How to Become an ATF Agent in Oklahoma

One of the most significant events for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in Oklahoma occurred on April 19, 1995, when a truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. In addition to the seven ATF agents who were initially trapped inside the building who ultimately escaped and assisted other victims, ATF agents and National Response Teams from around the nation arrived in Oklahoma City to provide their assistance and investigative expertise. Their tireless work was recognized, not only in Oklahoma, but throughout the nation and the world.

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ATF special agents in Oklahoma continue to play a crucial role in upholding federal laws related to arson, firearms, alcohol, tobacco, and explosives. For example, in July 2013, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that a man was sentenced to 168 months in prison on conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances charges. The charges were a result of an investigation by the ATF’s Violent Crime Task Force, which worked in an investigative capacity for more than 2 years.

ATF agents in Oklahoma are assigned to the Dallas Field Division, which oversees the following Oklahoma field offices:

  • Oklahoma City: 405-297-5060
  • Oklahoma City (Industry Operations): 405-297-5073
  • Tulsa: 918-594-1800
  • Muskogee: 918-682-0957


Requirements for Attaining ATF Jobs in Oklahoma

Meeting the requirements for employment is the first step to becoming an ATF special agent with this prestigious federal law enforcement agency.

Individuals should ensure they meet:

Minimum Requirements – Minimum requirements for ATF agent jobs are similar to other federal law enforcement positions. Candidates must:

  • Be citizens of the United States
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 36 at the time of appointment
  • Have a valid and current driver’s license

Education Requirements – Candidates without prior experience may qualify to become an ATF agent (at the GL-5 federal level, the minimum level individuals are hired at the ATF) in Oklahoma if they possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Many candidates choose to complete a college program that provides a framework for a career as an ATF agent:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Emergency Management
  • Police Science
  • Criminology
  • Sociology

Experience Requirements – Special agents who do not possess a bachelor’s degree may qualify for an ATF agent job at the GL-5 level if they have at least 3 years of experience that demonstrates progressively responsible experience, with at least one year of experience at the GL-4 level. Specialized experience must include work in criminal investigations, law enforcement, and/or the application of law related to criminal violations.

Pre-Employment Requirements – Candidates who meet the minimum requirements for employment as an Oklahoma ATF special agent are expected to complete a rigorous pre-employment process, which includes successfully completing a written exam, an assessment test, a physical task test, a field panel interview, and a background investigation, which includes a polygraph examination and a drug screen.

Candidates must take the ATF Pre-Employment Physical Task test to demonstrate they are fit enough to perform physically demanding tasks as part of the ATF special agent job, including defensive tactics and arrest techniques. The Physical Task test involves the completion of as many sit-ups and push-ups as possible in one minute and the completion of a 1.5-mile run. Candidates are evaluated based on their age and gender.

Training Requirements – The ATF’s two-part, formal training program is a requirement for all new ATF special agents in Oklahoma. This includes a 12-week program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, followed by a 15-week Special Agent training program. Candidates must be able to pass all areas of both training programs to achieve ATF agent jobs.

ATF Special Agent Job Benefits

As federal law enforcement employees, ATF agents are afforded a number of benefits in addition to their base salary:

  • Locality pay: Locality pay is designed for ATF agents living in certain areas of the country, and the pay is dependent upon the city’s cost of living. Locality pay may be an additional 14 to 35 percent above a base salary.
  • Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP): LEAP is an additional 25 percent above locality pay. It is paid to some federal law enforcement officers, such as ATF agents, who are expected to work additional hours.
  • Foreign Language pay: ATF special agents who are fluent in a foreign language and capable of using the foreign language in the performance of their official duties may receive a cash award upon being hired.

Benefits for ATF agents include:

  • Low-cost health insurance
  • Low-cost group life insurance
  • Sick leave (13 days per year)
  • Annual leave (13 to 26 days per year)
  • Federal Employee Retirement System benefits
  • Thrift Savings Plan

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