Do you have what it takes to be an Adult Probation Officer?

Probation Officers can make a positive difference in the lives of criminal offenders, providing them with the skills, resources, and accountability to live a productive, law-abiding life. Due to the nature of the work, it is important for candidates to assess if they possess the skills and personal characteristics needed to succeed as a Probation Officer. Candidates are asked to consider the following information carefully.

Are you:

  • A person of integrity? Do you possess sound moral and ethical principles, are trustworthy, reliable, accountable for your actions and act with honor?
  • Someone that is motivational? Can you support and encourage behavior change?
  • A clear communicator? Can you interact, actively listen, and engage justice-involved individuals in a supportive and respectful manner to assist in the behavioral change process?
  • Organized and able to meet deadlines? Can you manage time and deadlines while juggling other operational demands?
  • Able to complete paperwork and administrative work on a daily basis? This is a large part of the Probation Officer position.
  • Able to express your thoughts in writing? Having the skills to document activity, decisions, and progress in a clear, credible, and concise manner is a very important skill to possess in this role. In addition, the ability to critically evaluate information and evidence and present it in a convincing manner is equally important.
  • Able to work any time? A probation officer's duties typically are not Monday-Friday, 8 to 5. Dependent on the assignment, there will be times when officers will work evenings, nights, or weekends. These hours give probation officers the freedom to flex their work schedule.
  • Personable and relationship-oriented? Much of your time will be spent in the community, meeting with justice-involved individuals, family members, employers, and treatment providers to assist in effective behavior-change and relationship-building.
  • Comfortable with uncertain situations? Although very rare, you could find yourself in a situation where your safety may be compromised.
  • Emotionally stable? Are you able to draw clear and healthy emotional boundaries?
  • A critical thinker? Can you analyze complex information to form judgments and draw conclusions while considering the implications and consequences of all options?
  • A decision-maker? Can you select logical and optimal choices from all available options?

If you believe you have the skills mentioned above and want to embark on a career where you can change the lives of those in your community, we welcome you to join our team, a team for positive change!

Minimum Requirements

The following are the minimum requirements for Adult Probation Officers Pursuant to the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration Part 6, Chapter 1, Section 6-106 and A.R.S. §§ 12-251(C) and 8-203(C):

  • Be a United States Citizen or have legal resident status
  • At a minimum, possess a bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by the US Department of Education or CHEA
  • Be a minimum age of 21 years


Candidates will start at the pay rate of $30.46 per hour and are eligible for a one-time payment of $1,500.00 after six months and another one-time payment of $1,500.00 after 18 months of continuous employment. Placement at a higher salary rate may be considered for prior comparable, directly related probation or parole experience.

What does an Adult Probation Officer do?

Check out our Adult Probation Officer recruitment video to see the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department in action in this PBS presentation.

Department Ride-Alongs

If you are interested in scheduling a Ride-Along to learn more about the Adult Probation Officer position, please email

Adult Probation Officer Recruitment Process

The process will generally take 3-6 months but may take longer to complete. Applicants will advance to the next stage of the process once they have successfully completed and passed the previous step.

A timeline of the process:

  • Applications will only be accepted online during the posting period on our website. Resumes cannot be submitted in lieu of an application.
  • After your application is screened and moved forward, you will be emailed a written exercise to complete that we will use to evaluate your writing skills and understanding of the position. You will have 5 days to complete this exercise.
  • A link to our online background packet is emailed to you to be completed and returned. This is an extensive questionnaire that requires you to fill out personal information and provide supporting documents. This step may take you 2-3 hours to complete. You will have 14 days to complete this step. It is advisable to start collecting your documents at the time you submit your application. The documents you will need are listed on the upper right-hand side of this page.
  • Background investigations are conducted and usually take 2-4 weeks but may take longer. During this time, job history will be validated, and references will be contacted.
  • Background interviews are conducted.
  • Polygraphs are performed by our polygraph vendors. Results can take up to a week to receive. Polygraphs are conducted in person in the Phoenix area for all applicants.
  • Psychological Evaluation. Like the polygraph, the psychological evaluation is completed in person in Phoenix for all applicants. Due to the time it takes to evaluate the results, the polygraph, and psychological evaluations, typically are not conducted on the same trip should you need to travel from another state. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the applicant.
  • For successful candidates, start dates are then coordinated. We typically have 4 academies per year, but we can start officers between academies in a shadowing position with an experienced officer.

Probation Officer Academies for Successful Hires

Probation Officer Academies are conducted quarterly. Our Academies are primarily conducted at our offices Monday through Friday during normal business hours. For those that are hired prior to the start of an academy, you may work in a shadowing capacity with an experienced officer.

The Probation Officer Academy consists of:

  • New Employee Orientation (1 week)
  • New Officer Training, Education, and Skill Building (3 weeks)
  • Probation Officer Certification (2 weeks)
  • Defensive Tactics (1 week)
  • Field Coaching (1 week)


Most of our communications for the Adult Probation Officer position are conducted by email. Please check your email (and junk mail) regularly if you are involved in one of our open recruitments.

Required Documentation

You will need to submit the following documents during the Adult Probation Officer background process. Please start collecting these documents now, as once instructed, you will need to submit them by the deadline you are given by the Staffing Analyst:

  • A legible copy of your Arizona Driver License (Out of state Candidates submit their current state license)
  • A copy of your Birth Certificate, US Passport, Naturalization paperwork or Legal Resident Card
  • A copy of your College Transcripts that specifically state that your bachelor degree was "awarded" or "conferred." *
  • A copy of your Member 4 DD-214 (or comparable paperwork) if you served in the military.
  • A copy of your most recent performance review.

Optional documents include:

  • Up to 3 letters of recommendation
  • A copy of your College Diploma

* Applicants with a Bachelor's degree from a foreign country must submit an educational equivalency (basic statement of comparability) report completed by an organization which is a current member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or an endorsed member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE).  The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County does not endorse any particular service.


If you have any additional questions about this recruitment, please contact us at 602-372-9675,, or via social media.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • For the first 12 months, new probation officers serve a probationary period and typically are assigned to a standard caseload. Although a standard caseload can require occasional night and weekend work, usually, new officers work Monday through Friday, 8a-5p.
  • Those officers assigned to Intensive Probation Services (IPS), Domestic Violence, Sex Offender caseloads, or other similar types of caseloads, require more evening, night, and weekend work. Officers assigned to these caseloads are often at the preference of the officer and not typically mandated by the probation department.
  • Initial Appearance (IA) work is shift work. Initial Appearance (IA) operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days a year. Officers assigned to IA court work a 4-day per week, 10-hour schedule with 3 days off. Shifts are either 5:00 pm to 3:30 am or 6:30 pm to 5:00 am. IA shifts qualify for shift differential pay.

A benefit probation officers enjoy is the ability to work a variety of shifts and hours. Probation officers work 80 hours in a two-week period but can work those 80 hours in a variety of ways.  Although expected to be available during normal business hours, and available to respond to their department-issued cell phone, most probation officer assignments, with some exceptions, can flex their work schedule or telework once their probationary period is completed.  This allows officers the ability to meet the needs of their caseload, while giving them the freedom to complete their work during the hours of their choosing. 

Not usually. Overtime pay needs to be substantiated and approved by the Supervisor. However, an officer's assigned caseload needs to be addressed, so there may be arrests or other incidents that occur that necessitate the need for overtime.

Adult Probation Officers do not usually work holidays, unless assigned to Initial Appearance (IA) court. However, there may be situations where officers may need to work on a holiday to meet the needs of their caseload.

Probation Officers will meet with the incoming arrestees and perform a short interview with them in order to obtain their criminal histories to report findings back to the Initial Appearance Judge in order to determine whether or not the arrested person should be released on the own recognizance.

The County does provide vehicles for officers to use, but there are typically not enough for every officer to be assigned a vehicle. There are times when officers will utilize their personal vehicle to meet the needs of their assigned caseload but will be reimbursed the current federal mileage rate per mile driven.

Most Probation Officers wear business casual in the office, but business professional attire is required when appearing in Court. When Probation Officers are out in the field, they may be required to wear a bullet resistant vest along with other safety tools. Although your attire must still look professional, you may wear casual clothing such as jeans and tennis shoes.

Our academy is administered in-house by our APO trainers. Most of the training occurs Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm at the Downtown Justice Center – 620 West Jackson Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85003. The academy usually lasts 8-10 weeks.

As mandated by the Administrative Office of the Courts, new officers are also required to pass the Probation Officer Certification and Defensive Tactics training academies within one year from their hire date. Both academies are typically held in a central Phoenix location.

As stated on the job posting, assignments will be based on the needs of the department. Because the department's needs are constantly changing, officers will not receive an assignment until the end of the academy. Most Probation Officers will start in the Central Field; the Northern boundary is Cactus Road, the Southern boundary is Pecos Road, the West boundary is 43rd Avenue and the East boundary is 64th Street.

The Maricopa County Adult Probation Department employs over 700 Adult Probation Officers. The number of vacancies we have at any given time is constantly in flux due to several factors: promotions, retirements, demotions, relocations, resignations etc. 

Yes. We are not directly associated with any other agencies and there is not an option to "transfer" from another location or to forego a portion of our hiring process.