How to Become a Probation Officer in Alabama

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Individuals convicted of a crime may be placed on probation instead of being sent to prison. When this occurs they are supervised by a probation officer, who works to ensure that probationers stay out of trouble and meet their court-mandated requirements. To become a probation officer in the state of Alabama you must hold a bachelor's degree and undergo specific training. The career requires irregular hours and sometimes chaotic work environments.

Things You'll Need

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Probation and Parole Officer Willingness Questionnaire
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Alabama driver's license
  • Graduate from a four-year university or college with a degree in criminal justice or a related field of study. You may apply for a position as a probation officer in the state of Alabama if you are in your last semester of study; however, you will not be able to start work until you have officially graduated with a bachelor's degree.

  • Complete the Probation and Parole Officer Willingness Questionnaire form. As of 2010, this form consists of 24 yes-or-no questions regarding what duties you are willing to perform as a probation officer. According to the State of Alabama Personnel Department, if you are unable to answer yes on all questions you may need to re-think your ability to perform this job.

  • Print the completed questionnaire form and visit the local Alabama Career Center Office to fill out a probation officer job application. Applications will not be processed if the questionnaire is not included. Once your application is processed you will be given an appointment to meet with the hiring agency.

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment and bring your resume and Alabama driver's license. Following the appointment, you will be contacted within 30 days regarding the next step in the hiring process. If approved, you will be placed in a probationary period during which you must undergo testing.

  • Register through the hiring agency to take the Probation Officer Examination. The exam is a written multiple-choice exam. If you pass the exam, you will be required to undergo a physical ability/agility test.

  • Prepare for the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission Physical Ability/Agility Test. This test, required for all probation officers, measures your endurance as well as your ability to carry out the physical demands the position entails. You will take test during your probationary period. The agility test comprises five scenarios designed to resemble job-related activities. The physical ability test includes timed push-ups, sit-ups and a 1.5-mile run. You must pass each test in both phases in order to become a probation officer. Once you pass this exam you will be an official probation officer for the state of Alabama.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not apply for a probation officer position if you do not want to work in a high-stress and sometimes hectic work environment.
  • Carefully review the willingness questionnaire and if you are not comfortable with all job requirements do not apply.
  • The Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission Physical Ability/Agility Test is intense. Prepare by performing daily cardiovascular and strength training exercises.

References

  • Photo Credit inside a courthouse image by Empath from Fotolia.com
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