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.
|Associate’s or a Bachelor’s Degree|
|Major Requirement||Criminal Justice degree is preferred|
|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
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.
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
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.