Parole officers must have a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, sociology, social work or criminal justice. In addition, certain states require parole officers to go through a training course before they can get out into the field. Remember, you’re mainly trying to connect with your parolees and act as an advisor, but you also have to be prepared to go into battle if things get out of hand and you have to reach for the ol’ ugly stick. Part of the training involves taking a psychological examination, physical exam and written test. Also, many agencies require that the parole officer applicant be between 21- 37 years old. Curse that ageism!
Various agencies may also require that a parole officer complete a one-year probationary period before they are offered a permanent position. During that time, you can wear a badge that says “future parole officer rock star.” But only if you make it yourself out of construction paper and get permission to wear it.