How to Become an ATF Agent in South Carolina

Operations for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in South Carolina are organized under the Charlotte Field Division. South Carolina field offices within the Charlotte Field Division include:

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  • Charleston Field Office: 843-763-3683
  • Columbia Field Office: 803-251-4600
  • Columbia Area Office (Industry Operations): 803-251-4640
  • Florence Satellite Office: 843-292-0179
  • Greenville Field Office: 864-282-2937


Education and/or Experience Requirements for ATF Agents in South Carolina

Provided candidates have met the minimum requirements for employment as ATF agents, which include being a United States citizen, being between the ages of 21 and 36, and possessing a valid driver’s license, they must then meet the requirements at a specific federal pay grade.

Because ATF special agents are hired at the GL-5, GL-7 or GL-9 level, individuals must, at a minimum, meet the requirements of the GL-5 level, which includes possessing a specific amount of experience and/or education.

Individuals may qualify for ATF agent jobs if they possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Specific areas of study are not a requirement to qualify at this level, although many individuals seeking to attain ATF agent careers through education choose to complete a course of study in a related area, such as:

  • Political science
  • Sociology
  • Criminal justice
  • Criminology
  • Emergency management

Individuals without a formal education may also qualify at the GL-5 level if they have at least 3 years of experience in a position that displays that they achieved more responsibilities during their employment. Further, they must also have at least one year of specialized experience directly related to the GL-4 level. Specialized experience includes demonstrating the ability to work in law enforcement or criminal investigative fields.

Training Requirements for ATF Careers in South Carolina

Candidates cannot achieve careers as ATF agents without first completing a two-part training program. New hires must complete all areas of training and successfully complete all assessments to be considered for ATF agent jobs in South Carolina.

In addition to standard physical, tactical and firearms training during SABT, new hires must complete extensive classroom trainings. During the academic training process, trainees are required to pass 7 academic exams with a score of at least 80 percent.  Exam topics are as follows:

  • Firearms technology
  • Report writing
  • Firearms trafficking and regulations
  • Arson regulations
  • Explosive regulations
  • Legal issues
  • Field operations/Undercover regulations


ATF Headlines in South Carolina

ATF special agents are the investigative backbone of the Bureau, with their skills, instincts and drive, ensure that federal laws relating to arson, explosives, tobacco, firearms, and alcohol are upheld and enforced at all times. South Carolina headlines involving the work of ATF agents reflect the important work these federal law enforcement professionals are accomplishing:

April 2013: A South Carolina man pled guilty to a number of charges, including kidnapping, possessing of a firearm, and witness tampering. The investigation was a joint effort between South Carolina’s ATF, the Monroe Police Department, and the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office.

July 2013: A South Carolina man was sentenced to more than 6 years in prison for transporting stolen weapons into New Jersey. An ATF investigation found that the defendant transported 22 weapons into South Carolina that were stolen from Tennessee and North Carolina.

January 2014: Five individuals were sentenced for their role in a cigarette smuggling ring that was operating out of North Carolina and South Carolina. The investigation, which was a joint ATF-IRS undercover investigation, included more than 486,000 cartons of stolen cigarettes that had a value of more than $20 million. All individuals were sentenced on cigarette trafficking and money laundering charges.

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