You may wonder, “How do I become a probation officer?” To be eligible to be probation officer, you need to get a college degree and get a certain amount of work experience in a corrections institution. Although a degree and practical experience won’t guarantee you become a probation officer, it can give you a chance of being considered for probation officer positions. It can be a dangerous, tiring and stressful job to be a probation officer, but you can help former offenders to change their lives for the better.
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Probation officers, also known as parole and corrections officers, often have to work long hours in offices, dealing with deadlines and paperwork. They are often on call 24 hours a day and work closely with parolees to ensure that they are following the conditions of their paroles. They are responsible for finding jobs or drug treatment programs for former offenders. Probation officers sometimes have to go to workplaces, halfway houses or homes to check on parolees, which can put them in dangerous situations. Those who want to become a probation officer need to be able to communicate effectively with others, make tough decisions quickly and act rationally in hostile situations.
If you want to become a probation officer, you need to be prepared to take classes and gain practical experience that will prepare you for the job. To have a chance at being a parole officer, you need to get a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in psychology, social work, criminal justice, correctional science or a related field. Universities in different states throughout the country offer bachelor’s and/or master’s degrees in these fields. To get a bachelor’s degree in one of these fields, students often have to take a mixture of more generalized classes and courses related to their programs. Certain types of classes, such as English and math courses, can help people to gain advanced critical thinking and writing skills that they can use as probation officers. Some jobs require master’s degrees. In master’s degrees programs for psychology, criminal justice or social work, students often take courses that are directly related to their field and that provide them with field experience.
For those who wish to become a probation officer, it is important that they gain one to two years or more of practical experience in a corrections institution, social service agency or a related agency. After completing their college coursework, many people need to go through some form of government-sponsored training program and pass a state certification test to be eligible to be parole officers. Some agencies require parole officers to pass physical and psychological tests to be able to work for them.
From 2010 to 2020, the demand for probation officers is expected to grow by 18 percent from the more than 93,000 jobs that were available in 2010,according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are jobs for probation officers in cities throughout the United States. Probation officers made an average of $47,200 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. People just starting out as probation officers often make significantly less, but there are opportunities for them to advance within their agencies to become department supervisors or unit directors. Many probation officers deal with certain types of groups, such as substance abusers or juvenile offenders. They often work for local or state governments. To get a job as a probation officer, people usually have to be 21 and have no past convictions on their records. Developing contacts in college or while working for an agency can give students a better chance of getting a job out of college.