Do You Have What It Takes for a Career in Federal Law Enforcement?

The role of protecting U.S. citizens against those who violate the law involves a level of courage and dedication that not everyone possesses. As public servants, federal law enforcement officers including FBI and ATF agents are expected to be upstanding citizens who are role models to the community, both personally as well as professionally. Do you have what it takes?  Here’s how to find out…

Are you an honest individual who always follows the law?

As someone who will be enforcing the law, it’s mandatory that you abide by all federal, state and local laws.  In most cases, a felony conviction or any conviction involving domestic violence or racism as an adult results in an automatic disqualification as a candidate.

While juvenile convictions are sealed and other misdemeanor acts won’t necessarily result in denial of your application for consideration, building a good reputation early on is important if you’re seeking a federal law enforcement career in the future.

Are you willing to train vigorously to prepare yourself for the job?

Regardless of whether your career aspirations involve a position with the Secret Service, FBI, Customs and Border Protection, or ATF, you will have to go through extensive training – both in the classroom and in the field – in order to fully prepare for the responsibilities of your job.

Training programs vary for each agency and are typically divided into two or more parts. For example, ATF trainees are required to complete a two-part training program that consists of the Criminal Investigators Training Program (CITP) and Special Agent Basic Training (SABT).

Are you a healthy United States citizen with a deep-seeded sense of duty and strong work ethic?

In order to join any law enforcement agency, there are specific physical and educational requirements that must be met.  The most basic educational requirement for federal law enforcement officers is a high school diploma. Most agencies, however, require applicants to possess at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Federal law enforcement candidates are generally required to go through a medical examination, psychological assessment and physical fitness evaluation. Applicants who do not meet minimum baseline standards due to a disability are typically allowed to take individual examinations to qualify for open positions.

Most agencies also prefer candidates who have prior work experience and are capable of working both independently and as part of a team.