How to Become an ATF Agent in Delaware

The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives plays an important role in Delaware, providing highly trained specialists to respond to potentially deadly situations when local law enforcement may lack the necessary expertise or authority. Improvised explosive devises and illegally modified weapons are just some of the hazards ATF Agents are exposed to in their line of work. Other ATF operations can range from investigations on cigarette tax avoidance to undercover weapons stings. When it comes to guns, the Bureau recovered 979 in the state last year, with 345 coming from Wilmington, 101 coming from Newark, and 86 being recovered from both Dover and New Castle.

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Because the ATF engages in a range of operations, agents come from a well-trained and educated background, which is meant to guarantee a certain level of aptitude. The specific requirements to become an ATF Agent in Delaware will be of top concern for those interested in pursuing a career with this agency.

Requirements to Become an ATF Agent in Delaware

Requirements for ATF jobs include having the right education and experience plus a few other basic requirements that include:

  • Being in good physical shape
  • Being a US citizen with a valid driver’s license
  • Being between the ages of 21-36, with some exceptions made for federal police and veterans
  • Being able to obtain a top secret security clearance
  • Having a bachelor degree or either:
    • Three years of experience in the law enforcement and criminal investigations fields
    • A combination of education and experience

Meeting these basic ATF requirements is a must. Candidates who would like to meet the requirements through education, and who want to stand out in the application process so as to join the Bureau at a higher rank and pay level, can consider a bachelor’s degree in any of the following:

  • Psychology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Police Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Sociology
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Law Enforcement
  • Political Science


Application and Training for New Recruits

Because the ATF is an agency of the federal government, job announcements can be found on the USA Jobs website. Prospective applicants can also register with the ATF to be notified of job announcements via email. The initial application also includes:

Training for ATF jobs will commence if an applicant is chosen for hire. It includes 12 weeks spent in a Criminal Investigators Training Program followed by an additional 15 weeks at Special Agent Basic Training.

Delaware’s ATF Agents at Work

With the ability to use their specialized training and resources to hone in on particularly dangerous criminals, Delaware ATF Agents play an indispensable role in maintaining law and order in the state. This was demonstrated recently in an ATF investigation into a pharmacy robbery committed by a man from Middletown who made off with the drug oxycodone, but not before firing his gun into the air. ATF investigators were able to use evidence obtained from trace markings on the man’s weapon to help secure a 10-year conviction.

In a recent undercover operation, ATF Agents posed as cigarette smugglers to infiltrate the criminal operations of a man suspected of buying counterfeit tax stamps and crates of cigarettes in Delaware he intended to sell in New York City. Working in a joint-agency operation, undercover ATF Agents convinced the man to buy 23,000 cartons of cigarettes, at which time he was subsequently arrested.

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