Special Agents in jackets

Special Agent Careers

DEA applies the vast range of individual talents, specialized training and skills of our Special Agents to the wide range of responsibilities in our vital mission.

What is the Process?

The first step in the application process is to contact your local DEA Recruitment Office. We encourage applicants to attend a Special Agent Applicant Orientation session at one of our Division Office locations. To locate the appropriate Division Office and schedule an orientation session, visit the Recruitment Offices page and contact the appropriate Special Agent Recruitment Coordinator for that office.

Application Overview

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.

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.

Qualifications

In addition to the basic requirements listed below, all DEA Special Agent candidates must successfully pass and complete a three-part written assessment, an oral interview, urinalysis drug screening, medical examination, physical task assessment, polygraph examination, psychological assessment, comprehensive background investigation and final hiring decision.

Requirements:

  • Must be 21 years old, and no older than 36 years old at the time of appointment
  • U.S. citizenship
  • Have a valid U.S. driver's license
  • Willing to relocate anywhere in the U.S.
  • Able to obtain and retain a Top Secret security clearance
  • Excellent physical condition
  • Willing and able to carry and handle firearms

Hearing and Vision: Applicants must possess sharp visual and hearing acuity. Vision must be 20/20 or better in one eye and 20/40 or better in the weaker eye. If you need glasses or contact lenses to meet these standards, then you should also have distance vision of 20/200 or better in each eye without glasses or contact lenses, near vision of 20/30 or better (can be with corrective lenses), and normal color vision. Hearing aids are disqualifying.

AND POSSESS

  • A bachelor's degree (GPA of 2.95 or higher), a master's or a J.D. or LL.B.;
  • ORexperience assisting in investigations of alleged or suspected violations of the law; participating in multi-agency/organization venues, briefings, meetings, conferences; researching, collecting and analyzing data from a variety of sources relating to investigations; writing reports and conducting briefings of findings, results, or accomplishments for information or action relating to law enforcement activities and/or court cases; assisting court officials and law enforcement personnel with case-related materials; and testifying or presenting evidence for court, legislative, or administrative proceedings;
  • OR three+ years of substantive work experience and special skills; e.g., pilot/maritime, accounting/auditing, military/technical, mechanical including information systems, telecommunications, engineering, and/or a foreign language fluency (fluency subject to verification); and a bachelor's degree or higher (no minimum GPA required) with coursework related to the aforementioned special skills;
  • AND, possess the following competencies:
    • Written and Oral Communication
    • Attention to Detail/Memory
    • Decision-making/judgment
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Integrity/Honesty
    • Flexibility
    • Problem-solving
    • Self-management
    • Teamwork

Eligibility Quiz

Find out if you meet the qualifications to become a DEA Special Agent by taking the Eligibility Quiz below:

Individuals who meet the "minimum qualifications" will be further evaluated on their relevant training and experience. This includes:written and oral communication,grammar usage, vocabulary, attention to detail, memory, judgment, teamwork, problem solving, flexibility, interpersonal skills and self-management.

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Medical Qualifications

Medical Qualifications

  • I have manual dexterity with comparatively free motion of my fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hip and knee.
  • My arms, hands, legs, and feet are sufficiently intact and functioning.
  • I have sufficiently good vision in each eye, with or without correction. I have near vision (corrective lenses permitted) that is sufficient to read printed material the size of typewritten characters.
  • I do not have hearing loss, as measured by an audiometer, that exceeds 35 decibels at 1000, 2000 and 3000 Hz levels.
  • I possess the emotional and mental stability to allow me to perform duties that are exacting and responsible and involve activities under trying conditions.
  • I do not have a physical condition that would cause me to be a hazard to myself or others.

Yes      No

 

Minimum Qualifications - Experience/Education (check all that apply)

  I have one year of experience assisting in investigations of alleged or suspected violations of the law; participating in multi-agency/organization venues, briefings, meetings, conferences; researching, collecting and analyzing data from a variety of sources relating to investigations; writing reports and conducting briefings of findings, results, or accomplishments for information or action relating to law enforcement activities and/or court cases; assisting court officials and law enforcement personnel with case-related materials; and testifying or presenting evidence for court, legislative, or administrative proceedings.
  I have an undergraduate (bachelor's) grade-point average (GPA) of 2.95 or higher (based on 4 years of education or in the final two years of curriculum).
  I have completed two (2) full academic years of graduate level education or completed all requirements for a master's or equivalent graduate degree.
  I have a J.D. degree or LL.B degree.
  I am fluent in a foreign language (note: you will be required to score a 2 or higher on a language test) AND I possess a bachelor's degree or higher (no minimum GPA is required) with coursework in a foreign language, composition, literature, writing, communications or humanities/cultural studies.
  I possess, at a minimum, a FAA-issued private pilot’s license with either an airplane and/or helicopter rating (military certification is acceptable) AND a current FAA Class I or II medical certificate AND a bachelor's degree or higher.
  I have three or more years of experience as a first mate or navigational officer in the shipping industry utilizing state of the art equipment and planning for extensive domestic and international travel, including logistical support, loading characteristics, climatic analysis, and equipment operation limitations AND I possess a bachelor's degree or higher.
  I have three or more years as an accountant, internal auditor, bank examiner or similar profession with accounting or auditing experience (public or private) that includes the audit of company or governmental books and records (manual or automated) AND I possess a bachelor's degree or higher with at least 24 semester hours in accounting or auditing.
  I have three or more years of substantial on the job indoctrination and "hands on" experience in electronic theory and application, with emphasis on communications associated with wireless and wired audio and video systems to include listening devices, video equipment (both visible and invisible spectra), Radio Frequency (RF) theory and application, computer networking theory, application, and associated interfacing equipment AND I possess a bachelor's degree or higher with coursework in information systems/technology, telecommunications, or electrical/mechanical engineering.
  I have three or more years of military experience in leadership, travel, diverse geographical assignments, and familiarity with the control mechanisms necessary to operate in a dangerous environment AND I possess a bachelor's degree or higher with coursework in military or political science, government, management/leadership and/or communications.
  None of the above

          

Your results:

Training

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.

 

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