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FAQs

Employment Opportunities

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  • How can I obtain further employment information from the Secret Service?

    Visit our Employment Opportunities page.

  • How do I apply for a job with the Secret Service?

    To view and apply for our vacancies please follow this link. For instructions on how to apply online, please visit our application procedures page.

    You may also call 888-813-8777 for a listing of our current vacancies.

  • Do you have to be a U.S. Citizen to apply to work for the Secret Service?

    Yes. A person must be a United States citizen to apply for positions with the Secret Service.

  • How would I apply for a Special Agent position?

    Follow this link. The special agent position can be found by conducting a search by series (1811) or title (Criminal Investigator). Once you have located the vacancy, click on the title to view the vacancy announcement.

    To apply, click on the "Apply Online" button located at the bottom of the vacancy announcement.

  • How long does it take to get hired?

    All Secret Service positions require completion of a full background investigation before appointment. The time frame for completion of a background investigation varies depending on the history of the applicant. Typically, a full background investigation takes approximately six to nine months to complete. During this period, various information is verified, including employment history, police records, credit history, school transcripts, neighborhood references and military records.

    Applicants must be able to obtain a Top Secret clearance. Applicants must pass an extensive pre-employment background investigation. Completion of a full investigation is required before appointment. Follow this link to learn more about the background investigation.

  • Will my military time count towards retirement?

    Employees covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) may receive credit for post 1956 military service only if he or she deposits with the employing agency a sum equal to three percent (3%) of the military basic pay he or she earned during the period of military service, plus interest. Interest begins two years after appointment. Active duty in the military service is counted for annual leave accrual purposes. However, if an applicant has retired from the military service, only time served in a war or campaign is credible for annual leave accrual purposes.

  • What kind of training do Secret Service agents receive?

    New agent trainees are initially sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, where they are enrolled in the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP). This 12-week course, designed to train new federal investigators in such areas as criminal law and investigative techniques, provides a general foundation for the agency-specific training that follows.

    Upon successful completion of CITP, new agent trainees attend the 18-week Special Agent Training Course at the Secret Service training academy, outside of Washington, D.C. This course focuses on specific Secret Service policies and procedures associated with the dual responsibilities of investigations and protection. Trainees are provided with basic knowledge and advanced application training in combating counterfeiting, access device fraud and other financial criminal activity, protective intelligence investigations, physical protection techniques, protective advances and emergency medicine. The core curriculum is augmented with extensive training in marksmanship, control tactics, water survival skills and physical fitness.

    Secret Service agents receive continuous advanced training throughout their careers. In part, this training consists of regular firearms requalification and emergency medicine refresher courses. Agents assigned to protective assignments also participate in unique simulated crisis training scenarios that present agents with a variety of "real world" emergency situations involving Secret Service protectees. These training simulations are designed to provide agents with immediate feedback concerning their response to a variety of emergency response scenarios.

    Agents assigned to offices in the field have the opportunity to acquire advanced training in the area of criminal investigations and are also encouraged to attend training sessions sponsored by other law enforcement agencies.

    All Secret Service agents participate in a wide variety of management and individual development courses. Ethics, Diversity, Interpersonal Awareness, Practical Leadership and Introduction to Supervision are among the topics currently offered to all personnel at the Secret Service.

  • What kind of training do Uniformed Division officers receive?

    New appointees receive an intensive training program, which is 12 weeks in duration, at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, followed by a 14-week specialized training at the Secret Service's training facilities outside Washington, D.C. Training includes coursework in police procedures, firearms, physical fitness, psychology, police-community relations, criminal law, first aid, laws of arrest, search and seizure, physical defense techniques, diplomatic immunity, international treaties and protocol. On-the-job training and advanced in-service training programs complement classroom studies.

  • What is the difference between special agents and Uniformed Division officers and, what are the qualifications for those positions?

    Secret Service special agents' duties include both investigations and protection. Special agents investigate financial crimes such as counterfeiting of currency, false identification, credit and debit card fraud, computer fraud, forgery or theft of U.S. Government checks, bonds or other securities, telecommunications fraud, and certain other crimes affecting federally insured financial institutions.

    The protective responsibilities of special agents include protecting the President, the Vice President, (or other individuals next in order of succession to the Office of the President); the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect; the immediate families of the above individuals; former presidents, their spouses for their lifetimes, except when the spouse re-marries. (In 1997, Congressional legislation became effective limiting Secret Service protection to former presidents for a period of not more than 10 years from the date the former president leaves office); children of former presidents until age 16; visiting heads of foreign states or governments and their spouses traveling with them, other distinguished foreign visitors to the United States, and official representatives of the United States performing special missions abroad; major presidential and vice presidential candidates, and their spouses within 120 days of a general presidential election; other individuals as designated per Executive Order of the President; and National Special Security Events, when designated as such by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

    To learn more about the special agent position, please follow this link.

    The Secret Service Uniformed Division is often compared to a specialized police force. Uniformed Division officers provide protection for the White House Complex, the Main Treasury Building and Annex and other protected facilities; the official residence of the Vice President; and foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Uniformed Division officers carry out their protective responsibilities through special support units (including Countersniper, Canine Explosive Detection Team, Emergency Response Team, Crime Scene Search Technicians, Special Operations Section, and Magnetometers), a network of fixed security posts and foot, bicycle, vehicular and motorcycle patrols.

    To learn more about the Uniformed Division officer position, please follow this link.

  • What is the career path for a special agent?

    While the following general description may represent a typical career track, promotions will affect individual careers and assignments.

    Secret Service special agents spend their first six to eight years on the job assigned to a field office. After their field experience, agents usually are transferred to a protective detail where they will stay for three to five years. Following their protective assignment, many agents return to the field, transfer to a headquarters office, a training office or other Washington, D.C.-based assignment. During their careers, agents also have the opportunity to work overseas in one of the agency's international field offices. This typically requires foreign language training to ensure language proficiency when working alongside the agency's foreign law enforcement counterparts.

  • Do I need a college degree to work with the Secret Service?

    Each position has different entry level qualifications and/or education requirements. Specific requirements are listed in individual vacancy announcements.

  • If I don't have a college degree, will my experience count?

    The Secret Service applies the Office of Personnel Management's "Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions" when reviewing applications. Each position has different entry level qualifications and/or education requirements. Specific requirements are listed in individual vacancy announcements.

  • Can I still apply for Special Agent or Uniformed Division if I've had corrective eye surgery?

    Yes. Lasik, ALK, RK and PRK corrective eye surgeries are acceptable eye surgeries for special agent or Uniformed Division applicants provided specific visual tests are passed. The following are the waiting periods before visual tests are conducted after the surgery: Lasik surgery – three months; PRK – six months; and ALK and RK – one year. The waiting periods are required to ensure the surgery has healed without complications. Specific tests for visual acuity, disability glare and contrast sensitivity are also administered.

  • Will I receive compensation for speaking a foreign language?

    A one-time recruitment bonus, 25 percent of basic annual pay, will be paid to newly hired special agents, who are identified as having a foreign language skill and can test at the S-3 level, general professional proficiency (able to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social and professional topics). All potential applicants in this program are tested in the foreign language for which they claim a proficiency using the Federal Interagency Language Roundtable (FILR) level description system. The recruitment bonus will be paid as a lump sum, upon successful completion of all required training and graduation from the Secret Service's James J. Rowley Training Center.

    The Secret Service also has a Foreign Language Cash Award Program. This program pays a cash award of up to five percent of basic pay to individuals who possess and make substantial use of one or more foreign languages in the performance of official duties.

  • Does the Secret Service hire students?

    Yes:

    The Secret Service Student Temporary Education Employment Program (STEP) provides federal employment opportunities to students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment as degree-seeking students taking at least a half-time academic, technical or vocational course load in an accredited high school, technical, vocational, two or four-year college or university, graduate or professional school.

    The Student Career Experience Program combines classroom training with a participatory work environment. The selectee(s) will participate in a two-year work-study program consistent with their field of study. Positions are limited and students may choose from numerous occupations related to their field. Baccalaureate Degree students must complete 640 hours of study-related work requirements.

    The Student Volunteer Service Program (Internship) provides an unpaid academically related work assignment that allows the student to explore career options as well as develop personal and professional skills. Students are expected to work a minimum of 12 hours per week, and not less than one semester, two quarters or summer session, and may not have already graduated.

  • I have a Top Secret security clearance with my agency. Will the Secret Service use that information instead of doing a complete background check? Will that help speed up the background process?

    Regardless of the clearance level of the applicant, the Secret Service will complete its own full background investigation prior to the appointment of all applicants. The time frame for completion of a background investigation varies depending on the history of the applicant. Typically, a full background investigation takes approximately six to nine months to complete. During this period, various information is verified including employment history, police records, credit history, school transcripts, neighborhood references and military records. Applicants must be able to obtain a Top Secret clearance. Applicants must pass an extensive pre-employment background investigation. Completion of a full investigation is required before appointment.

  • Do I still have to take the Treasury Enforcement Agent (TEA) exam even if I have taken the exam for another agency?

    If you have previously taken the Treasury Enforcement Agent exam (TEA) with another agency, you may submit a copy of your results to the Secret Service, and a determination will be made as to whether the rating score is valid and up-to-date.

  • What if I don't have a computer?

    We encourage all applicants to apply for positions with the Secret Service electronically by submitting an application online. If you are unable to submit your application electronically, you may contact the Personnel Division at (202) 406-6090 or, for hearing impaired applicants, TTY (202) 406-5390, for assistance. Applicants must contact the Personnel Division prior to the closing date of the specific vacancy announcement in order to receive assistance.

  • Will the Secret Service provide housing during training?

    Newly appointed special agents and Uniformed Division officers both receive housing at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, which is provided on the training compound. However, only special agent trainees whose permanent duty station is outside of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area are provided housing while in basic training held near Washington, D.C.

  • Will the Secret Service pay relocation expenses?

    Current Secret Service policy may allow only the payment of relocation expenses for current civilian federal government employees who transfer to the Secret Service, unless stated otherwise in a vacancy announcement. However, reasonable moving expenses are paid for non-federal government applicants who accept a Uniformed Division officer position and relocate to the Washington, D.C., area.

  • Does past illegal drug usage automatically disqualify me for a position with the Secret Service?

    No. However the Secret Service follows stringent guidelines relating to illegal drug usage. An applicant's history is reviewed and a determination for employment is made according to our guidelines.

    You can easily determine whether you meet the U.S. Secret Service's illegal drug policy by answering the following questions.

    1. Have you used marijuana at all within the last three years?
    2. Have you used any illegal drug, including anabolic steroids since attaining the age of 23?
    3. Have you ever been involved in the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, processing or sale of any illegal drug for profit?
    4. Have you ever used an illegal drug (no matter how many times or how long ago) while in a law enforcement of prosecutorial position, or in a position of public trust, or while employed in a position requiring a U.S. Government security clearance?

    If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you are not eligible for employment with the U.S. Secret Service.

  • Which positions require completion of a polygraph examination?

    Currently, the following positions require successful completion of a polygraph examination prior to appointment: Special Agent, Uniformed Division Officer, Physical Security Specialist, Special Officer, Operations Support Technician, Intelligence Research Specialist, Intelligence Research Assistant, Security Support Technician, Protective Support Technician, Civil Engineer, Detection Systems Specialist, Electrical Engineer, Materials Engineer, Chemical Engineer, Engineering Technician, Electronics Technician, Information Technology Specialist, General Engineer, Physical Scientist, Communications Specialist and Telecommunications Specialist.

  • I am eligible for a Veterans Recruitment Act (VRA) appointment. Am I required to pass a written test to qualify for a Special Agent or Uniformed Division officer position?

    Yes. The Secret Service does not grant waivers to the written test requirement for the special agent or Uniformed Division officer positions. However, veteran's preference points are considered when making employment decisions. Additionally, the Secret Service has a unique hiring authority for filling special agent and Uniformed Division officer positions and does not use VRA appointments for these positions.

  • Who qualifies under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA)?

    To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be honorably separated and either a preference eligible or have substantially completed three or more years of active service. A veteran who is released under honorable conditions shortly before completing a three-year tour also is eligible.

  • Does the Secret Service hire people with disabilities?

    Yes. Equal Employment Opportunity is a fundamental right of all employees and applicants for employment. Employees and applicants are to be provided a full and fair opportunity at employment, career advancement and access to programs without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, disability (physical or mental), gender, age, reprisal, sexual orientation, genetic information or parental status.


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