In Alabama, Secret Service agents may be called upon to protect the President, the Vice President, and other national or world leaders who visit the state. They are often responsible for investigating any credible threats while safeguarding them, their families, their residences, and the facilities they visit.
The major sites of Secret Service agent jobs in Alabama include:
- Birmingham (field office and site of Electronic Crimes Task Force)
- Montgomery (resident office)
- Mobile (resident office)
Another important area for Secret Service agents in Alabama is through the Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF), which has a task force in Birmingham. Secret Service agents in the ECTF are called up to investigate electronic crimes, including terrorist attacks against financial payment systems and critical infrastructure, by collaborating with the private sector and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Preparing for a Career as a Secret Service Agent in Alabama
Individuals are typically hired as Secret Service agents in Alabama at the GL-7 to GL-9 level.
For college graduates with no experience, the GL-7 federal position demands, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. To qualify at this level, individuals must be able to show a history of superior academic achievement, which means earning a GPA of at least 3.5 in all courses related to their major and a GPA of 3.0 in all courses within the last two years of the program (or a 3.0 GPA based on the entire program). Individuals must also be in the upper third of their graduating class.
Individuals who cannot meet the requirements for achieving superior academic achievement may qualify at the GL-7 level if they have complete one full year of graduate study or have at least one year of specialized experience at the GL-5 level, which includes showing proof of assisting in investigations, surveillance, or undercover activities, or organizing evidence.
Although the Secret Service does not specify a particular area of study, many individuals who pursue jobs with the Secret Service choose to complete their college degree in one of the following:
- Criminal Justice
- Criminal Justice Administration
- Homeland Security
- Justice Administration
- Legal Studies
- Emergency Management
- Police Science
A four-year bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies in Alabama, for example, would include a number of topics that are relevant to a Secret Service agent career:
- Legal Ethics
- Legal Philosophy
- Law and Society
- Constitutional Law
What to Expect During the Hiring and Training Process as a Secret Service Agent
The Secret Service has a number of minimum requirements for special agent jobs. Specifically, individuals must:
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Be at least 21 years old but no older than 36 (or 40 under veteran’s preference) at the time a conditional offer of employment is offered
- Possess a current and valid driver’s license
- Have uncorrected vision of no worse than 20/60, correctable to 20/20
- Have no visible body markings (i.e., tattoos, brandings, piercings, body art, etc.)
- Have no felony or misdemeanor domestic violence convictions
Upon being chosen as a candidate for a Secret Service agent job in Alabama, individuals can expect to undergo an extensive pre-employment process, which includes taking a written examination and a physical abilities test, undergoing a background investigation, medical examination, drug screen, and a polygraph examination.
Further, all new Secret Service agents must complete a standard course of training, which lasts 11 weeks, followed by agent-specific course of training, which lasts an additional 16 weeks.
Secret Service Operations in Alabama
The work of the United States Secret Service can be seen across the United States, as well as in many other parts of the world. Recent headlines out of Alabama reflect the work of the Secret Service in this southern state.
For example, a Georgia man was recently sentenced to seven years for his role in an Alabama fraud scheme, which involved a multi-state operation that was involved in selling stolen merchandise on eBay. Although the activity took place in no less than 26 states, the case was prosecuted because a Mobile undercover Secret Service agent was responsible for making purchases from the elaborate scheme.
Months before the Secret Service in Alabama also appeared in local headlines when it was discovered that they were part of a multi-agency investigation involving missing student aid money at Alabama State University.