Human Services Guide

Education Requirements To Become a Probation Officer

It takes a very specific personality type along with a learned set of techniques and skills to be an effective Probation Officer. In order to deal with convicts who are re-entering into society you will need to have a strong ability to invoke authority, be an effective communicator, able to establish rapport, have firm professional boundaries and be able to have empathy for your clients as they make the difficult transition from correctional facilities into mainstream society. While many of these traits are inborn, you can improve your abilities and skills through proper training and education.

Look for schools offered through online and campus programs that have degrees to become a probation officer. Most correctional facilities are looking for candidates who have Bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice or on occasion other related Behavioral Science disciplines such as Social Work, Sociology or Psychology. It is wise to make sure that if you are earning a Behavioral Science degree that you have at least a minor in Criminal Justice. If you want to expand your employability, especially in some states, you may wish to learn a foreign language if you are earning your degree in Criminal Justice. As is the case with most professions, continuing your education to earn a Master’s or Ph.D. in Criminal Justice can net you tremendous professional rewards and pave the way towards a career in management.