations to the court during pretrial proceedings, at sentencing, during community supervision, and during other phases of the judicial process;
  • maintaining personal contact with individuals released to the community to support compliance in the pretrial phase or help facilitate a successful reentry to the community after release from prison; and
  • implementing evidenced-based supervision strategies that are tailored to individual needs and using varied techniques to promote community safety.

Learn more about the duties and responsibilities of probation and pretrial services officers

Benefits & Retirement

We offer employees a diverse group of benefit programs. Compensation consists of base pay plus a locality pay component and a cost-of-living allowance component for states and U.S. territories outside the contiguous United States. Pay is set at the local level for officers and non-officers based on qualifications for the job such as length or quality of experience, specific job skills, and/or education level.

Probation and pretrial services officers serve in a hazardous duty capacity and are eligible for federal law enforcement retirement benefits. Officers are subject to mandatory retirement at age 57, which means individuals must be appointed by their 37th birthday.

Education Requirements

To qualify for appointment as a U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services officer, applicants must have at least an undergraduate college degree. Applicants should review job descriptions for education requirements for other positions.

Background Investigation & Medical Examination Requirements

Employment suitability must be established for all prospective and current judicial personnel, contractors, interns and externs, and volunteers. Law enforcement positions, which include probation and pretrial services officer positions, require a pre-employment medical examination, drug test, and background investigation. Provisional appointments may occur, pending completion of a background investigation. Learn more about these requirements.

Our National System

U.S. Federal Court Circuit Map

Our system consists of 94 court districts. Current job openings are announced individually by each district. In most districts, the probation and pretrial services offices are combined. However, some districts have separate probation and pretrial services offices. The map illustrates the geographic boundaries of federal circuits and district courts. Visit a district's website to learn more about it. 

How do I know who is hiring?

Search current job openings. You can view national job postings and query listings by job title, city, state, and salary.

How do I find the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services office closest to me?

Use the Federal Court Finder to locate the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services office closest to you.