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Federal Probation Officer

The US District Courts hire a wide variety of personnel to transport inmates to trial, ensure the safety of courtrooms, and help guide repeat offenders to more effective choices in life. If you want to protect your community and ensure that inmates get the help and assessment they need, you may wish to consider becoming a federal probation officer. This job involves working at one of many federal courts across the country. We want to help you find the right criminal justice program so you can prepare for the career you want. There are many avenues in this field that lead to careers in law enforcement. Contact the schools listed in your area to compare programs before making your decision.



Federal Probation Officer Job Description

A federal probation officer spends time conferring with judges, lawyers, and others who work in the court system. Judges highly values this input and uses it to determine whether or not to post bail. A federal probation officer's documentation is typically used during sentencing to keep criminals off the street while giving those who need it a second chance. A federal probation officer may also be expected to pursue criminals, defend yourself against attacks, and subdue people as needed. These are some of the most physical aspects of the job. However, they may also spend a considerable amount of time sitting and talking to inmates, communicating with other law enforcement personnel, and completing required documentation.



How to Become a Federal Probation Officer

It's important to become familiar with the hiring requirements of the US Probation and Pretrial Office before applying for a federal probation officer position. As part of your job duties, you may have to work with violent offenders that may be dangerous to you and the public at large. As a result, it's important to meet the Office's physical strength requirements. You'll likely be tested physically in many different ways, including your cardiovascular strength, your ability to lift, and how well you handle a firearm. In many cases, federal probation officers are required to carry firearms and use them appropriately.

Education Requirements

In order to work as a federal probation officer, obtaining a bachelor's degree in a related field is required. The US Probation and Pretrial Office notes that acceptable degree choices include criminology, psychology, human relations, public administration, and criminal justice. Criminal justice may be a popular choice; the curriculum for this degree has many relevant courses, including Probation, Parole, & Intermediate Sanctions, Contemporary Police Practices, and Trial & Evidence.

Training Requirements

Your work experience must also be in line with the job duties of a federal probation officer. This work experience must be after the completion of a bachelor's degree. You may work in fields like pretrial services, corrections, addiction treatment, criminal investigations, or parole. According to the Probation and Pretrial Services department of the US Courts, federal probation officers go through specialized training after being hired. All training happens at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, South Carolina. You go through the Federal Probation and Pretrial Services Training Academy. This program lasts six weeks; throughout the duration of your program, you learn about safely performing your job duties and using firearms in an effective, appropriate manner. You can also complete the training required to become a firearms instructor.




Federal Probation Officer Salary and Career Outlook

There are many branches of the US federal courts, leading to the need for probation officers that can properly assess inmates and provide valuable insights to judge and other criminal justice professionals. In reality, the job outlook for this specific job title varies from area to area, depending on how many courts are in your area and how many criminals go through your local court system. If you want to have a promising job outlook, it's crucial to choose the right degree and work experience options for this career path. Federal jobs often have intense competition, and doing everything you can to qualify may help your chances.

Federal probation officers are paid via the Court Personnel System. Salaries vary widely based on experience level, education, and other job qualifications. Many officers are hired at Step 25. Starting salaries at this level range from $26,468 to $47,770 per year. However, most probation officers get raises every year. In addition, your locality pay depends on where you live. The higher the cost of living is in your area, the higher your locality pay may be.

As you progress through your career, you may be expected to regularly attend training and courses to keep up on your education. It's important to stay on top of laws that affect those on probation and understand how different crimes are sentenced. Becoming a federal probation officer is a great way to make a difference, help people make the most of a second change, and keep your community safe.

If you want to learn more about criminal justice programs that can prepare you for careers like this, contact the schools in our directory today!

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