Youth offending team officer

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

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £38,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 5% more Youth offending team officer jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your work is likely to be with high risk and vulnerable young people.

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • carrying out risk assessments and planning how to manage future risk of reoffending
  • preparing reports for the courts before sentencing
  • coming up with action plans to support young offenders and prevent them from reoffending
  • referring young offenders to agencies to support their welfare needs, like housing, or drug and alcohol misuse services
  • supervising young offenders on court orders and community sentences, and after their release from secure institutions
  • helping young offenders into education, work or training, and encouraging them to take part in constructive activities
  • visiting young people in secure institutions


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

  • youth work
  • youth justice
  • social work
  • criminology

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level for a foundation degree 
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

Other Routes

There are no set entry requirements, but many officers have a degree in a subject like youth work, youth justice, social work or criminology. Many also have experience in related fields like:

  • social work
  • youth work
  • probation
  • the police service

Experience of paid or voluntary work with young people, like mentoring, could help you get a job in this area. It will also help to have an understanding of how the justice system works.

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

£20,000 to £38,000

Starter salary: £20,000

Experienced salary: £28,000 to £32,000

These figures are a guide.


You’ll be based at an office but also work at places like police stations, courts, prisons, detention centres, youth clubs and clients' homes.

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, empathy and a non-judgmental attitude
  • excellent communication and people skills
  • the ability to stay calm under pressure and handle challenging behaviour
  • good report-writing skills
  • the ability to manage your time effectively and prioritise tasks
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