How to Become an ATF Agent in New York

ATF agents in New York work out of the New York Field Division, in a number of field offices, both in New York City and throughout the State of New York:

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  • New York City (Industry Operations)
  • Brooklyn (Firearms Trafficking and Violent Crime)
  • Bronx (Arson & Explosives/Firearms Trafficking/Violent Crime/Tobacco Diversion)

New York State ATF Field Offices include:

  • Albany
  • Long Island
  • Buffalo
  • White Plains
  • Rochester
  • Syracuse

In 2013, ATF agents in New York saw their work result in successful convictions on two, separate occasions:

  • In January, a New York resident was sentenced to 22 years for transporting ammunition to a New York drug trafficking organization.
  • In June 2013, a New York man was sentenced to 57 months in prison for supplying cocaine to New Haven drug dealers.


Becoming an ATF Agent in New York: Education and Experience Requirements

Prospective AFT Special Agents are required to meet the basic qualifications:

  • United States citizens
  • Between the ages of 21 and 36 at the time of their appointment
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • In excellent health with excellent hearing and vision

Candidates for ATF agent careers also satisfy specific education and experience requirements, depending on the federal pay level at which they are hired. Individuals may be hired at the GL-5, GL-7 or GL-9 federal pay level.

At the GL-5 level, individuals must either possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or have three years of experience, with one year of specialized experience at the GL-4 level.

At the GL-7 level, candidates must meet at least ONE of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree with superior academic achievement, which includes possessing a grade point average of at least 2.95 for all undergraduate classes or those completed in the last two years of study
  • A bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 3.45 in all courses related to the major field of study or in the last two years of undergraduate study and rank in the top third of the class and hold membership in a national honor society
  • At least 12 months of specialized work experience equivalent to the GL-5 level; specialized experience means experience in: criminal investigations; basic investigative techniques; assisting in gathering and analyzing evidence; preparing case reports; participating in witness and suspect interviews; and testifying for the government in court or before grand juries.
  • One full year of graduate study beyond a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree or higher (LLB, JD, LLM or PhD) in criminal justice, sociology, political science, psychology, or a related field of study
  • A combination of experience and education

Typical bachelor’s and graduate degrees for ATF agents are in the fields of criminal justice, sociology, criminology, police science, and the like.

Hiring Process and Training for ATF Careers in NY

Candidates who meet the minimum requirements for employment must be able to successfully complete:

  • A background investigation for a top-secret security clearance
  • A drug screening
  • A field panel interview (along with a writing sample)
  • A medical examination
  • A polygraph examination
  • The ATF Pre-Employment Physical Task test
  • The ATF Special Agent assessment test
  • The ATF Special Agent questionnaire
  • The ATF Special Agent exam
  • Basic Agent training

Basic Agent Training – New agents must complete a two-part training program. The first part, a 12-week program, takes place at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, while the second part, a 15-week Special Agent Basic Training program, is designed specifically for intensive ATF agent training in such areas as firearms trafficking, interview techniques, explosives and arson investigations; and firearms and tactical training.

Arson and explosives training provides a foundation for ATF agents learning to identify the criminal misuse of explosives and fire. Some of the topics covered in this area of training include:

  • Fire scene investigations
  • Identification of commercial explosives
  • Processing bomb scenes
  • Multiple live burn scenarios
  • Improvised explosive devices

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