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Youth offending team officer

Youth offending team officers work to prevent children and young people under 18 from offending and reoffending.

Annual Salary

£21,000 to £38,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

40 to 42 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; flexibly

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Youth offending team officer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you might:

  • carry out risk assessments and manage risk of reoffending
  • prepare reports for the courts before sentencing
  • provide support to young offenders to prevent reoffending
  • make referrals to other agencies like housing, or drug and alcohol misuse services
  • supervise young offenders on court orders, community sentences, and after release from secure institutions
  • help young offenders into education, work or training
  • encourage young people to take part in constructive activities
  • visit young people in secure institutions

Working environment

You could work in a court, at a client's home, in a prison, in the community, at a police station or in an office.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

You could do a foundation degree, degree or postgraduate award in:

  • youth work
  • youth justice
  • social work
  • criminology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information

You could do a youth justice practitioner higher apprenticeship.

You'll need paid or voluntary experience of working with young people and sometimes adults in challenging situations. This could include in hostels, special schools, family support teams, residential childcare or youth services.

For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You can start by volunteering to work with young people. For example, mentoring will give you an understanding of the issues they face.

You can also support young people in the criminal justice system by volunteering as an appropriate adult. Opportunities and training are organised locally.

You can get more information on volunteering opportunities in your area from Do-it and at NCVO.

Direct application

You may be able to apply directly for jobs if you have relevant experience and a qualification in:

  • youth work
  • probation
  • social work
  • policing

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You'll find more details about working with young people, training and volunteering through the Youth Justice Board.

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With experience, you could progress to team leader or team manager.

With further training you could move into social work or educational welfare.

You'll find more details about working with young people, training and volunteering through the Youth Justice Board.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work on your own
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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