The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a huge governmental organization associated with secrecy and collection of information that is used to maintain the security of the country.
What Does a CIA Agent Do?
There are a lot of divisions and sectors in the CIA such as, the National Clandestine Service. The people employed in this department are usually operation officers or collection management officers who typically operate as undercover agents. Their job is to gather foreign intelligence from different parts of the world.
In addition to these agents, the CIA also has many types of Analysts. Their job is to analyze the foreign intelligence they receive and figure out any immediate threats to the national security. They often analyze information related to terrorist activities, economic trends, technological threats or hacks; threats related to foreign leaders etc. For the position of an analyst, CIA often hires people with a degree in the field of Computer Science, Engineering, Biological or Social Science, Business & Economics, Political Science, Foreign Languages etc.
Steps to Become a CIA Agent in the US
As discussed above, there are a large variety of departments and positions within the CIA and the requirements of each position vary based on the job description. However, a few requirements are standard and all candidates must fulfill them. For a specific job description and requirement, you must consult the given advertisement. If you are very enthusiastic about becoming a CIA Agent, you must complete their requirements to be selected for an interview. Here is a step by step guideline on how to become a CIA agent.
Age, Citizenship & Other Requirements
All applicants must be at least 18 to 21 years old legal US citizens and must possess a valid driving and a firearms license.
All candidates must possess at least a bachelors degree in the field relevant to the position they want to apply for. However, CIA mostly prefers hiring applicants with a master’s degree.
It is always beneficial that candidates have relevant field experience of at least 2 years. CIA often prefers candidates who have experience with law enforcement agencies or with the US army.
Medical Health Exams
All prospective candidates are required to pass a series of health exams that include, physical and mental health tests, drug screenings and polygraph tests etc.
Background Checks and Criminal Records
Candidates must also clear several background checks and not have any major criminal records or convictions.
Additional requirements vary based on the type of position being applied for. However, candidates who possess extensive knowledge of foreign cultures, languages, policies, governmental proceedings and international relations etc. are preferred over others.
If selected after the interview and all other screenings, newly hired CIA agents are provided on-the-job training for a certain period of time.
How Much Can I Earn as a CIA Agent in the US?
The amount of salary earned by CIA agents is not publicly available information. However, the closest match to the work of a CIA Agent is that of Detectives and Criminal Investigators. As per the data reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2019, the people in this profession earned an annual median salary of $83,170 which roughly equates to $39.99 per hour. Alaska was reported as the highest paying state for this profession with an annual mean salary of $113,420.