Requirements to Become a Probation Officer

Becoming a probation officer is a challenging job. It is the responsibility of a probation officer to supervise criminals under probation in a given period of time.

Before you can qualify for such position you must complete the requirements to become a probation officer.

Probation officer is responsible in conducting interviews, locating rehabilitative services and gives employment assistance to both juvenile and adult offenders. You could not qualify for such position unless you complete the requirements needed aside from educational requirement.

Common Requirements

  • Educational requirements – If you are planning to become a probation officer the first thing to accomplish is the educational requirements. However, the educational requirements differ from one state to another. Nevertheless, the least requirement includes completing a four-year degree preferably in psychology and criminal justice. In some areas, the applicant is required to have minimum working experience in related field or have advanced degree. Having advanced degree gives you an edge over other applicants. You also need to understand the function and structure of criminal justice system.
  • Applicable experience – Aside from educational requirements, you should also complete the requirements regarding to the working experience. As much as possible, before making your application you should complete working experience in a counseling program and casework.
  • Pass the examinations – Once you have completed the educational and experience requirements you will be required to pass the exams. Written and oral exams are given to applicant to test his skills and knowledge about the criminal justice system. Likewise, solving problematic situations is another area of examination.
  • Complete the training program – After completing all the requirements and passing the exam for probation officer, you will be required to complete the training program for probation officer. The training program is sponsored by the government in order to meet the job requirements. The training may include instructions regarding the court probation procedures and state codes. Likewise, the newly hired probation officer is also required to attend firearms training and basic peace officer.

Before completing the requirements for probation officer you need to decide if the job is right for you. Determine if you are able to deal with the daily tasks of a probation officer such as attending court hearings, conducting field work as well as arranging and supervising community services activities. You should also keep in mind that the job of probation officer is risky because most of the time the officers are attacked by clients.

On the other hand, the probation officer is the best person who can connect the gap between the past and future of a criminal. Therefore, despite of the risk the job of a probation officer is indeed rewarding as he can help offenders to rise up and make themselves a better people. It is a gratifying experience to offer a helping hand to offenders.


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