The parole officers have a vital role to play in the betterment of society. They look after criminals on parole and help them start a new life. Parole officers aid criminals in looking for jobs and dealing with old problems.

Should I Become a Parole Officer in US?

If you want to help criminals start over and live a better life, then a career as a parole officer will suit you. Continue reading to learn how you can become a parole officer in the US.

 

Education

Associate’s or a Bachelor’s Degree
Major Requirement Criminal Justice degree is preferred
License/Certification N/A
Experience/Training Training is required in most states
Key Skills Patience, Good Physical Condition, Good Communication Skills, etc.
Annual Mean Salary – National $59,910 (Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists)
Job Outlook (2019 – 2029) 4% (Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists)

 

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish the career outlook figures for parole officers. However, figures for Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists are available, and these professionals will enjoy 4% job growth between 2019 and 2029.

Steps to Become a Parole Officer

Candidates have to complete the following steps to become parole officers in the US:

Get a Degree

Almost all states in the US have made it mandatory for aspiring parole officers to get a degree. The degree level requirement varies from state to state. Some states require parole officers to have an Associate’s Degree, whereas other states have made it mandatory to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. It is advisable to check your state requirements before you start the process of becoming a parole officer.

Clear Background Checks

Since parole officers have to work as part of the criminal justice system, they will have to clear an extensive background screening process. The authorities will check background history for past law offenses, felony charges, and driving violations, among other things. Credit card history, personal and professional references might be scrutinized as well.

Clear a Government Exam

Aspiring parole officers will have to clear a government-administered exam too. This examination will gauge the candidate’s knowledge of courts and criminal justice systems. These tests can be conducted by state, county, city as well as the federal government. Most of these tests have MCQs and essay questions to analyze the candidates’ reading and writing skills.

Complete Training

Candidates will have to complete training. These trainings are held during the first year of employment or before starting work as parole officers. The participants are paid during these training sessions, and it takes between 4 to 6 weeks to complete the training. Some states might also ask parole officers to take re-training and refresher sessions from time to time in order to get career advancement opportunities.

Apply for a Job

Once all the steps mentioned above have been completed, candidates will have to start looking for jobs within the criminal justice system.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Parole Officer?

It usually takes anywhere between 2 to 7 years to become a parole officer in the US after high school. The timeframe will vary according to the educational requirements, the time it takes to prepare for the test, and the training duration.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Parole Officer?

  • Get an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s Degree, according to the state requirement.
  • Pass a background check
  • Clear a government-administered exam
  • Complete training
  • Apply for a job

How Much Does a Parole Officer Earn in the US?

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists in the US earned $59,910 in mean annual income in the year 2019. This figure has been taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.