10 Law Enforcement Careers & Federal Government Criminal Justice

Law Enforcement Careers

Some of the most sought-after jobs in law enforcement are in the federal government.

Federal law enforcement jobs usually offer higher salaries, nice retirement packages, and great health benefits.

They are offered by several agencies, and all have unique but essential missions and include various types of specialties.

FBI Agents

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probably the most well-known federal law enforcement agency.

They operate under the control of the US Department of Justice and are responsible for investigating domestic security crimes.

They include financial crimes, computer crimes, terrorist threats, and kidnapping.

Special agents of the FBI work in field offices around the US and the world.

As a minimum, candidates need a bachelor’s degree.

The most preferred candidates hold master’s degrees, Juris doctorates, and have relevant work experience.

Agents attend the FBI Training Academy located in Quantico, Virginia, and after graduation are assigned to field offices.

The special agent program offers several FBI career paths, including financial crime, law, computer fraud, and general law enforcement.


U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Investigators

This federal government branch focuses on enforcing regulations and laws in the area of illegal drugs.

This includes chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and street drugs.

The DEA is also regulated by the US Department of Justice.

Some DEA agents are diversion investigators.

But special agents with law enforcement authority are employed by the DEA.

Diversion investigators are investigation specialists.

Even though advanced degrees aren’t officially required, to stand above the other applicants, a master’s degree or Ph.D. can be helpful.

You have to be a US citizen and pass the background investigation as well as a drug test.

Candidates should have a valid driver’s license and unimpaired or corrected hearing and vision.

ICE Agents

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement hire special agents to investigate crimes on drug trafficking, human smuggling, money laundering, and immigration law violations.

Agents conduct administrative, civil, and criminal investigations.

To become an ICE agent, one typically needs a minimum of a four-year degree, however, relevant work experience can substitute education requirements.

Candidates with prior law enforcement or military experience are preferred.

Experience in management or leadership roles is also useful.

Secret Service Agents

The Secret Service of the United States is best known for protecting the US president.

They are also responsible for protecting the US currency and securing the nation’s treasury.

The main function of the Secret Service is the protection of the US currency and preventing counterfeiting.

Secret service agents are called upon to increase the security around the US for visiting diplomats and high-ranking officials.

Secret Service agents are trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center located in Glynco, Georgia, and receive specialized training in the area of Washington, D.C.

federal law enforcement

Uniformed Secret Service Police Officers

Besides special agents, the Secret Service also employs a uniformed police force.

These officers ensure the security at installations around Washington D.C., including the Treasury Building, the White House, and the residence of the vice president at the US Naval Observatory.

These officers are also responsible for the security of foreign embassies.

They travel together with special agents of the Secret Service to increase the dignitary and presidential security around the country and the world.

Uniformed Secret Service officers are trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center as well as receive specialized training in the Washington D.C. area.

ATF Investigators and Special Agents

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is also under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice.

Special Agents and Investigators work in field offices all over the country.

They handle such cases as arson and terrorism additionally as organized crime, illegal trafficking of explosives, firearm, tobacco, and alcohol products.

The ATF has three distinct enforcement units to handle all the activity, Explosives, Firearms, and Alcohol and Tobacco.

To become an agent of the organization, you must be a US citizen, at least 21 years old, but not older than 36 at the time of hiring.

A valid driver’s license is required, as well as a high school diploma.

However, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or criminology is preferred.

Applicants should submit a handwriting example as well as pass several tests.

They include physical abilities and medical assessment tests.

Agents should pass the ATFE special agent examination, and undergo drug screenings, background investigation, and polygraph tests.

Deputy U.S. Marshals

The oldest, and probably the most storied, federal law enforcement agency in the US is Marshals Service.

The agency of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp is known as the enforcement arm of the federal court system.

Ninety-four marshals oversee ninety-four districts.

Their deputies provide witness protection and court security.

Deputy marshals also arrange for prisoner transport, conduct enforcement of federal court orders, and provide for the detention of those who await trials at federal courts.

Local agencies receive assistance from the marshal’s service in capturing escaped fugitives.

They also oversee the Federal Witness Protection Program.

Deputy marshals are trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.

Naval Criminal Investigative Services Special Agents

NCIS agents conduct special investigations for the US Department of the Navy and the US Marine Corps.

They work on US Navy installations all over the world and investigate major crimes that involve Navy property or personnel.

Special agents also work on Naval ships when at sea.

NCIS agents handle the investigation and enforcement of crimes that will lead to prison time of a year or more under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or major felonies under local or federal law.

federal justice forces

U.S. Border Patrol Agents

United States Patrol Border agents are responsible for the security of the nation’s borders.

They work along Canadian and Mexican borders, as well as oceanic regions around Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Florida.

These agents investigate, track subjects who have entered the country illegally, and curb and prevent drug smuggling and human trafficking.

They play a special role in preventing terrorism by preventing terrorists and weapons of mass destruction from crossing the borders.

Agents are trained in the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in New Mexico.

It is known as one of the toughest academies for law enforcement in the country.

Graduates should speak Spanish functionally before they take their first assignment.

Department of Defense Police Officers

The Pentagon and the US Armed Forces hire civilian police forces in their military police units.

They provide law enforcement on military installations and bases.

They can be guarding checkpoints, assist specialized investigative units when uniform officers are required, and conduct minor criminal investigations.

These officers also conduct traffic enforcement and respond to calls for service on base.

Their jurisdiction is limited by the installations under the control of the military branch or base where they serve.

Some bases have agreements with local communities to allow the enhanced patrols outside the military base.

One Comment
  1. Avatar for Sandra Michael Sandra Michael

    It it possible for a single African woman at 33 who has a BSc in a different feild and living in Africa to be offered the opurtunity to enroll and be accepted as a secret agent in the US?

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