To work as a probation officer, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent;
- have at least a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or social work; and
- complete a state or federal training program.
Education after high school
Most probation officers have a bachelor's degree in social work or criminal justice. Some states require you to have one year of graduate study as well. Probation officers usually must also complete a state or federal training program.
Some employers require probation officers to have three to four years of experience working in a related field.
Most probation officers spend up to one month as a trainee. During training, you learn skills from experienced officers.
The military trains people to work as caseworkers and counselors. This occupation includes probation officers. Training lasts from eight to ten weeks. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses.