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What are the Job Requirements of a DEA Agent

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Though there are a variety of career possibilities in the Drug Enforcement Administration, the most exciting is arguably that of a DEA agent. DEA agents are a select group of men and women carefully selected to be groomed into the best drug law enforcement agent in the world.DEA agents are more often than not of a diverse background and must have proven experience and commitment to undertake the DEA's battle in the war on drugs. However, becoming a DEA agent is also one of the most complex and hard tasks to undertake, for the agency is highly specific on the requirement to even be considered for employment. The basic requirements include any one of these four:A Bachelor's Degree with a minimum 2.95 GPA or a Masters Degree in any of the following: Criminal Justice Police Science Psychology Sociology Chemistry Foreign Languages Political Science Computer Sciences Spanish French Arabic Japanese RussianProfessional experience in narcotics investigations, undercover activities, and evidence organizationThree years or more relative work experience and Special Skils such as: Pilot Military Engineering Foreign Languages Information Systems LL.B or J.D. Degree with experience in prosecution.A competitive applicant will meet one of the four above criteria as well as these additional requirements: U.S Citizen Between the ages of 21 and 36 at time of application Valid U.S. Driver's license "Excellent" Physical condition Uncorrected vision more than 20/200 in both eyes, corrected to 20/20 in one, and 20/40 in other Willing to relocate in the United States Successfully pass a background investigation to obtain Top Secret clearanceIn meeting the necessary qualifications, a prospective DEA agent must complete an intense hiring process that may take at least one full year to complete, and all phases must be appropriately completed. A qualifications review ensures that the applicant meets the basic requirement criteria. A written assessment and panel interview is then administered to evaluate basic skills.A drug test must also be successfully passed. Because it is the Drug Enforcement Administration, all potential DEA agents must not have a history of any kind of illicit drug or controlled substance abuse. In some cases, the adolescent use of marijuana that is not historically abusive in the applicant may be sometimes overlooked.A medical examination to ensure the DEA agent applicant's health, as well as an intense Physical Task Test, where certain exercises must be correctly done in the allotted time and repetitions. Also, a polygraph examination is also administered to ensure the DEA agent applicant is truthful and honest regarding aspects of his/her past, such as drug or narcotics use. A psychological assessment is conducted to evaluate the DEA agent applicant's health. The background check is finally administered and a final decision will be made upon the applicant's successful completion of all the aspects of the hiring process. If the applicant is hired, he/she will undergo training at the DEA Training Academy located in Quantico, Virginia. Here, all future DEA agents will begin basic agent training, practical applications training, tactical training, firearms training, legal training, intelligence training, as well as DEA ethics.The training session lasts a total of 16 weeks.DEA agents are hired on at the GS-7 or GS-9 pay grade levels depending on experience and education. Basic salary can range from just over $35,000 to about $51,000, depending on pay grade levels. DEA agents receive great benefits, including Federal Employees Health Benefits, Federal Employees Retirement System, and a 401(k) type program. Upon being hired, it is a possibility for all DEA agents to progress to the GS-13 pay grade after four years of service, which is close to $100,000. Mobility is a requirement of the job, and thus, a DEA agent may be required to move according to the Agency's need of staff and personnel.
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  • Dea Agent

    Though there are a variety of career possibilities in the Drug Enforcement Administration, the most exciting is arguably that of a DEA agent. DEA agents are a select group of men and women carefully selected to be groomed into the best drug law enforcement agent in the world.

    DEA agents are more often than not of a diverse background and must have proven experience and commitment to undertake the DEA's battle in the war on drugs. However, becoming a DEA agent is also one of the most complex and hard tasks to undertake, for the agency is highly specific on the requirement to even be considered for employment. The basic requirements include any one of these four:

    A Bachelor's Degree with a minimum 2.95 GPA or a Masters Degree in any of the following:

    Criminal Justice

    Police Science

    Psychology

    Sociology

    Chemistry

    Foreign Languages

    Political Science

    Computer Sciences

    Spanish

    French

    Arabic

    Japanese

    Russian

    Professional experience in narcotics investigations, undercover activities, and evidence organization

    Three years or more relative work experience and Special Skils such as:

    Pilot

    Military

    Engineering

    Foreign Languages

    Information Systems

    LL.B or J.D. Degree with experience in prosecution.

    A competitive applicant will meet one of the four above criteria as well as these additional requirements:

    U.S Citizen

    Between the ages of 21 and 36 at time of application

    Valid U.S. Driver's license

    "Excellent" Physical condition

    Uncorrected vision more than 20/200 in both eyes, corrected to 20/20 in one, and 20/40 in other

    Willing to relocate in the United States

    Successfully pass a background investigation to obtain Top Secret clearance

    In meeting the necessary qualifications, a prospective DEA agent must complete an intense hiring process that may take at least one full year to complete, and all phases must be appropriately completed. A qualifications review ensures that the applicant meets the basic requirement criteria. A written assessment and panel interview is then administered to evaluate basic skills.

    A drug test must also be successfully passed. Because it is the Drug Enforcement Administration, all potential DEA agents must not have a history of any kind of illicit drug or controlled substance abuse. In some cases, the adolescent use of marijuana that is not historically abusive in the applicant may be sometimes overlooked.

    A medical examination to ensure the DEA agent applicant's health, as well as an intense Physical Task Test, where certain exercises must be correctly done in the allotted time and repetitions. Also, a polygraph examination is also administered to ensure the DEA agent applicant is truthful and honest regarding aspects of his/her past, such as drug or narcotics use. A psychological assessment is conducted to evaluate the DEA agent applicant's health.

    The background check is finally administered and a final decision will be made upon the applicant's successful completion of all the aspects of the hiring process. If the applicant is hired, he/she will undergo training at the DEA Training Academy located in Quantico, Virginia. Here, all future DEA agents will begin basic agent training, practical applications training, tactical training, firearms training, legal training, intelligence training, as well as DEA ethics. The training session lasts a total of 16 weeks.

    DEA agents are hired on at the GS-7 or GS-9 pay grade levels depending on experience and education. Basic salary can range from just over $35,000 to about $51,000, depending on pay grade levels. DEA agents receive great benefits, including Federal Employees Health Benefits, Federal Employees Retirement System, and a 401(k) type program. Upon being hired, it is a possibility for all DEA agents to progress to the GS-13 pay grade after four years of service, which is close to $100,000. Mobility is a requirement of the job, and thus, a DEA agent may be required to move according to the Agency's need of staff and personnel.

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