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  • I was offered a position as a U.S. Probation Officer with my local district today. I’ve been applying to these jobs for quite some time so I’m very excited at the opportunity. With that being said, I’m conflicted because I was offered a lower grade while in a provisional status which is about $10,000 less than my current salary at the county level.

    I have decided to carefully consider my decision before accepting the offer. Does anyone have advice to offer that might be helpful in making this decision?

    Comment


    • TedMosby
      TedMosby commented
      Editing a comment
      can you financially be okay with 10k less a year or do you really need that 10k to keep your life going? If you can or can't do without then that is you answer!

    • teamhoyt
      teamhoyt commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, congrats on earning an offer! Unless you have a security clearance, you'll be provisional until that's squared away. Mine took just shy of two years with how behind OPM was at the time.

      The lower grade thing - you can roll the dice and advise administration that you can't afford to take the cut and see what happens or suck it up for a while. I took a cut in a district that starts new hires in 25. I made the difference up fairly quickly by achieving expectations in the position. Developmental reviews are done every six months. If it's something you're really interested in doing, make the jump. I made it through a time of less pay without accruing any extra debt while moving right through 25, 27 and into 28. Haven't looked back!

    • holycrikey
      holycrikey commented
      Editing a comment
      I'll add one more comment. I too had to take a pay cut when starting with the feds and it was rough for the first 12 months. No lie. 5 years later though, I'm easily ahead about 25k from what I could have been making with the state job. The state had no pay increase unless you were promoted to management. The feds give a default 2 steps every 6 months while you're in developmental. Quality of life is on a totally different level too. I'd never go back to my old job even if they could offer the pay of the state. The fed system is where it's at. At least for my area.

  • I appreciate the solid advice! That’s exactly what I was looking for. As far as being able to take a cut up front, it is feasible but it’s still hard think about parting with $10k! At the end of the day, it’s a position that I’m truly interested in.

    Comment


    • How many years of prior experience are generally required to be competitive for a Federal PO job? I interned one year for Federal Probation and I am currently doing an 8 month Assistant PO Program through a local county (this is not a permanent job, it's only for 8 months).

      Comment


      • teamhoyt
        teamhoyt commented
        Editing a comment
        Per the usual, it depends on the district. Government positions that may have been considered lucrative in previous times become more attainable in a strong economy like what we've had in recent years. In some districts, government jobs aren't/weren't lucrative at all -- cost of living, competitive local and state salaries/benefits, etc...

        I recently met a 24-year-old USPO who completed a USPO internship during her graduate program and then spent one year as a social worker before being hired. On a national level, I have observed that a positive internship with Fed Probation translates to a very employable applicant.

      • brownj21
        brownj21 commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree with teamhoyt

    • I just applied to a vacancy in the Southern District of Ohio. Anyone have any info on this district?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Balco42 View Post
        I was offered a position as a U.S. Probation Officer with my local district today. I’ve been applying to these jobs for quite some time so I’m very excited at the opportunity. With that being said, I’m conflicted because I was offered a lower grade while in a provisional status which is about $10,000 less than my current salary at the county level.

        I have decided to carefully consider my decision before accepting the offer. Does anyone have advice to offer that might be helpful in making this decision?
        Did you take the job or stay where you were?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by scotty_appleton814 View Post

          Did you take the job or stay where you were?
          After thinking on it for a few days and getting a lot of feedback from others, I did accept the offer. I'm moving into the medical process now.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Balco42 View Post

            After thinking on it for a few days and getting a lot of feedback from others, I did accept the offer. I'm moving into the medical process now.
            Good to hear.... congrats buddy.

            Comment


            • COPO85
              COPO85 commented
              Editing a comment
              What's the medical exam process like? Curious? Do you take it at some Federal doctor office?

          • What's the medical exam process like? Curious? Do you take it at some Federal doctor office?

            Comment


            • teamhoyt
              teamhoyt commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't recall the specifics, but it was essentially a thorough occupational physical - bloodwork, vision, lung capacity, heart rate, etc... I had mine done at a rundown inner-city occupational clinic close to home with an OPM-approved practitioner that my district arranged. I don't remember actually meeting a doctor though... Not to say I didn't, but I do remember being caught off guard by how closely it resembled every other pre-employment physical I've been through

          • Anyone got any insight on NDIL or NDIN (northern district of Illinois - Chicago) or (northern district of Indiana - Hammond).

            Chicago has that new office built. New Chief from Kentucky, Holmes... Any insight on how they roll and the atmosphere there or across the street at pretrial would be appreciated on the culture of the office, leadership, type of new hires they usually have recruited recently, social work/LE orientation, carry in office/field, FLETC training spots, dedicated car or shared gov car, how is fieldwork conducted, telework, upward mobility, training opportunities within district and out of district, the judges, etc?

            Comment


            • Is there anything to applying multiple places at the same time? Are you held to applying one district at a time?

              Comment


              • Balco42
                Balco42 commented
                Editing a comment
                I applied with several districts but only received an interview with one, which happened to be the district where I live.

              • brownj21
                brownj21 commented
                Editing a comment
                Apply for as many locations as you are willing to move to/work at.
                I can't tell you the number of folks I have met that told me they had applications in at multiple districts and eventually found one that hired them.

            • Originally posted by VidaG View Post
              Anyone got any insight on NDIL or NDIN (northern district of Illinois - Chicago) or (northern district of Indiana - Hammond).

              Chicago has that new office built. New Chief from Kentucky, Holmes... Any insight on how they roll and the atmosphere there or across the street at pretrial would be appreciated on the culture of the office, leadership, type of new hires they usually have recruited recently, social work/LE orientation, carry in office/field, FLETC training spots, dedicated car or shared gov car, how is fieldwork conducted, telework, upward mobility, training opportunities within district and out of district, the judges, etc?
              I recall hearing that Chicago office was pretty much a virtual office-they have a workspace with computers so folks can come in to complete/submit paperwork as needed, but every one does the vast majority of their work in the field or at home. That may have changed with the new office that you mentioned, I am not sure. I do not have any direct contacts there.
              www.ShankAZombie.com

              Comment


              • Hey all and Happy New year . I had a first interview with the us courts in November and was asked back for a second interview in December they said I would hear back regardless in 7-10 days which lead right into he shutdown and holidays. I have not heard anything, do you think they have taken a step back from hiring right now, or is it just no reach out means no? Thank you all!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Hoppyandiknowit View Post
                  Hey all and Happy New year . I had a first interview with the us courts in November and was asked back for a second interview in December they said I would hear back regardless in 7-10 days which lead right into he shutdown and holidays. I have not heard anything, do you think they have taken a step back from hiring right now, or is it just no reach out means no? Thank you all!
                  I know of no districts that are doing hiring at this time. Funding will be exhausted later this month. I would expect absolutely no hires anywhere until after a resolution is found. For your case, it really could be either/or. I'd wait for 1.) Gov't to resume and 2.) Once it does, wait about 30 days. If you don't hear anything then, most likely means they've moved on from you. Best of luck though in this bad luck timing.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by holycrikey View Post

                    I know of no districts that are doing hiring at this time. Funding will be exhausted later this month. I would expect absolutely no hires anywhere until after a resolution is found. For your case, it really could be either/or. I'd wait for 1.) Gov't to resume and 2.) Once it does, wait about 30 days. If you don't hear anything then, most likely means they've moved on from you. Best of luck though in this bad luck timing.
                    Thank you for responding holycrikey. I thought the same thing... Unfortunately I received an email stating they chose another candidate. I will keep trying, I have applied for PO and pretrial officer and was not getting any response so I threw my chance at pretrial officers assistant hoping I could at least get my foot in the door . I have 6 years corrections experience (5 or them being federal and one of those five as unit team) I do only have my BA which I feel like might be hindering my shot .
                    i really appreciate your feedback!

                    Comment


                    • District of Massachusetts reached out to me yesterday about transcripts, pretty surprised considering the shut down and everything.

                      Comment

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