ATF Special Agent Career, Salary and Training Info

Agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives protect the public, reduce violent crime and help prevent terrorism. ATF agents regulate firearms and explosives, assist other law enforcement agencies and conduct criminal investigations.

ATF Special Agent Requirements

Applicants for ATF positions must be 21 to 37 years old when appointed, be a U.S. citizen and have a valid driver’s license. A medical examination administered by a government physician is required and the applicant must meet specific medical requirements for vision, hearing and weight.

Passing a polygraph examination and a drug test is required and a complete background investigation is necessary for top secret security clearance.

Education and Training

A bachelor’s degree, three years of work experience in criminal investigation or law enforcement or a combination of education and related experience is required.

New ATF Special Agents receive extensive classroom training in legal issues such as Constitutional Law, Federal criminal law and the Gun Control Act. New special agent trainees will participate in 56 hours of physical training and 72 hours of close quarter countermeasures training which focus on demanding and intense physical conditioning.

Field training in the use of firearms, arson and explosives training and tactical team training focuses on special challenges ATF agents face in this demanding and specialized service.

ATF Special Agent Salary

Basic salary ranges from $39,858 to $50,600. This salary includes a locality adjustment adds 13-32% to the annual salary of an ATF special agent. This locality pay is meant to bring the government salary to a competitive level with non-Federal law enforcement for a given geographic area.

LEAP (Law Enforcement Availability Pay) provides premium payment to agents who are criminal investigators for the ATF. Although LEAP is meant to compensate for the additional work hours necessary during an investigation, all special agents usually receive the 25% additional LEAP added to locality pay.

ATF special agents qualify for the Federal Employee Retirement System and other benefits such as sick pay, paid vacation, low cost health insurance and life insurance.

Cash bonuses are awarded to those fluent in one or more foreign languages.

ATF Special Agent Career

ATF Career Opportunities

The ATF offers a wide variety of jobs in areas from engineering to computer analysis and also has a group of experienced arson and explosives investigators.

No career with the ATF is more rewarding than the one of the ATF Special Agent.
With frequent travel, rigorous training and irregular hours, ATF special agents are recognized and respected as highly trained, physically and mentally fit professionals.

Take a look at other great Criminal Justice Careers.

Article written by Radek Gadek

Radek holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. He is currently doing consulting work and runs this blog to provide relevant information on criminal justice degrees, colleges and related careers.

1 comment… add one
  • Jake

    I wear hearing aids, does that mean i won’t be able to get a job offer from any of the federal agencies?

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