If you are seeking global employment opportunities, consider a career with the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA offers a wide variety of important positions to those who want to serve their country around the world. You may think of the Clandestine Service Officers who gather intelligence but there are also positions for those trained in science, technology, analysis, foreign language and engineering as well as administrative positions.
CIA Agent Requirements
You will be required to pass a medical exam which includes drug testing. Recreational use of drugs in the past will not disqualify you with the CIA but current drug use will.
A polygraph will be required. The technology associated with polygraph testing has become more reliable which makes it difficult to fool the analyst administering the procedure.
You will be subject to a complete background check. The methods, depth and guidelines of background checks are not publicized by the CIA but the investigation is not limited to your background. It may include checking family members and asking questions of neighbors among other things. Background checks can take months to complete.
The first step in applying to work for the CIA is submitting a resume that conforms to a very detailed format that must be followed exactly.
CIA Agent Education and Training
A college degree with a GPA of 3.0 is required while an advanced degree may be considered a factor in awarding promotions and overseas assignments. See: what college courses do you need to have a CIA career?
Fluency in a second language is extremely desirable in applicants for CIA positions and currently middle-eastern languages carry a lot of weight in the hiring process.
Training for a CIA Special Agent lasts 12 months at a facility near Washington, D.C.
Training for new CIA employees now includes video games. This is a new addition to the extensive training program. The CIA understands the toll paid in human life that could be the result of a poorly trained intelligence agent. By adding videos they can train and evaluate trainee capabilities in a virtual world where safety is not an issue.
CIA Agent Salary
Formerly known as Clandestine Service Trainee, an Operations Officer will earn between $55,215 and $84,044 with the salary based on their level of qualifications and education. Assignments outside the country vary in salary level depending on geographic location – bonuses may be adjusted by location.
Other benefits include paid moving expenses, health insurance and retirement plans, continuing education programs, holidays, sick leave, and family support including provisions for family-friendly leave.
CIA Career Opportunities
When you work for the CIA you will follow one of five general career paths. These are Science, Engineering and Technical, National Clandestine Service, Language Opportunities, Analytical Opportunities and Support Services.
If you are considering a career as a CIA Operative, you might look into programs offered for undergraduate internships for students, co-ops, and graduate studies programs. All of these offer practical work experience along with education to prepare the student for a career in the CIA.
Take a look at other great Criminal Justice Careers.