The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is the law enforcement arm of the federal courts. In addition to serving as the primary law enforcement agency for fugitive operations, this federal agency also serves federal courts by providing protection of officers of the court and court buildings, assisting with court security and prisoner transport, and serving arrest warrants. These federal law enforcement professionals are also called upon to arrest federal fugitives and convicted sex offenders who fail to meet compliance measures.
U.S. marshal salaries are often reflective of education, experience, and type of work performed.
U.S. Marshals work in one of three areas:
- Fugitive Operations – U.S. Marshals are responsible for fugitive investigations and apprehend more federal fugitives than all other law enforcement agencies combined.
- Judicial Security – U.S. Marshals ensure the safety of judicial proceedings through the country’s 94 federal court districts.
- Tactical Operations – U.S. Marshals in tactical operations may work in a number of areas, including: asset forfeiture; prisoner operations, including confinement, care and transportation; justice prisoner and alien transportation system; and witness security.
U.S. Marshal Salaries: Deputy U.S. Marshals
All U.S. deputy marshals begin their career at the federal GL-07 level, which currently has a salary range of $38,511 to $48,708. In addition to the base salary at the GL-07 level, salaries for U.S. marshals may vary according to where the job is located, based on the federal government’s locality pay table.
For example, the GL-07 level for U.S. deputy marshals is between $46,471 and $58,776 in Dallas, Texas, between $48,971 and $61,937 in Los Angeles, California, between $46,517 and $58,834 in Miami, Florida, and between $46,903 and $57,942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
To qualify for the position of a Deputy U.S. Marshal and the GL-07 salary, individuals must:
- Be a United States citizen
- Be between the ages of 21 and 36 at the time of appointment
- Possess a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of qualifying work experience, or a combination of education and experience
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- Be able to successfully complete a structured interview, a medical examination, and a thorough background investigation
The application takes between 9 and 12 months, and all new hires must be able to attend the 17-week training program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center within 160 days of applying.
Qualifying work experience for the GL-07 level must include:
- One year of specialized experience at the GL-05 level that demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities required to fulfill the job duties
- The ability to plan and carry out criminal investigations, such as serving court orders, using a firearm, and dealing with uncooperative people
- The ability to deal with prisoners, the public, and associates
- Knowledge of the law and court procedures related to search and seizure measures
- Preparing reports regarding civil and criminal processes
- Executing warrants by locating wanted persons
Qualifying through education requires candidates to show proof of superior academic achievement, which includes possessing a 3.5 GPA for all courses related to an individual’s major field of study and a 3.0 GPA for all courses completed during the last two years of undergraduate study.
Candidates who cannot show proof of superior academic achievement in their undergraduate program may qualify if they possess at least one full year of graduate-level study related to a law enforcement or similar field, such as sociology, psychology, criminal justice, etc.
Individuals appointed as U.S. deputy marshals and receive a U.S. marshal salary at the GL-07 level are eligible for a promotion to the GL-08 or GL-09 position after one year. The salary ranges for these federal levels are:
- GL-08: $40,139 to $51,425
- GL-09: 42,948 to $55,413
U.S. Marshal Salaries: Benefits
U.S. marshal salaries include a number of federal benefits including the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), which consists of a pension plan, social security, and a Thrift Savings Plan. All deputy U.S. marshals are also eligible for retirement after 25 years of service of at 50 years old if they have at least 20 years of service. The mandatory retirement age is 57.
Other benefits that are included with a U.S. marshal salary include:
- Annual leave
- Sick leave
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Health benefits
- Life insurance
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)