Parole and Probation Officer Professions Video: Career Options

Parole and Probation Officer Professions Video: Career Options Transcript

Probation officers work within the criminal justice system, monitoring offenders to make sure they do not commit new crimes. Similar positions include correction officer and juvenile corrections officer. The court systems and police rely on all three of these professionals to aid in handling criminals and keeping re-offenders at a minimum.


Becoming a probation or parole officer is a great way to work within the criminal justice system. These officers work with offenders in order to help them from committing additional crimes. Individuals interested in social work or criminal justice, often enter into these positions.

Job Duties and Skills

As a probation or parole officer, one will need to have excellent listening and interpersonal skills. Probation officers deal with local, state, and federal laws, and in turn should be knowledgeable about how these laws are executed. Positions in this field are often found in courts or jails and typically involve a lot of paperwork and reporting. Excellent writing, organization, and computer skills are ideal. POs may work with minor or major crime offenders and can sometimes be put into dangerous situations. A strong will and good physical and emotional stability may be necessary in such situations. Job duties also include the monitoring and facilitation of psychological tests and other evaluations of criminals.

Training Required

To become a parole or probation officer, professionals must hold a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, social work, psychology, or other related field of study. Depending on the employer, a master's degree in one of those same areas may be required. It is also typical for many agencies to have age stipulations. For instance, most agencies will require that POs are 21 years old at the minimum and no older than age 37 (this is typically for federal employment). Being able to administer and evaluate psychological tests is also critical.

Career Opportunities

Probation and parole officers can find themselves working in a court setting, jail, prison, or other probation agencies. These positions and settings are quite dependent on funding that is provided for such services whether at the local, state or federal levels.


In conclusion, professionals who wish to work as probation or parole officers must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a subject related to criminal justice and be willing to work with a variety of offenders. It can be stressful job, one that requires emotional stability, but is needed in all areas of criminal justice. POs ultimately help offenders from committing additional crimes and provide psychological services that can assist them in staying clean.

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