How to Become an ATF Agent in North Carolina

The special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in North Carolina frequently coordinate efforts with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

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For example, between 2011 and 2012, law enforcement officers in Raleigh, North Carolina, conducted an operation that involved individuals purchasing crack cocaine on multiple occasions out of a known crack house. Six individuals were arrested and found guilty. The criminal investigation was a joint effort between the ATF, the Kinston Department of Public Safety, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Marshal’s Service.

ATF agents in North Carolina also spearheaded a major investigation in 2009 that resulted in the indictment of 9 individuals and the dismantling of one of the largest organized home burglary rings in North Carolina history. It was discovered that the crime ring consisted mainly of multi-convicted felons who targeted homes throughout a number of counties in both North Carolina and South Carolina. North Carolina ATF agents worked with no less than 10 law enforcement agencies in multiple jurisdictions to see this investigation come to a successful conclusion.

How to Become an ATF Agent in North Carolina

Individuals who want to learn how to become an ATF agent in North Carolina must ensure they meet the agency’s minimum requirements, which include being a United States citizen; being between the ages of 21 and 36 (at the time of appointment); and possessing a valid driver’s license.

ATF agents are hired at the GL-5, GL-7, or GL-9 federal level; therefore, at a minimum, individuals must either possess a four-year bachelor’s degree in any field of study; 3 years of experience, with at least one year of specialized experience that demonstrates:

  • The ability to work in criminal investigations
  • The ability to work in law enforcement
  • The knowledge and application of laws relating to criminal investigations; or a combination of education and experience.

Education is a typical route to an ATF agent job in North Carolina, with many candidates meeting the education requirements via a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, sociology, emergency management, and similar programs.

Candidates for ATF agent jobs in North Carolina, upon meeting the agency’s minimum requirements for employment, must successful complete:

  • The ATF special agent exam
  • The ATF pre-employment physical task test
  • The ATF applicant assessment test
  • A field panel interview
  • A medical exam, including a vision and hearing test
  • A drug test
  • A background investigation

New hires must successfully complete the ATF’s a comprehensive training program, which includes basic training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, followed by ATF Special Agent training. The training period totals 27 weeks, and new hires must successfully complete all areas of training.

In addition to base pay at the appropriate federal pay level, ATF agents in North Carolina are eligible to receive:

  • Locality pay: current range is between 14.16 and 35.15 percent, depending on the location where the job is located
  • Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP): An additional 25 percent that is added to locality pay
  • Foreign Language Award Program: ATF agents who possess a foreign language that can be used in the performance of their official duties can receive a cash award through the ATF.


ATF North Carolina Operations Groups and Field Offices

The ATF has a strong presence in North Carolina. ATF agents in North Carolina work out of the Charlotte Field Division. There are 5 field offices and multiple satellite offices in North Carolina:

  • Ashville satellite office: 828-271-4075


  • Charlotte Group I: 704-716-1810
  • Charlotte Group II: 704-716-1820
  • Charlotte Group III (Industry Operations): 704-716-1830
  • Charlotte Group IV: 704-716-1840


  • Fayetteville field office: 910-483-3030


  • Greensboro Group I: 336-235-4900
  • Greensboro Group II: 336-235-4950


  • Raleigh Field Office: 919-719-2021


  • Wilmington Field Office: 910-343-6801

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