Qualifications for Special Agents
To be considered for the position of special agent, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. Citizen.
- Be at least 21 years of age at the time of application, and younger than 37 upon receipt of a conditional offer of employment, to continue in the application process*.
*Applicants with Veterans' Preference must be at least 21 years of age at time of application and younger than 40 upon receipt of a conditional offer of employment, to continue in the application process.
- Possess a current valid driver's license.
- Possess uncorrected visual acuity of no worse than 20/100 binocular. Possess corrected visual acuity of 20/20 or better in each eye.*
*LASIK, ALK, RK, and PRK corrective eye surgeries are acceptable eye surgeries for Special Agent applicants. Applicants will be considered eligible for the Special Agent position provided specific visual tests are passed. The following are waiting periods for visual tests: LASIK-2 months after surgery, PRK-6 months after surgery, and ALK and RK-one year after surgery.
- Pass a hearing exam.*
*Hearing loss, as measured by an audiometer, must not exceed 25 decibels (A.S.A. or equivalent I.S.O.) in either ear in the 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz ranges.
- Have no visible body markings. The Secret Service prohibits employees from having visible body markings (including but not limited to tattoos, body art, and branding) on the head, face, neck, hand, and fingers (any area below the wrist bone) (exception: a single conservative and unobtrusive tattoo in the form of a ring (e.g., wedding band) is authorized on one finger). If you have visible body markings, you will be required to medically remove such visible body markings at your own expense prior to entering on duty with the Secret Service.
- Be in excellent health and physical condition and pass an Applicant Physical Abilities Test.
- Qualify for Top Secret clearance and undergo a complete background investigation, including driving record check, drug screening, medical and polygraph examinations.
- Sign a mobility agreement stating your willingness to accept assignments anywhere within the United States and overseas.
- Certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so (if you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959).
- Be appointed to this position under an excepted appointment which is limited to 3 years and 120 days. Upon completion of this period, you will either be converted to career status or separated based on the expiration of the appointment.
- Carry and use a firearm.*
*Maintaining firearm proficiency is mandatory. You will be ineligible to occupy this position if at any time you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, unless you received a pardon or your conviction was expunged or set aside.
Qualify for the GL-07 level or the GL-09 level
To qualify for the GL-07 Level (starting salary $49,508), applicants must possess one of the following:
- A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with superior academic achievement (S.A.A.) which is based on class standing, grade-point average, or honor society membership. For more information on S.A.A. please click here.
- At least one full year of graduate level education (i.e. 18 semester hours).
- At least 1 year of specialized experience in, or related to, the investigative methods, protective methods, and law enforcement techniques that provided the specific competencies to successfully perform the position's duties. Experience includes the exercising of initiative, attention to detail, and judgment in collecting, assembling and developing facts, evidence or other pertinent data; the ability to analyze and evaluate data or evidence to arrive at sound conclusions including applying new information.
- The ability to partner with or lead others in the accomplishment of mission activities.
To qualify for the GL-09 level (starting salary $55,214), applicants must possess one of the following:
- Master's degree or equivalent graduate degree (such as LL.B. or J.D.) or two full years of progressively higher level graduate education, in a related field, leading to such a degree from an accredited college or university;
- Or at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GL-07 level.*
* Specialized experience is defined as experience such as, conducting investigations involving violations of the laws of the United States; preparing investigative reports by gathering information, performing analyses, summarizing results, identifying problem areas and proposing and implementing solutions; leading a team and ensuring the goals and deadlines for the team are met; interviewing witnesses, obtaining signed statements and participating in surveilling criminal activities; assisting in protective advance security surveys; analyzing intelligence information or investigating oral and/or written threats against officials; leading meetings or seminars on behalf of a work or academic group, presenting complex material, and responding effectively to questions from audience members or counterparts
- Or a combination of specialized experience, as described above, and related graduate level education, beyond the first full year of graduate level study.
Qualify for the GS-11 Level:
To qualify for the GS-11 Level (Starting salary $64,009) applicants must possess one of the following:
- Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree, or LL.M., if related;
- Have at least 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GL-9 level which is defined as experience in, or related to planning and conducting complex criminal investigations to determine violations of Federal laws and regulations; collecting and assembling facts, bringing the investigation to a logical conclusion; gathering, analyzing, and evaluating evidence; conducts interviews and interrogations; makes arrests; conducts searches and seizures; taking responsibility for own actions and those of team members to ensure the goals and deadlines for the team are met; and, prepares comprehensive oral and written briefings for personnel inside and outside of the organization
- A combination of specialized experience, as described above, and related graduate level education, beyond the first full year of doctoral level study.