The drug enforcement administration (DEA) is a branch of the US Department of Justice that handles and strictly imposes federal laws related to controlled substances and drug-related crimes. If you want to be a part of this service, there are positions available for DEA special agents. They specialize as law enforcement officers catering to investigating crimes and working against drug trafficking. Several vital prerequisites must be met for an individual to qualify as a DEA special agent. Physical fitness, effective communication, strong tactical skills are all traits that a special agent in this regard must possess in addition to expertise in self-defense and other relevant networks.
A DEA special agent must undergo meticulous physical fitness tests, which is why most agents come from a military or armed forces background considering their experience with similar fitness measures. Most duties involved could be risky and dangerous as agents are focused on organizations and individuals who smuggle, manufacture, or distribute drugs within the United States. As per a DEA special agent’s job description, prevention against drug trafficking, and protecting potential drug users from substance abuse by interrupting the flow of drug traffic is a principal objective of a DEA agent. It is one of the most prestigious and rewarding careers in the USA due to the nature of work and tasks assigned to the DEA agents. Here are some requirements and eligibility criteria that are must-have if you wish to work as a DEA special agent.
Be a US citizen
The main requirement that calls for being a DEA special agent is to be a legal citizen of the United States of America. Considering the Drug Enforcement Administration is an arm of the US Department of justice, it makes it quite evident as to why nationals from other countries are not allowed to qualify as a special DEA agent. Many people wish to be a part of this US force, and the main factor would be due to the DEA agent salary that amounts to $66445 on average. Therefore, if you are interested in joining this task force but do not possess a US citizenship under no circumstances would you be granted leverage to be a part of this organization.
The academic criterion involves an individual possessing a bachelor’s degree or anything higher, i.e., masters, Ph.D., or relevant experience in this specific field. For instance, military, armed forces personnel, or FBI officers, who are well aware of the training programs involved in this profession, could tackle any challenge that requires similar handling. They are eligible to not only easily apply as a DEA special agent but also have a higher chance of qualifying considering their indistinguishable backgrounds.
Meet fitness standards
A DEA special agent is responsible when it comes to conducting searches, operations, undercover raids, and other law enforcement techniques that require much physical strength. Being physically fit is a basic standard by the DEA that you must fulfill. DEA also offers essential training for self-defense and firearms. The practice involves academics and training, both of which are crucial elements needed to be an exclusive agent.
The academic and physical training sessions provided by the DEA are mandatory for every eligible DEA newcomer (regardless of their background) to be a part of their 18-week training program in Quantico, Virginia, home to the DEA training academy. New agents learn about leadership, mental confrontation, drug recognition, ethics, and law enforcement as per the job setting. Law enforcement and firearm techniques include operation training, combat shooting skills, and other tactics all fall under the particular training period. Firearm training also involves special agents to practice using relevant technology and firearms in various environments and conditions.
Background investigation check
An investigation verifies your background to ensure the legal assessment of your documents and know more about your identity and work/academic/personal life. They also take into consideration your criminal records so that the DEA is aware of their agent database and their legal, safe handlings even before your designation as a special agent.
There sure is a specific age group that could only apply to be an exclusive agent; one must be between the ages of 21 and 36 at the time of applying. Special agent forces have to be mentally and psychically healthy, therefore the concise yet ideal age requirements. Similar rules also apply to military officers who, if even sought retirement, must fall under the same age bracket. There is no room for trial and error at the DEA, which is what makes the standards strict and forth-right.
Pass a written assessment and oral interviews.
It could take up to 12 months to be considered eligible for the position of a DEA special agent. Apart from fitness tests, an interested individual must go through several written assessments that provide an analysis of the applicant’s mindset and academic skills. Oral interviews test one’s communication skills and the level of effectiveness they may have in their speech. After one has qualified for the early theoretical and verbal tests, new agents get training at the DEA academy for 18-weeks, where their skills are further polished.
A DEA special agent is an exciting and specialized position to work in, but it also means that you would need to meet several critical requirements before finally qualifying as a special agent. The strict recruitment process raises the qualification bar for some individuals, yet once you’ve gone through the eligible clearance process, being an intelligence agent is a promising task.