Probation officers training programs can be found at numerous academic institutions across the country. Probation officers are in high demand at the present due to the population increase, and employment in the field is expected to continue to rise. Probation officers have a wide variety of duties that may include routine interviews with probates, helping probates reorient themselves into society through job searches and placement, and ensure that the probates are completing their court ordered programs and therapies. However, before one can become a probation officer, he or she must fulfill all of the requirements for the position.
Although there are different rules and regulations set forth by different states, many of the basic requirements remain the same. For instance, most states require a four year education and that the candidate must be at least twenty one years old before beginning a probation officers training program. Also, federal law requires that a criminal background check be performed on each candidate to ensure there are no felonies that would create a conflict of interest within the criminal justice arena. Many institutions also require that all candidates pass a mental and physical assessment to ensure there are no limitations imposed on the probation officer.
Four Year Degree
For those looking to begin probation officers training, he or she must have a four year degree from an accredited college or university. The degree most preferred for potential probation officers training candidates are either criminal justice or human services although there are other degrees that may be accepted such as psychology, sociology, social work, or counseling. For those that fall into one of the majors other than human services or criminal justice, he or she should take as many courses in the criminal justice area as possible as this will help one’s chances of being accepted into a training program. On another note, some states may actually require all of those applying for probation officer training to have a master’s degree in criminal justice or a related field.
Other Useful Assets
Probation officers deal with a number of social issues everyday in their life, which makes experience in any social work, whether it is volunteer or for profit work, invaluable when applying to a probation officers training program. For instance, substance abuse counselors, halfway house volunteers, or any other experience with populations dealing with personality and substance abuse disorders may help. By contacting local substance abuse houses or mental health facilities, one may be able to become a volunteer for one of these types of organizations.
Like most other programs that require a high level of responsibility, obtaining the ability to become a probation officer will rely on the successful passing of numerous tests and exams. There will be basic exams that one must pass such as reading and writing assessments although there will also be tests to ensure the potential probation officer knows how to apply the knowledge he or she has learned in their studies to real world problems and issues. Each state will have their own specific exams that the potential probation officer will need to complete before beginning a probation officers training program.
After one is hired to become a probation officer, he or she is sometimes required to complete more coursework. There may be a semester of in-class training for the new hire. This is mainly to familiarize the rookie probation officers with office policies, state and federal laws, and to give the new hire some experience with potential explosive situations in a safe environment. After this coursework is complete, the probation officer may perform a preceptorship, which allows the newly hired probation officer to shadow another probation officer for sometimes up to six months. This gives the new hire a chance to physically apply the knowledge he or she has gained in their prior coursework. Probation officers training may initially be a lot of work for one to complete although most people in the profession believe it has a very high intrinsic reward factor.