Ulster County Personnel Department

 Civil Service Examination Announcement








SALARY:  The starting salary for Probation Officer Trainee is currently listed at $24.59 per hour.  The starting salary for Probation Officer is currently listed at $26.48 per hour.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:  Candidates must meet the following requirement(s) on or before the date of the examination:

For Probation Officer:  Graduate degree in social work, education, administration, law, sociology, psychology, criminology, or a related field or bachelor’s degree and two (2) years experience in counseling or casework in a recognized agency adhering to acceptable standards in probation, parole, social services, psychiatric or medical social work, or related work; or an appropriate combination of above training and experience.

For Probation Officer Trainee:  Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or one recognized by the New York State Education Department, with at least thirty (30) credit hours in the social or behavioral sciences.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENT:  In accordance with New York State laws, a Probation Officer is a Peace Officer and must be qualified to hold such office.  Throughout employment in this title, Probation Officers must satisfactorily complete and qualify in specialized training programs as mandated by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives.  Such training programs include the use of deadly physical force, defensive tactics, firearms, and other weapons.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENT:  Must possess an appropriate valid New York State Drivers License at time of appointment and throughout employment.

CITIZENSHIP:  United States Citizenship is required at time of written examination; all candidates must be United States citizens.

CRIMINAL RECORD:  A background check will be completed for all candidates prior to appointment.  Each case is considered and evaluated on individual merits in relation to the duties and responsibilities of the position.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE TESTING:  All candidates for Probation Officer/Probation Officer Trainee will be substance abuse tested prior to appointment.  Evidence of substance abuse or refusal to submit to a urinalysis shall result in disqualification from appointment.


If you expect to complete the educational requirement within six months of the date of examination, you may apply.  If successful on the examination, you will not be certified for appointment until you have submitted proof of completion of the requirements to the Ulster County Personnel Department.

Where College is a requirement, you will be expected to submit college transcripts no later than MAY 18, 2015 or you will be unconditionally disqualified.  If college transcripts are already on file with our office, indicate this on your application.  Once submitted, college transcripts will be held on file in our office for a period of TEN YEARS.  Transcripts need not be official copies; However, they must contain ALL information necessary to qualify you for this position.

NOTE:  If your degree and/or college credit was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. You can write to this Department for a list of acceptable companies providing this service; you must pay the required evaluation fee.


For the purposes of this policy, "tolerance" shall mean the leeway given regarding work experience when reviewing an application. Applicants lacking a small amount of work experience when applying for promotional or open-competitive examinations may qualify under the following conditions:

1)   Candidates will be given a maximum tolerance of one (1) month.

2)     Tolerance will be given only when the minimum qualification requires one or more years of work experience.

3)     Tolerance Policy does not apply to education or licensure/certification requirements. (See particular examination announcement for "Anticipated Eligibility" information).

4)     Tolerance Policy does not apply where required work experience is set forth by law or rules.

5)     Tolerance Policy does not apply to enable applicants to meet residence requirements.

For more information regarding Tolerance Policy, please contact our office at (845) 340-3550.


Probation Officer:  This is the beginning position at the professional level in probation work.  The duties require the application of modern social work techniques in making evaluations of adults or juveniles and in supervising persons on probation.  A probation officer is called upon to exercise sound professional judgment in analyzing data and in making recommendations concerning court dispositions.  He assists persons on probation and other persons whom the probation agency services.  A probation officer works under supervision of a higher ranking professional employee and may help to supervise the work of probation assistants, probation officer trainees or volunteers.

Probation Officer Trainee:  The trainee level is used to recruit to the probation field college graduates with a career interest in probation.  Trainees receive on the job training while performing duties of a limited professional nature under close and continuing supervision.  Trainee appointments are for a period of one year, following which incumbents receiving satisfactory ratings will be advanced to the title of probation officer without further examination.

Note:  Night and Weekend work is required.

SUBJECT OF EXAMINATION:  Written test will cover knowledge, skills, and/or abilities in such areas as:

1. Principles and practices of offender counseling and supervision

These questions test for the knowledge and application of principles and practices of offender counseling and supervision in a law enforcement setting. Questions present situations typically encountered while establishing and maintaining working relationships with offenders, such as obtaining information from offenders, exploring offenders' social, psychological, or legal problems, and supervising offender rehabilitation. Candidates will be required to choose the best analysis of, solution to, or approach for handling the problem described. Specific knowledge of laws, rules, regulations, or procedures regarding offender counseling and supervision is not required to answer these questions.

2. Preparing written material

These questions test for the ability to write the kinds of reports and correspondence required in criminal justice settings such as probation and parole. Some questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately. Others test for the ability to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly.

A Guide to the Written Test for the Entry and Upper Level Probation Series is available at the New York State Department of Civil Service web site:  www.cs.state.ny.us/testing/localtestguides.cfm.  Candidates not having access to a computer or the internet may request a copy of this test guide from the municipal civil service office conducting this examination using the contact information found elsewhere on this announcement.

LIST CERTIFICATION:   Two separate eligible lists will be established as a result of this examination.  Candidates who are successful in this examination and possess the minimum qualifications for Probation Officer will be certified for appointment as a Probation Officer.  Those eligible for Probation Officer Trainee will be certified at the trainee level.  Persons appointed at the trainee level will be advanced to Probation Officer without further examination upon satisfactory completion of the one year traineeship.  If candidates originally placed on the eligible list as a Probation Officer Trainee acquire the training and experience necessary to meet the minimum qualifications for Probation Officer during the life of the list, they may submit a new application and may then be certified as a Probation Officer.

CALCULATORS:  "Unless specifically prohibited, candidates are permitted to use quiet, hand‑held, solar or battery powered calculators.  Devices with typewriter keyboards, ‘Spell‑Checkers’, ‘Personal Digital Assistants’, ‘Address Books’, ‘Language Translators’, ‘Dictionaries’ and any similar devices are prohibited."

*FEES*:  Send your check or money order for twenty dollars ($20.00) (made payable to COUNTY OF ULSTER) with your application.  Please include the examination number, title, and applicant’s name on your check or money order. DO NOT SEND CASH.  NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED, therefore, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the qualifications for admission and apply only for those examinations for which you are clearly qualified.

EXCEPTION TO FEE REQUIREMENT:  An exception to the processing fee will be made for persons receiving Supplemental Social Security payments or public assistance (Safety Net Assistance or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), provided Foster Care or certified Workforce Investment Act of 1998 eligible through a state or local social service agency, and for those who are currently unemployed.  Individuals wishing to claim this waiver of fee on the basis of Supplemental Social Security, Safety Net Assistance or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, must certify on their application, under number 20 Remarks, that they are receiving public assistance and must indicate the type of assistance they are receiving, the agency providing the assistance and their case numbers. Persons claiming this waiver through Foster Care or Workforce Investment Act of 1998 Certification must specify the program and name of their contact agency. Persons claiming this waiver, who are currently unemployed must certify on their application, under number 20 Remarks, that they are currently unemployed and must provide documentation that they are receiving unemployment benefits or other unemployment documentation deemed appropriate by the Ulster County Personnel Officer.Such claims are subject to later verification and, if not supported by appropriate documentation, are grounds for barring appointment.

Applications may be obtained at the Ulster County Office Building, Personnel Department, 244 Fair Street ‑ 5th Floor, P.O. Box 1800, Kingston, NY 12402‑1800 OR by mail (INCLUDE A STAMPED SELF‑ADDRESSED, LEGAL‑ SIZE ENVELOPE) OR from our website at: http://www.co.ulster.ny.us/personnel/index.html.  Applications must be received by the Ulster County Personnel Department or postmarked no later than the ‘LAST DATE FOR FILING APPLICATIONS’ stated on page one of this announcement.

For those applications submitted in person on the last file date, please submit no later than 4:30 PM. All applications must be in our office no later than 5:00 PM on the last file date. Applications postmarked by the last file date will also be accepted.

This examination is being prepared and rated by the New York State Department of Civil Service in accordance with Section 23‑2 of the Civil Service Law.  The provisions of the New York State Civil Service Rules and Regulations dealing with the rating of examinations will apply to this test.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION POLICY:  In accordance with Ulster County Local Law Number 14 of 2007, a criminal background check (including fingerprinting) will be initiated by the Ulster County Personnel Department upon initial employment or re-hire to Ulster County positions, and conducted by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the New York State Office of Court Administration, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Verification Information System (IMAGE Program), or any law enforcement agency.

SPECIAL NOTE:  All public agencies are required by law to provide full and equal opportunities for minorities, women and to people with disabilities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to compete without regard to race, creed or national origin. Applicants requesting special testing arrangements as a Saturday Sabbath Observer, alternate test date candidate (in accordance with Alternate Test Date Policy), or an active member of the military away from the area on the scheduled test date must clearly indicate this fact on the application. All such requests must be supported by appropriate documentation.

VETERANS: Non-disabled and disabled veterans who wish to claim additional credits MUST request a Veterans Credits application from our office. This form must be completed and submitted along with a war service (DD214) form prior to the establishment of the resulting eligible list. Veterans credits may only be added to a passing score and may only be used for appointment once. Candidates currently in the armed forces may apply for and be conditionally granted veteran’s credits.  Any candidate who applies for such credits must provide proof of military status to receive the conditional credits.  You may not claim additional Veterans Credits after the eligible list has been established. It is the candidate’s responsibility to request the Veterans Credits application forms and submit these forms and any required supporting paperwork before the eligible list is established.

On November 5, 2013, New York State voters approved an amendment to Article 5, section 6, of the New York Constitution regarding the award and use of additional credits for certain disabled veterans on open competitive and promotion civil service examinations for positions with New York State and local governments. 

For eligible lists established after January 1, 2014, disabled veterans may be entitled to additional credits on a civil service examination.  Every situation is different.  If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact our office. 

ADDITIONAL CREDITS FOR CHILDREN OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY:  In conformance with section 85-a of the Civil Service Law, children of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty shall be entitled to receive an additional ten points in a competitive examination for original appointment in the same municipality in which his or her parent has served.  If you are qualified to participate in this examination and are a child of a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty in this municipality, please inform this office of this matter when you submit your application for examination.  A candidate claiming such credit has a minimum of two months from the application deadline to provide the necessary documentation to verify additional credit eligibility.  However, no credit may be added after the eligible list has been established.

APPLYING FOR CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINATIONS IN MULTIPLE JURISDICTIONS WHEN EXAMINATIONS ARE SCHEDULED ON SAME DATE:  If you have applied for any other Civil Service examinations for employment with any other local government jurisdiction, you must make arrangements to take all the examinations at one test site.  Please indicate your intentions under #20 remarks on the application for examination.

If you have applied for both State and Local government examinations, please indicate this on your application under #20 remarks.  You must make arrangements to take all your examinations at the State examination center no later than two weeks before the test date.  You will be informed by letter when and where to report for the examinations.  You should bring all admission notices with you to the State test site along with the State admission notice you receive from New York State Civil Service.

If you have applied for other local government examinations, call or write to each Civil Service Agency to make arrangements.  You must make your request for these arrangements no later than two weeks before the date of the examinations.  You must notify all local government civil service agencies with whom you have filed an application of the test site at which you wish to take your examination(s).  For this examination call (845) 340‑ 3531 OR write to Ulster County Personnel Department, 244 Fair Street ‑ 5th Floor, P.O. Box 1800, Kingston, NY  12402‑1800.

*If candidates have not received notification of this examination within four (4) days of the examination, they should contact this office immediately.



ISSUED:  February 19, 2015