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Types of Careers

The Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) has numerous opportunities for rewarding careers by serving the commonwealth and its citizens. Several different careers that are available at PBPP are highlighted here. Please check the current vacancies section for vacant career opportunities.

Parole Agent


PBPP agents actively supervise citizens on parole every day. Parole supervision is much more than working one-on-one with the parolee. It encompasses coordination and consultation with a parolee’s employer, counselors and family members. Their job requires them to be: enforcement officer, behavioral counselor, social worker and job counselor ~ often at the same time. PBPP agents do not depend on high-tech gadgets to supervise, but upon one-on-one interaction with an offender to steer them toward crime-free lives. When this occurs, one of the toughest jobs in law enforcement can be one of the most rewarding as an agent helps an individual turn their life around and prevents another crime from being committed.

Training – 8-week Basic Training Academy (BTA)

This intensive professional development curriculum is designed to develop the comprehensive skills needed by parole agents to carry out the mission of effective supervision to reduce recidivism and maintain public safety. The Basic Training Academy training program includes:
• EPICS: Effective Practices for Community Supervision is designed to further incorporate evidence-based practices within the confines of a typical offender supervision contact
• Up-to-date training by medical professionals on infectious diseases, drug and alcohol addictions and recovery programs and mental health issues
• Enhanced defense tactics to ensure the safety of the agent and the offender
• Recognition of gangs and other security threat groups
• Specialized case management of sex offenders
• Using risk and needs assessments to assist with successful offender reentry into the community
• Training to help assess domestic violence situations and responses to Protection from Abuse orders.

Work Environment

Field Operations: Agents work within the community to supervise and guide the transition and integration of parolees. PBPP field parole agents are assigned state vehicles to ensure they can meet their parolee’s where they live and work.

State Correctional Institutions: Agents work within correctional facilities to prepare inmates for parole hearings. In addition to coordinating and monitoring the status of an inmate’s completion of mandated programs, they conduct critical preliminary interviews to determine an inmate’s readiness for release.

Commonwealth Benefits

• Starting salary: Over $42,000 annually
• Generous annual vacation/sick/holiday leave totaling 30 days for new hires
• Comprehensive health benefit plan
• Supplemental health benefits include prescription, dental, vision and hearing aid plans (after six months of service)
• Paid life insurance
• Deferred compensation plan
• PSECU membership, direct deposit, etc.
• Retirement Option at age 55 after three years of service (if hired on or after January 1, 2011)

Minimum Education and Experience - Parole Agent 1 Job (#46040)

Four years of paraprofessional experience which includes two years of paraprofessional social services, human services, corrections, or law enforcement experience; OR
Two years of paraprofessional social services, human services, corrections, or law enforcement experience, and an associate’s degree; OR
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, legal studies, political science, behavioral science, or a related field; OR
An equivalent combination of experience and training.

Special Requirements – Agent candidates must:

1. Obtain and maintain a Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN) certificate. Parole Agent’s use CLEAN to perform duties.
The selected applicant must be free of criminal history that would preclude CLEAN certification. Individuals convicted, or under indictment, for any felony; for any misdemeanor where more than 1 year in prison can be imposed, or any computer crime are precluded from CLEAN certification. In addition, individuals are not eligible for CLEAN certification for 10 years from the date of disposition of any misdemeanor for which the individual was incarcerated for 30 days or more or any two misdemeanors which occurred in two separate incidents within the last 10 years.

2. Successfully pass an extensive 10 year background screening.  Candidates must provide a full address and current phone numbers, with extension numbers of employers - past (at least 10 years of employment history, include military service if it is part of that time period) and present.

3. Pass a medical examination, drug screening and psychological evaluation.
4. Possess an active non-commercial Pennsylvania Class C driver’s license or equivalent.
5. Be a Pennsylvania resident, of good moral character and able to perform the essential functions of the position.
6. Comply with fingerprinting requirement as part of the hiring process.

7. Agree to:
a. Attend Basic Training Academy near Harrisburg, PA for up to 8-weeks (required to stay overnight Monday through Friday, lodging provided).
b. Participate in training programs including firearms, defensive tactics, and personal safety techniques.
c. Wear, carry, and use protective devices such as ballistic vests and pepper spray.
d. Work independently and encounter potentially dangerous situations working in neighborhoods, offenders’ homes, and prisons.
e. Interact with offenders regardless of race, gender, mental/physical disabilities, and serious health conditions.
f. Respond to calls any time day or night for an arrest/detainment.
New employees must remain within appointing seniority unit (permanent work/duty assignment/location) for minimum of 2 years from date of hire. Management reserves right to modify requirement for operational need.

Ready to Apply?

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a Parole Agent with the PA Board of Probation and Parole, please see the steps highlighted below.  More information regarding other Commonwealth Careers can be found by visiting the Job Seekers Page on the State Civil Service Commission’s (SCSC) website (

Create an account and complete an online application by visiting the Online Services Page on the State Civil Service Commission’s website.

Visit the SCSC’s Job Seekers Page. Locate Parole Agent 1 test announcement (2016-118). Review announcement information noting exam opening and closing dates. Schedule and take Parole Agent 1 exam.

Examination Information (Total of 120 questions)
You will have a maximum of 2 1/2 hours to complete a computerized multiple choice exam in the following subject areas:
• Individual and Group Behavior (25 questions)
• Interviewing (30 questions)
• Analyzing Written Information (35 questions)
• Effective Expression (30 questions)

You will be notified in writing of your test results. You must pre-schedule test date and time. If schedule is full, walk-in testing may be available.

Receive and RETURN an availability survey.

If the score is competitive and you are contacted, INTERVIEW for position.

Successfully PASS CLEAN/NCIC (criminal history check).

ACCEPT Conditional job offer.

PASS comprehensive background screen, medical examination, drug screening and psychological evaluation.