United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) - Tough Work, Vital Mission

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Ready for a mission like no other? Make a difference at a time when Americans need you the most. Challenge yourself!

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The success of our mission rests on the well-being of our employees and long-term growth and benefits to our workforce and their families.

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We are an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, political affiliations, marital status, non-disqualifying disabilities, age, sexual orientation.

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DEA Special Agent

Every year we have the honor of choosing an elite group of men and women who will join us in an exciting career as DEA Special Agents. Our Special Agents are on the cutting edge of criminal investigations, using innovative tools to identify and immobilize traffickers and seize and dismantle the financial assets from drug trafficking. The nature of this mission requires Special Agents to complete a thorough and in-depth hiring process that may take up to 12 months or more and includes the following:

  • Qualifications Review
  • Written assessment and panel interview
  • Drug test
  • Medical examination
  • Physical Task Assessment
  • Polygraph examination
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Full-field background investigation
  • Final hiring decision

Have the desire and dedication to become part of the most professional drug law enforcement organization in the world? Visit our Recruitment Offices page to obtain contact information for the nearest recruitment office. And remember—competitive candidates must complete all phases of the hiring process to receive a final offer of employment.

Before you Apply

Take the First Step

Ready to take your first step in becoming a DEA Special Agent? Special Agent recruitment activities are handled by our Division Offices. We encourage applicants to attend a Special Agent Applicant Orientation session at one of these locations. Please contact the DEA Special Agent Recruitment Coordinator at the Division Office nearest or most convenient to you to find out when an orientation session is scheduled and to inquire about applying for the position.

View our comprehensive map of our Division Offices.

Recruitment Offices

If you would like to apply for a position as a Special Agent, or would like more information about DEA career opportunities, please contact your local office.

Locate a local Recruitment Office


In addition to the basic requirements, all DEA Special Agent candidates must successfully pass and complete a written assessment, oral interview, urinalysis drug screening, medical examination, physical task assessment, polygraph examination, psychological assessment and comprehensive background investigation.

Learn more about Qualifications

Eligibility Quiz

Find out if you meet the qualifications to become a DEA Special Agent.

Take the Eligibility Quiz


All Special Agents undergo Basic Agent Training at the DEA Training Academy located in Quantico, VA. The Academy's core mission is to provide next-generation DEA Special Agents with optimum support and training.

Learn more about DEA Special Agent Training

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