Parole Officer Job Search Tips

If you are interested in a parole officer job, the good news is that there is definitely a demand for your services. The more difficult part is getting the job itself. This article will tell you what goes into being a parole officer and how you can find parole officer jobs.

Education and Training

Let's clarify exactly what a parole officer does. A parole officer works with those who have been released from state or federal prison prior to the actual end of their sentence. This differs them from a probation officer, who assists those who have never been sentenced to prison. The main job of a parole officer is to make sure the parolee obeys the terms of his release and also helps that person adjust to life outside prison. It's an extremely demanding job with a high case load, a lot of responsibility and not a little danger.

A parole officer must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university in criminal justice or a related field such as social work or psychology. For some federal parole positions, a graduate degree is required. A parole officer must also pass a number of tests, including physical, psychological and for substances. If you don't think you can make it past these tests, the position of parole officer may not be for you.

Certain states require actual experience working either in a corrections or counseling setting before allowing a person to be a parole officer.

Finding the Job

If you meet the minimum requirements, the best route to becoming a parole officer is to apply with federal, state or county Departments of Justice or Departments of Corrections. These official agencies are the overwhelming source of parole officer jobs. Once you apply, you'll undergo a thorough background check and take another test with the Department. You can find both hard copy and online aides to prepare you for the Parole Officer Exam.

The demand for parole officers is expected to remain quite high for the next few years, but that doesn't mean an opportunity will open up exactly where you want it to. Relocation will likely be necessary unless you live in a major urban center like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. Parole officers at the county and municipal levels are likely to remain in the same general area while those at the federal level may move around quite a bit. This is something to keep in mind when considering what kind of parole job you want.

Many times the university where you obtained your degree can help place you in a parole officer job. They are excellent sources of leads. Good old-fashioned networking is also a help. As you go through the justice system, you will make contact with many criminal justice professionals who can provide tips and leads for not only parole officer work but other opportunities. Cultivate these connections, they may prove invaluable.

The Internet also has many sites where you can look for parole officer jobs. One of the best and easiest to use can be found at