The Boston Marathon bombings brought the job of the United States Secret Service to a whole new level, particularly in April 2013, when both President Barack Obama and the 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attended an interfaith healing service for victims of the bombing.
Because a major role of the Secret Service is to provide protective services for major leaders, including the nation’s President and Vice President, the agents of the Secret Service’s Boston field office were instrumental in coordinating the security efforts involved with the President’s visit in April.
How to Become a Secret Service Agent in Massachusetts
The Secret Service demands a minimum education for candidates for Secret Service jobs in Massachusetts who have no prior experience. For positions at the GL-7 federal level, this includes a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, provided candidates can show they achieved superior academic excellence in their four-year degree. Academic excellence is defined as graduating in the upper-third of their graduating class and possessing a minimum 3.5 GPA in their major courses and a 3.0 GPA in all other courses.
Candidates without prior experience who want to qualify with education can qualify without a bachelor’s degree with superior academic excellence if they also possess at least one year of graduate-level education.
Positions at the GL-9 level require, at a minimum, a master’s degree or equivalent graduate program (LLB or JD) for individuals without prior experience.
There are no specific requirements for the area of study, provided the degree earned is through an accredited college or university. Many of those interested in attaining jobs as Massachusetts Secret Service agents seek degrees in:
- Criminal justice
- Criminal justice administration
- Public safety
- Emergency management
Candidates should expect to undergo a number of pre-employment assessments before being hired as a Secret Service agent in Massachusetts:
- Special agent exam
- Exam on report writing
- Physical fitness test
- Background investigation
- Drug screening
- Polygraph examination
Training always will be a vital component to a Secret Service agent career. The Secret Service requires the completion of a mandatory course of training for all new hires. Secret agents in this federal law enforcement agency must also complete training throughout the course of their careers.
Training for new Secret Service agents in the Boston field office includes at least 10 weeks of initial training, followed by another 17 weeks of intense training at the Secret Service’s training center in Maryland. New agents must also be able to successfully obtain firearms qualifications upon the completion of training.
New England Electronic Crimes Task Force (NET)
The New England Electronic Crimes Task Force, which operates out of Boston, is designed to provide coordination between the Secret Service, law enforcement agencies, private industry, and academia as to protect the nation’s infrastructure from cyber-attacks and other electronic crimes. The work of NET also includes the investigation of counterfeit currency, identity theft, bank fraud, and access device fraud.
Secret Service agents in Massachusetts were involved in a high-profile case involving a developer who orchestrated a massive mortgage fraud that cost unsuspecting buyers more than $7 million. This individual, who was sentenced in December 2013, was the fourth such individual to be brought to justice for perpetrating this scheme. Secret Service agents in Massachusetts worked alongside federal officials from the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation division, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Office of the Inspector General.
Another Secret Service investigation out of the Boston field office involved a Massachusetts man who was found to have deposited fraudulently obtained tax refunds into a number of bank accounts. Thanks to the investigation by the Secret Service, the man was convicted in September 2013 for stealing more than $200,000 in U.S. Treasury tax refunds.