State of Florida Probation Officer Certification Program Summaries

There are about 40 institutions in Florida that offer the basic training needed to become a certified probation officer. Read an overview of the ten largest schools' programs, requirements, and tuition info, and find out which school is the right one for you.

View 7 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

There are about 40 institutions in Florida that are certified to administer the basic training needed to sit for the certification exam. The following are the ten largest institutions of higher learning where this training can be completed. In general, programs which qualify an individual to sit for the SOCE fall into one of two categories: law enforcement and corrections. These programs are highly structured and have specific standards, regulations, and requirements which are set by the state. Programs may take as little as three to six months to complete. Some programs may require applicants to have a previous degree.

Career Requirements

There is a four-step process for becoming a certified probation officer in the state of Florida. Individuals who wish to become certified must meet certain basic requirements. These include being a US citizen who is 19 years of age or older, and having earned a bachelor's degree. Those who have been dishonorably discharged from the military, or who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that involved perjury or false statement, are not eligible to become a sworn officer. In addition, a physical examination is needed, and individuals must have fingerprints on file. Finally, those who want to become a certified officer must be judged to be of good moral character.

If these basic requirements are met, prospective officers will complete a basic abilities test, then progress to basic training. Training is followed by the State Officer Certification Examination (SOCE). No one can sit for the SOCE until he or she completes basic recruit training at a Commission-certified school. After successfully passing the SOCE, individuals have four years to become employed by the state of Florida. Once employed, the individual's employing agency will make an application for certification on their behalf, and they can become certified officers.


Brevard Community College

Certificates and associate's degrees are available at Brevard Community College in Cocoa, a 2-year public school with a total student population of about 18,000 students. The 420-hour Correctional Officer program is worth a total of 17 credit hours. The Law Enforcement Program, which requires 770 hours to complete, is worth 27 credit hours.

  • Programs Offered: Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate - Florida CMS Correctional Officer
    Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate - Florida CMS Law Enforcement Officer
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $2,458 in-state*; $8,986 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large suburb

Broward College

Broward College, located in Fort Lauderdale, is a 4-year public college that offers certificate programs in addition to associate's and bachelor's degrees. This college offers a training program specifically for correctional probation officers that requires 465 hours to complete. In order to enroll in this program, an individual must have a bachelor's degree, and be sponsored by the Department of Corrections.

  • Program Offered: Correctional Probation Officer Academy Certificate Program
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $2,494 in-state*; $8,616 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

Daytona State College

Daytona State College in Daytona Beach is a public school that offers bachelor's and associate's degrees, and certificate programs. The School of Emergency Services offers Police Basic Recruit Training and Corrections Officer Basic Recruit Training. The Law Enforcement Academy has five classes each year, which are limited to 25 students each.

  • Programs Offered: Law Enforcement Academy
    Corrections Academy
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $3,371 in-state*; $12,441 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; small city

Hillsborough Community College

Located in Tampa, Hillsboro Community College is a 2-year public school that offers certificate and associate's programs. Working under the direction of the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, The Criminal Justice Institute has a 552-hour Corrections Academy, and a Law Enforcement Training Program, which requires 770 hours to complete.

  • Programs Offered: Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Training Program
    Corrections Academy
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $2,506 in-state*; $9,111 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Indian River State College

The Criminal Justice Institute at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce has certificate programs, and associate's, and bachelor's degree programs. The Corrections Academy has a tuition cost of about $2,700, and requires about four months of study. The Law Enforcement Academy has a para-military structure, and requires about 848 hours of study. An Equivalency of Training program is available at Indian River, which allows those who have previously been certified in Florida, or who have had training comparable to Florida's basic recruit program, to be exempted from basic training and proceed more quickly to taking the SOCE.

  • Programs Offered: Correctional Officer Basic Recruit Training Program
    Law Enforcement Academy
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $2,764 in-state*; $10,201 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

Miami Dade College

Located in Miami, this college is a 4-year public school that offers associate's and bachelor's degree programs, and certificates. Miami Dade College's School of Justice offers public safety training for both the public and the private sector. These programs cover interpersonal skills, as well as law, medical first-response, defensive driving, defensive tactics, and firearms. Both the Basic Corrections Academy and the Basic Law Enforcement Academy qualify an individual to sit for the SOCE.

  • Programs Offered: Basic Corrections Academy
    Basic Law Enforcement Academy
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $3,366 in-state*; $11,895 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

Palm Beach State College

Palm Beach State College is located in Lake Worth, and offers certificate programs, as well as associate's and bachelor's degrees. The Corrections Officer Program takes a total of 420 hours to complete, or about three months of full time course work, and covers firearms, safety, communications, and other topics as they pertain to work in a correctional facility. The Law Enforcement Officer Program takes 770 hours to complete, and covers such topics as patrols, DUI, crime scene investigations, firearms, and first aid.

  • Programs Offered: Law Enforcement Officer Program
    Corrections Officer Program
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $2,378 in-state*; $8,612 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

Santa Fe College

Santa Fe College in Gainesville is a 4-year public college that has degrees at the bachelor's and associate's levels, and also offers certificate programs. It has a Law Enforcement and Corrections Officer Certification Academy that covers 15 chapters of curriculum, and prepares students to take the SOCE. This school boasts that over the last ten years, 99.4% of graduates have passed the SOCE.

  • Program Offered: Basic Recruit Program
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $2,457 in-state*; $9,057 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize suburb

Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College is a 4-year public school located in Sanford that offers certificates, and associate's and bachelor's degrees. This school offers a Combined CJSTC Law Enforcement and Corrections Basic Dual Certification, which requires 969 hours to complete. The certification course covers material that is relevant to a career in both law enforcement and corrections, including legal issues, patrol and traffic shops, physical fitness, defense, and vehicle operations. A correctional officer program and a law enforcement officer program are also available.

  • Programs Offered: Law Enforcement Officer Certificate
    Correctional Officer Certificate
    Law Enforcement and Corrections Basic Dual Certification
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $3,131 in-state*; $11,456 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; small city

St Petersburg College

Located in St Petersburg, this is a 4-year public college that offers associate's and bachelor's degrees, as well as certificate programs. Three academies at St Petersburg prepare students to take the SOCE. The Law Enforcement Academy lasts 22 weeks, a total of 790 hours, and costs a total of $4,000 for in-state students. It allows students to work as police officers and administrators. The Corrections Academy program prepares students to work for the Florida Department of Corrections and for private correctional companies, requires 576 hours to complete, and has a total in-state tuition cost of $3,200. Out-of-state, federal, and military officers, and those previously certified by the state of Florida, can attend the Equivalency of Training Academy. This academy does not provide basic instruction, but rather offers an intensive training course that allows those with previous criminal justice experience to be exempted from the full academy.

  • Programs Offered: Law Enforcement Academy
    Corrections Academy
    Equivalency of Training Academy
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $3,172 in-state*; $11,427 out-of-state*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; small city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Criminal Justice Training Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)
Brevard Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate - Florida CMS Correctional Officer,
Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate - Florida CMS Law Enforcement Officer
$2,458 in-state*
$8,986 out-of-state*
Broward College 4-year, public; large suburb Correctional Probation Officer Academy Certificate Program $2,494 in-state*
$8,616 out-of-state*
Daytona State College 4-year, public; small city Law Enforcement Academy,
Corrections Academy
$3,371 in-state*
$12,441 out-of-state*
Hillsborough Community College 2-year, public; large city Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Training Program,
Corrections Academy
$2,506 in-state*
$9,111 out-of-state*
Indian River State College 4-year, public; large suburb Correctional Officer Basic Recruit Training Program,
Law Enforcement Academy
$2,764 in-state*
$10,201 out-of-state*
Miami Dade College 4-year, public; large city Basic Corrections Academy,
Basic Law Enforcement Academy
$3,366 in-state*
$11,895 out-of-state*
Palm Beach State College 4-year, public; large suburb Law Enforcement Officer Program,
Corrections Officer Program
$2,378 in-state*
$8,612 out-of-state*
Santa Fe College 4-year, public; midsize suburb Basic Recruit Program $2,457 in-state*
$9,057 out-of-state*
Seminole State College of Florida 4-year, public; small city Law Enforcement Officer Certificate,
Correctional Officer Certificate,
Law Enforcement and Corrections Basic Dual Certification
$3,131 in-state*
$11,456 out-of-state*
St Petersburg College 4-year, public; small city Law Enforcement Academy,
Corrections Academy,
Equivalency of Training Academy
$3,172 in-state*
$11,427 out-of-state*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Show me popular schools

Related to State of Florida Probation Officer Certification

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Certified Probation Officer: Career and Certification Requirements

Probation officers, also known as community supervision officers, help prevent adult and juvenile offenders from committing...

Become a Chief Probation Officer: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a chief probation officer. Research the education requirements and learn about the experience you need...

Probation Officer: Education and Career Profile

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a probation officer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as...

Probation Officer: Overview of Career Education for Probation Officers

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a probation officer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as...

Online Probation Officer Classes and Courses Review

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Iowa City
    Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Legal
      • Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Corrections
        • Corrections, Probation, and Parole
      • Legal Research and Professional Studies
  • School locations:
    • Richmond
    Areas of study you may find at Eastern Kentucky University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Legal
      • Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Corrections
        • Corrections, Probation, and Parole
        • Forensic Science
        • Law Enforcement Administration
        • Police Science and Law Enforcement
        • Securities Services Mgmt
        • Security and Theft Prevention Services
      • Fire Safety and Protection
      • Legal Support Services
  • School locations:
    • Chula Vista
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Legal
      • Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, and Corrections
        • Corrections, Probation, and Parole
        • Forensic Science
        • Police Science and Law Enforcement
      • Fire Safety and Protection
      • Legal Support Services

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Jobs in FL

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics