Probation Officer Career in Maricopa County, Arizona

The recent average monthly probation population in Maricopa County was 53,261 with 86 percent of those being for felony crimes. This number accounts for more than half of the entire state’s probationers, which in 2012 totaled 80,643. Probation officers in the county enforce the terms of probation on offenders, protecting the public safety while at the same time helping probationers successfully reintegrate back into the many communities within Maricopa County.

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Maricopa County provides probation services to six out of the seven largest cities in the state:

  • Phoenix
  • Mesa
  • Chandler
  • Glendale
  • Scottsdale
  • Gilbert

In 2012, 81 percent of offenders successfully completed their probation sentences. The Maricopa County probation department has several tried and tested probation units for a variety of offenders:

  • Standard probation
  • Mentally ill
  • Sex offenders
  • Domestic violence
  • Veterans
  • DUI and drug offenders

Steps to Become a Maricopa County Probation Officer

Education – Candidates interested in applying for jobs with Maricopa County probation services need to have a bachelor’s degree in any subject area, not limited to criminal justice, psychology, or social work. The degree must also be from an academic institution accredited by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education.

Additional Requirements – Candidates wishing to begin a career as a probation officer in Maricopa County must also meet the following requirements:

  • At least 21 years of age
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Have strong organizational, communication, and analytical skills
  • Be able to physically control confrontational situation
  • Willingness to work all shifts and locations in Maricopa County
  • Get along well with people from many different backgrounds

How to Apply – Applications are only accepted when there is a probation officer vacancy at one of the locations throughout the county. Candidates can monitor the county’s website for any openings, and the initial application must be filed online, with instructions being provided in the job description.

Preparation and Training – Before being hired, candidates must complete an extensive application process that involves passing a pre-employment test. Maricopa County provides a study guide for this, which covers procedures, situations, regulations, and scenarios in the probations field. Applicants will also have to make it through a background investigation, medical exam, and drug testing.

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After being hired, new recruits will complete a two-week Probation Certification Academy that includes:

  • Defensive tactics and firearms training
  • Behavioral influencing
  • Sociological and psychological pattern recognition

Examination – Before graduation officers must pass an overall competency test, a written exam on defensive procedures, earn their firearms certification, and have a 100 percent attendance record, or not have missed more than 12 approved hours of the curriculum. After their first year of employment, officers must annually complete both an eight-hour refresher course of defensive tactics and re-qualify with their firearms.

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