Probation jobs can seem quite specialised and feel like quite a formidable area of work to break into. But there are avenues to get into this field. This article will try and show what is need to get a role such as a probation officer and other similar roles. Hopefully highlighting some of the gaps you may have in your current CV if you are thinking about applying for probation roles.
In a general sense, the key skills you should have under your belt is to have sound judgement, a high level of critical thinking and good organisational skill. But this is probably applicable to a million other jobs, therefore, here are a few more specific boxes to tick if you wish to apply.
The first step is to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. This would be something such as criminal justice or social work based degrees. If your degree does not match this, or does not seem related to these areas in any way, you can consider a masters degree that is more closely related. Of course, this is a large financial commitment, but without this sort of qualification you cannot get the ball rolling in applying for these sorts of jobs.
Next, you will need valid experience within this field. This can take the form of work experience within the probation field at lower levels, or internships directly working with probation officers, depending on your situation you might not be able to take internships in a relevant area. If your CV is lacking this sort of experience and it is hard to find work that is directly relevant, it may time to start thinking outside the box to some degree. Such as working within the social work sector, or volunteer for charities and organisation that work with young offenders or something to a similar degree. In short, you need to work out what experience, in your current position, you can realistically undertake.
On the more practical side of things, you will need to pass a criminal background check, as well as a physical and a mental health evaluation. This will usually be undergone once you have made it through the first part of the application process, and should not really be a surprise to anyone wanting a job within the criminal justice system.
If you can safely say you have accomplished this generic list provided above then you are in a good position to start applying for various probation roles, and if not, hopefully it has pointed you in the correct direction to start your probation career.