How to Become a Secret Service Agent
The majority of people that hear about the secret service really only think of the group that is in charge of guarding the president of the United States of America and his family. In reality, there is a lot more that goes on with the secret service world, and only a fraction of them secret service agents are on presidential duty. The main goal of the rest of the secret service is to serve the U.S. treasury by investigating financial crimes and fraud using credit cards. There are probably going to be points within a secret service agent’s career when they will be guarding someone, but the rest of the time will be spent dealing with the financial crimes and will most likely require working out of an office.
People are shocked when they find out that most of the work that is done by a secret service agent throughout their career means that they are working out of an office. It may also require interviewing different people or doing surveillance, and usually means they are putting together evidence of some kind of financial crime. Ever since the late 17th century though, there have always been secret service agents at the president’s side after the attempted assassination of George Wallace. There are also other situations in which agents may be required to guard other people that are dignitaries as well.
Training and Education Needed to Become a Secret Service Agent
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college program is going to be required to apply, along with a GPA of 3.0 or better. If you are a member of a nationally recognized honor society that the secret service recognizes will certainly help your case as well. If you don’t have a GPA of 3.0 or better, further education at the graduate level may be required to make up for it. Also those that have a graduate degree will likely be able to have a higher pay grade when they make initial entry into the secret service.
A 10 week basic criminal investigation course is taken in Glynco, GA, at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Then when a potential agent completes that, they move on to a 17 week special agent training program that is given at the James J. Rowley Training Center in Beltsville, MD. After they have completed both of those training programs, they are given their first assignment in the field. The only real certification other than that which is needed is a valid driver’s license.
Qualifications You Will Need to Be Secret Service Agent
Vision is going to have an impact on whether or not candidates make it through the process to become a secret service agent. You can’t have vision worse than 20/60 when it is uncorrected, and no worse than 20/20 when it is corrected. Those that have surgery to correct their vision are still able to apply. If you speak a foreign language, life during the process is going to be much better for you. You also have to be in tip top shape if you are assigned to executive detail, as you may need to use your physical abilities to have success on the job.
Entry level agents can make anywhere from $43,000 to $75,000, depending on the education and qualifications that you have during your initial hiring. There is also a large bonus that agents are paid because they work such odd hours and are basically on call when they are not working as well. Your pay can also depend on the location that you are working at as the cost of living changes from state to state.