West Virginia probation officer jobs fall under the jurisdiction of the West Virginia Judiciary Division of Probation Services. There are over 300 individuals pursuing probation officer careers in West Virginia, as of 2013. They supervise over 14,000 probationers across the state.
West Virginia probation officer jobs may involve working with circuit courts, community agencies, the Department of Health and Human Resources, and other state agencies. The West Virginia Juvenile Drug Court Program and the West Virginia Interstate Compact for Juveniles are also under the supervision of the Division of Probation Services. West Virginia’s probation department employs 35 specialized probation officers who supervise sex offender probationers in six Sex Offender Intensive Supervision offices across the state.
Education Required to Become a Probation Officer in West Virginia
A bachelor’s degree in social work, criminal justice, industrial relations, business, organizational behavior, counseling, public administration, psychology, corrections, political science, or other applicable field is the minimum requirement in order to become a probation officer in West Virginia. No experience may be substituted for the degree requirement.
Applications for those interested in learning about how to become a probation officer in West Virginia are accepted online through the West Virginia Division of Personnel. Transcripts need not be provided at the time of online application to become a probation officer in West Virginia. However, applicants must be ready to present college transcripts when asked.
Taking the Examination for Probation Officers in West Virginia
After submitting an application to become a probation officer in West Virginia, applicants must take the Probation and Parole Officer written examination. No appointments are made to take the test – candidates just appear at the testing center of their choice as soon as possible after filing a job application. All applicants must test within 90 days of submitting an application or the application will be voided. Test centers are located in White Sulphur Springs, Wheeling, Welch, Parkersburg, Moorefield, Martinsbug, Huntington, Farmington, Elkins, Bridgeport, Bluefield, Beckley, and Charleston.
The exam consists of multiple-choice and written response questions. Candidates will be notified by mail six weeks after taking the exam of their pass or fail status. Those who pass will be placed the list of those eligible to become a probation and parole officer in West Virginia through training for one year. As openings occur, persons on the list will be called to interview and participate in the next steps of the hiring process.
Training for Probation Officers in West Virginia
During a West Virginia probation officer’s first year of employment, that officer is expected to complete 240 hours of training. Firearms training is optional and is only given to probation officers whose jobs dictate that they must carry handguns.
Probation officers in West Virginia must complete 40 hours of continuing education each year in order to keep their jobs. There is no certification or licensure required of probation officers in West Virginia.