CIA Agent Career, Salary and Training Info – CIA Careers

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.

CIA Agent CareerTraining 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.

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.

102 comments… add one
  • Lyle Matthew Kan

    For anyone interested in a in-person seminar specifically on landing a job in the CIA, the Foreign Policy Association is offering one entitled “CIA Careers Decoded” … you can find a link to it at

  • Erin Turpin

    Would you have a better chance at working for the CIA or the FBI? I am 16 years old and taking college classes and trying to figure out what I want to do after I graduate. Thanks.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      It’s like predicting the weather for the next month. It’s very hard to gauge which agency will have the need to hire agents at the time when you would be even considered. Things like current political affairs, threats to Homeland security, and the rate of retiring special agents has a lot to do with when these two agencies will open their doors to new recruits.

  • Eddie Harriott

    I’m a 35 year old male and I have a interest in CIA career. I worked all my life been working since high school been on my present job now since I graduated in 1994. I wanted to know if CIA has an age limit for entrance thank you.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      The CIA hires people of many ages. While certain positions may have age limits, others may not. The best way to find out is to contact CIA recruitment directly.

      • Jude

        The age limit is 35 or 36 as far as I know. That’s what a cop told me for career interviews.

    • erika

      the limit of age is 35 but the age limit may be waived in certain uses

  • Jabraan Kadeer

    Hi, im 13 years old and very interseted in the CIA. I guess i want to be a “spy”.
    Im fluent in English, and Urdu which is commonly used in Pakistan. Im a US cittizen my parents or siblings have never had a sip of alcohol or had any drugs. This because it is not allowed in my religion. I was thinking that since Im Muslim, would that increase or decrease my chances to be in the CIA. Or not effect it at all? Also, what should i major in, Criminal Justice? Please help me out! I want to start doing all the things i need to do now so it is not harder in the future. Also, do you think I can be in the CIA? Help me out and thank you for your time.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      There’s no say if being Muslim will get you in the CIA or not – it’s all based on the need of the agency at a given time – but Urdu is a great language to speak when considering work in the federal government, especially CIA.

      I would love to tell you what you need to do step by step, but that’s not feasible. Try to stay out of trouble, for one. Consider that the CIA hires from the age of 18, college education and other languages are a big plus. As for majoring in Criminal Justice and being a Clandestine Services Operative, I don’t necessarily advocate one degree over another. The CIA updates their requirements, including the desired extras, on their website. You should check it out.

      • Jabraan Kadeer

        Thanks for your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • erika

      im 13 years too and i wanna be a spy too.
      it dosent matter if you are muslim as long as you are a us citizen.

    • Drew

      Posting your interest in joining the agency will hurt your chances of a career within CIA, just contact the agency directly. Don’t like them on FB, don’t announce an interview, and don’t post the want to become a spy thing.

  • Jaxon Keller

    Hi, I am also 13, and I’m doing a research career paper on the C.I.A Covert Ops division. I’m learning Korean, and I plan to learn Russian, A middle eastern language and a few more. I would love some more information on any details you might have. Or another website would be great thank you.

  • Conrad

    I’m Conrad (17)from South Africa. I always want to become a CIA special agent or a spy. I’am still in school grade 11. I can speak Afrikaans, English and Sotho. At the moment i learn speak Chinesse and Russian. I have a clean history. I also have training in certian weapons. When i am done with school i going to sign up to become an American. What is my chance of becoming an agent? What must i do more? Thank you.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      No one knows what your chances are. It depends on individual or broad criteria. College education is a plus, but careers at the CIA start as early as 18.

  • Anonymous

    I believe you need a 1500 on the SAT 3.0 GPA or better. But since you know all those languages you might be special

  • Jesse

    Hi my name is Jesse and im currently a freshmen in high school in Colorado. I began to become interested in working for the CIA when i went to D.C and visited the spy museum. I have now began to look further into this carrier and found out I am fully capable of working for the CIA. I play almost every sport there is and im good in all of them; im wondering if my athletic edge will give me heads up. im also wondering what classes should i take in high school/College if i follow this carrier. My grades are great but i need to start learning more languages all i know are English and Spanish. Thanks for taking the time to read this! I hope to hear back!

    • Radek M. Gadek

      There are really no classes in high school that can prepare you for the CIA. Very often it is the language skills, the original citizenship and knowledge of your own country, and definitely interpersonal skills — even the way you look — that the CIA is interested in. Yes, high school grades may be important, and yes, there can be some classes that can help you delve into new realms, but those classes are usually in college and not high school. Languages, Psychology, Political Science, History (of a specific country that CIA has important operations in – turn on the TV to find that out ), and other courses can be useful. Physical aptitude can help.

  • Michael

    My name is Michael and I would like a career in the CIA as a Clandestine Services Core Collector. Would you please e-mail me information on this, and also how to get into the CIA. For instance do I need to get a masters in criminal justice?

    • Radek M. Gadek


      The CIA’s Clandestine Service Core Collector (CO) is a very interesting career path. I don’t have direct access to the CIA, but you can go to CIA.GOV to find out more information. Find out here –> what courses and degree programs does CIA prefer?

      All the best,


    • erika

      you can get a bachelors degree and still go to the cia

  • katherine lizeth

    Hi im 15 im from new york and im interested in becoming something in the criminal justice field like csi agent or detective but i dont know which is better and i would like to know if being a female decreases your chances in becoming a detective because ive never really heard of a female doing that career im sure there’s some but ive never heard or seen. Im fluent in Spanish and English i know a lot of Italian im not fluent but i do know most of it and i know sign language (i doubt that’s needed though) also how many years of collage do you need for this career?

    • Radek M. Gadek

      1. Yes females are an integral part of law enforcement and there are a lot of female detectives. You should check out some cable/satellite reality crime TV shows to see what the job consists off (featuring female detectives).
      2. Your language skills are very helpful (Spanish is a great asset).
      3. Some careers may require no college at the time of application and others, like at many federal law enforcement agencies, you will need a college degree (ie. Bachelors).

  • Fatima Cheea

    going with the questions here, I want to know how I can make my resume better. I am currently 18 years old, a first year college student, and a biology nutrition double major. My first semester GPA was a 4.0. I can also read, write and speak Urdu fluently. By birth I’m American though and have strong pride in my country. How do I get myself noticed?

    • Radek M. Gadek

      strong academics, great interpersonal skills, knowledge of other cultures and languages, and of course… apply for the position. I’m sure there’s more.

  • Emily

    Could you please help me out? I know that I am interested in doing “spy” work, but I’m confused. What is the difference between a core collector, operations officer, and collection management officer? Thanks for your help.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      visit the CIA website for more info. Their site is rich in information you seek.

  • Christina

    I am interested in the CIA because it runs in my blood. I hope I pass my tests so I can be of help to my government.

    • Concerned Patriot

      That’s the wrong answer. You should want to help the American people Christina, not the government. WE ARE the government.

  • Kevin Sandquist

    Hi, I am interested in becoming a member of the CIA. I am just a freshman in high school but I do imagine there are training programs for people/students of my age. I am currently doing 3 sports in school and I have decent grades(3.4-3.7). I am athletic and feel like I am qualified (sounds cheezy doesn’t it?) haha. I took a course of Japanese in 7th grade and got familiar with the language. But then my school district took it out and now only offer Spanish and German which Is ok but I really liked learning Japanese. Ive never done drugs and the only time I’ve ever had alcoholic anything is at church In one of those tiny plastic cups for communion soo Im pretty
    sure I’m clean. (make that “I’m positive I’m clean). I have no criminal record and neither do my parents.

    • Anonymous

      Noo chance right here ^^^^

  • Olandra

    Quick question: Exactly what does the CIA Special Agents do? I am a freshman at pvamu considering the criminal justice field especially becoming an CIA Agent.
    Thanks in advance,

    • Radek M. Gadek

      Best place to find out is — only don’t be surprised the position is not under “CIA Agent.”

      • Drew

        CIA employees and field officers are officers not agents, the reason being they are not a law enforcement agency, rather an intelligence agency, no agents or special agents. That’s a tv thing.

  • Rick


    I’m currently in college, and working my way in obtaining in a major in business and theatrical arts. I was curious, since I am not undergoing a degree in Criminal Justice, will this in anyway hinder my chances to become involved with the NCS?

    I’m economically smart, socially skilled, and have great interest in political affairs. I’m also fluent in a foreign language, and in great physical shape.

    Also, Redek, have you been employed by an intelligence agency before? That’s just out of my curiosity :)
    Thanks in advance,

  • Zach Stoehr

    I am a 17 year old and I realized that I want to be in the CIA. Two years ago my uncle referred me to the CIA and they looked at my transcripts and apparently they were amazed with me. I speak over ten languages. I speak English, Spanish, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Urdu, Japanese and Korean. I am also able to interpret sign language. I have a clean record throughout my whole life. I also have only went to pretentious schools and kept a 4.0 throughout my whole school career. I also am a third degree black belt in Tajustu, Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Jujitsu. I also am trained in weaponry and a sharpshooter. I could not have been able to get here without my uncle’s help and I really appreciate it. All I have to say is don’t give up on your dreams.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      LOL :-) .. you had me at pretentious.

    • anonymous

      Oh my god you are awesome! how did you get all the time to do this. When did you start learning all those languages and where and how did you learn them? Please tell me

    • Dylan

      You sound exactly like me! I LOVE languages! Kudos to you my fellow polyglot! I will see you in the CIA. :)

    • Keira

      Oh my God seriously? No wonder they were impressed!! Do you mind sharing how you learned so many languages? I only speak English and I’m becoming a little fluent in German and I did take an online course in Chinese but I stopped. I really want to learn more languages and be in the NCS so if you don’t mind sharing how you learned so many languages, it would be greatly appreciated.

  • jadarrius

    what is the central intelligence agency campus and by me being a fighter and I’ve did karate for 9 years and kung fu for 6 and i handle weapons all the time when it n danger but ive always make good grades and im very smart.will that increase my chance of being in the CIA but i really want to be a assassin.

  • Jude

    Okay yeah, I’ve been to the website a bunch of times, I still don’t know exactly what job I should take. I wanted to be a “spy” or “secret agent” one that gets all the action and gets to go undercover. I think I want to be in the Clandestine Services but what else? Someone please explain. I’m almost 13 and ever since I was 9 I have wanted to be in the CIA, I’m taking Spanish next year because my school doesn’t provide any other languages. When I pass Spanish I can take any other language class in high school. I was in martial arts, I got my blue belt but I can’t find another place to finish my black belt. I plan on learning kickboxing, and more, I am going to take a speech and debate class in high school. I don’t know what else to do. I plan on learning at least 8 different languages, and going to college. I’m in an advanced Algebra class next year, and in an advanced English class. I need to know what I should major in and what classes I should take in high school and college. I don’t need to be told, “doesn’t matter just have a 3.0 or better.” I want to have some recommendations so I know what to do, my best friend wants to room with me in college but she thinks she wants to be a model or actress or athlete or something she isn’t really sure so I don’t know how my desired career fits with hers. PLEASE HELP!! Oh and I got ISS for kicking a kid in the beginning of the school year, would that effect anything? Oh and are there any summer camps to train for the CIA, for kids and stuff?? And due to the fact that I’m a girl no one thinks I can make it in the CIA, when I tell some one that’s what I want to do, they say fat chance. I know I’m going to get in the CIA, doesn’t matter what I have to do.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      That’s a handful… I think, since CIA hires from the age of 18 (usually a non-college-graduate age), that they are looking for more than good grades. I mentioned some of the things in the comments throughout the page, but CIA provides great hints at what it wants on their website. You should check it out again. Don’t just skim it over..

    • Keira

      I just turned 13 in late November and I am probably not as qualified for the CIA as you (kudos to that) because I only speak English and German and I’m not even fluent in it. Also, I can fight and I’m dying to start kickboxing, but I also have been researching this since I was 11. But I’m a girl. Anyways, if you could contact me, it would be amazing to speak to someone with the same career desires :)

  • Lauren

    I am a freshman in college still undecided with my major…. I have been thinking about Criminology (closest my school has to criminal justice). What do you think of this major in conjunction with a minor in a language? I am already semi-fluent in German but I am not sure if that is a particularly valued language with the CIA.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      I think Criminology would probably be better than Criminal Justice, but be aware that the CIA is a different breed of agency. It wants people with all types of skills, and that includes all types of academic and professional backgrounds.

  • chris

    i was wondering if there was a mix of undercover or “spy” work and engineering in any criminal justice jobs i think im going to major in criminal justice and minor get an associates in some kind of engineering.

  • steve

    Just curious im an adult college student 34 going to be majoring in business admin. taking judo as well hopefully. Both parents of mine were in state govt jobs for 30 years. Does your parents past connections and occupations help with the CIA ‘s decision in your employment? I just wanna serve doesnt have to be an agent but just anything. Parents know the states top people well and was just curious if that has any impact in their background checks? Also can you work for them if you have a heart murmur? even a minor one? The serving thing its family tradition. So i ve always wanted to be in some kind of govt job.

    Also im not the greatest at lying. Grew up mennonite but from a mennonite/military/navy/govt family. Yeah i know weird combo lol. Can you just be a regular person at the CIA?

  • blank

    Hey I don’t speak any other languages besides English and a little Spanish I am very athletic and smart i am a second degree black belt in karate and I don’t know what else I need to do to become a CIA agent.

  • Naomi

    With exceptional grades in your Major of choice, fluency in a foreign language, writing skills, and interpersonal skills, would this alone qualify someone for a position (clandestine or otherwise) within the CIA upon graduation from college, even without significant work experience? Thank you for any feedback.

  • Johnathan

    Looking to apply for the CIA but not sure what type of drug testing Is performed urine blood or hair testing. Can someone help me? Thanks

  • Jmac

    If you are joining the CIA just to be an “assassin” then I suggest you don’t even bother applying. You gotta realize that what you see in movies may or may not be necessarily how the agency does it in real life. Even then, the movies glamorize killing, but have you ever done it. Seeing someone die on t.v. is one thing, but pulling the trigger on someone in real life is entirely different. Think that over before you apply.

    • Yolanda

      Thanks for saying this, I was thinking the same thing from reading the posts. It’s not a game, it’s real life and people shouldn’t join just to be a gun-toting killer.

  • Jasmine

    Hey at 17 i am an IB senior. I don’t have glorified dreams of being an assassin or a spy, but i would love to help in the ways I can. The problem is i can’t apply for the student program at the time because of the fact that you have to be 18 by April 1rst of your senior year, and my birthday is a couple months after. Born and raised in the U.S, both my parents belong to the Military, specifically the Air force. I am not asking my chances, because from reading above it is all circumstantial. However it mentions on their site that to be an investigator you must have at least three years of prior experience with complex cases. Now I don’t mind working my way up from the streets but what if you aren’t assigned complicated investigations, either due to a lull in crime, or the area you belong too? Would it count if you were under their internship for the summer between classes? Particularly if you wish to specialize in homicide or the like. Speaking of which, i guess i truly have to wait until after a turn 18 turn apply for an internship because they are not going to wave that through, huh? I wanted to get an early as possible start, though for investigation i may have to work up from police officer anyway. I know the degree doesn’t matter, but botany isn’t high on their list. So would it beneficial to double Major Criminal Justice and Botany and minor in some form of engineering? Sorry, sorry. So many questions, so little text box, and it seems very few people answering. So i will wait for my turn and reply. Best of luck to all who read this, and those who don’t!”

  • alee malack

    hi i need to ask any Asians or Pakistani can also apply or not. im 20 n ready to work in any part of world especially pakistan as a spy or detective or any post

    • Radek M. Gadek

      I would think that Asians or Pakistani natives / speakers would be permitted to apply. As for the second part, that all depends on agency needs.

  • Christopher

    I’m just about to ETS out of the Army. I am currently deployed in afghanistan and i have a special interest in this line of work to make it a career. I was wondering if the CIA usually hires EX military with a secret security clearance?

    • Anon

      To say whether or not they NORMALLY hire ex military is impossible, but it will help depending on how long you served, how many times you deployed, where you deployed, etc.

  • Emalie

    Im a sophomore, I’m really interested in working for the CIA, but I don’t know which area I want to go. I either want to do clandestine service, because from looking at the website it seems like they are the ones in the middle of the action, and I like that, but at the same time, my family was directly affected by 9-11 (my dad worked at the hotel in between the towers) and I feel like I almost have to something in counterterrorism. Do they overlap at all? Which should I choose?

  • JT

    I’m a high school freshman and am interested in becoming a CIA core collector/ operations officer or sso-t when I grow up. I have a 4.2 GPA at the moment and am learning to be fluent in Hebrew. I am very experienced in professional acting and am learning Krav Maga. I plan on learning Urdu and/or Arabic other languages. I’m intermediate in Spanish also, from school. I don’t play any sports, but I might start doing cross country. I am also highly skilled with recording and A/V equipment. Am I a good fit for these positions and if not what can I do to be a better fit. Also, is a major in international affairs in college good because I might plan to major in that?

  • lesego phiri

    Hello, I have completed my Bachelors degree in information science and I did a module called competitive intelligence where we looked at the information of our competitors and applied it to gain competitive intelligence. When I completed this module I realized that I actually enjoy gathering information and analyzing it to get actionable intelligence. I am interested in working for the CIA what should I do to be part of it?

  • Yolanda


    I’m currently 28 and have a BS in Psychology. I graduated Summa Cum Laude at the top of my class with a 3.8 GPA. I will be finished with my Master’s in Cyber-security in 2 years. I am taking Chinese classes but not sure whether I will be fluent. I have great analytical and interpersonal skills. I have interest in either being an Intelligence Officer, Information Assurance or working in the Clandestine Support Services. I am currently making about 80k a year at my current job. Do you see me having trouble getting into the CIA at the age of 30 and with my experience? What can I do to set myself aside from the younger people just now graduating or those who’ve been in the field a very long time?

    Thanks so much for this feed!


  • xx

    i keep seeing that excellent communication skills are needed for becoming a CIA agent, im not exactly a “social butterfly” but that doesn’t mean i cant have good communication skills, right? my view on communications skills was your ability to communicate a point clearly with out creating problems with a good understanding of the other person’s ideas and what they are talking about. so what exactly is the CIA looking for when they ask for communication skills or interpersonal skills? also, how many languages does the average CIA agent speak? if you need a more specific branch, i have been looking into the clandestine service and i think im interested in the operations officer but im still in high school so i have plenty of time to change my mind :P
    ps – i have found your website SO useful, thanks!!

  • Sabrina elias

    I’m 18 and unlike everyone i wasn’t really planning on getting into all this, but i am interested. I don’t have really high accolades compared to a lot of these people, all i have really going for me is that i’m mexican american so yes i know spanish fluently and english of course, i’m athletic and fit and played basketball for 9 years, and to describe myself in 3 words would be tough, passionate, and loyal person. Though it seems none of that seems to really help my case, i did do some research and the field i was most interested in was Paramilitary Operations Officers. So my first question is if there are women in this field, and if so how do you get qualified for this field? my second question is that I took off a semester of school and will be starting up again in the fall at a junior college, but for that field can you give me a few suggestions of what i should major in this would help a lot. thank you

    • Gasper Jost

      i haven’t heard of any woman POO. However if you want to become a POO, you must be ex-special force member ( DEVGRU, any seal team, Delta force,…

    • Current JSOC

      I work in JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command), and I believe I can answer that question for you. It is policy that in order to qualify for POO you must have served in an SOF (Special Operations Force). I am sorry to say that the military does not accept females in SOF positions. You sound very qualified for an SOF but the only thing I could say is work hard on those grades, the average SOF member is about as smart as a Harvard student. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

  • Derek

    I am currently an undecided major.. Not quite sure which area of field I want to go in.. But i was curious if the CIA accepts people with a liberal arts degree??

  • Brittany

    Does the CIA accept people with Criminal Justice Degrees?
    And if so what would you go into with the CIA?

  • Daniel Rose

    Since i’ve read around here that a second language is highly recommended, especially middle eastern languages such as Arabic.
    In 5-10 years, is that language still going to be highly desired?
    Are any Chinese languages desired at all? or mostly just Arabic types.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      Arabic, Chinese and other Asian derived languages (Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, to name just a few.) will be desired. Think of it this way, as long as the US perceives threats in foreign countries, that country’s / state’s language capabilities and cultural awareness will be very desired.

  • Nikita Narkovich

    Hello I’m Nikita and I was wondering if I need special skills to become an CIA officer. I understand that you will be trained once hired, but do u need to be able to fight before u join CIA? Please answer- btw I speak Korean, some Spanish, and Russian.

  • Leishla

    I’m a (partially independent) foreign languages student. I’m 22 years old and in my first year of college. I’m fluent in Spanish, English, Italian, French; and, currently, receptive in Portuguese. I’m also studying Esperanto, independently, and will be starting German next semester. Furthermore, I’m interested in learning Greek, Chinese and Arabic.

    I’ve done some research in internship opportunities. The CIA and UNO are my top considerations. I’m looking to benefit both professionally and academically in the field of foreign languages (particularly translation).

    Can you describe the ”typical” work environment? What opportunities does the CIA offer to help increase knowledge and proficiency in foreign languages? What opportunities do they offer to low income individuals and minorities? Finally, how competitive is this field?

  • Omar

    hey :D, my mom works for the NSA. and i wanted to be in the CIA. probably as an agent. I speak arabic, english. im so fluent in arabic without even an accent since i lived in all sorts of places thanks to my mom and her job. i lived in Egypt, and went Germany. i can speak german a bit since i was in a german school in the 8 grade but anyways im in 11 grade ( american school). i understand how middle easterners cooperate, traditions etc. my grades in school well excluding my freshman year are terrific. was thinking of going to college taking some type of engineering. Anyways main point is that i want to know what else can i do? i really want to join.

  • Ibrahim Nsouli

    Hey there,

    I am a lebanese/canadian (dual nationality) citizen, about to enter college as a freshman here in Beirut, and I am fluent in 4 languages (English, French, Arabic and Spanish).
    On top of that I’m gonna get a BA in psychology. I think I have the criteria necessary to be a CIA agent working behind a desk, but does the fact that I am not American affect my chances of being a CIA agent?

    Best regards
    Ibrahim M. Nsouli

    • Current JSOC

      Sadly yes it does, the CIA only hires American citizens. This is for reasons of national security. The belief is that American citizens will be more loyal to protecting and carrying out Americas interests. While foreigners (Canadians, etc) are more likely to disobey and leak information that can threaten National security. Throughout history this belief has remained very sound. I encourage you to get your American citizenship.

  • Lauren

    I’m a freshman in college and currently on the pre-med track. But over the past few months I’ve been researching and dabbling around in careers the CIA has to offer. I’m definitely a thrill seeker and I’m wondering if a job in the CIA, particularly within the Clandestine services, would better suit me. Does being female limit your possibilities as far as where you could work? If you are fluent in arabic, and meet the requirements to be an officer, will being female keep you from performing certain operations? Working overseas in the Middle East for example and etc.

  • Johnny Dodson

    I am 18 year old high school graduate. I want to become a CIA agent but I don’t know where to start. Should I go to the military? If so, what branch should I join? All my life I’ve wondered is being in the CIA like it is on movies?

  • Victoria

    Hi, I was wondering would you have to be a US citizen to be apart of the CIA?

    • Current JSOC

      Yes, this is to ensure that the CIA will be at less risk of infiltration. You see if you are a citizen of a country you are most likely going to remain loyal to it. If you were North Korean and joined the CIA and were not american chances are you would leak sensitive information back to North Korea to protect your precious country. The best way to prevent this is by ensuring that all members of the CIA are U.S citizens.

  • daisy jones

    I absolutely love the law enforcement, I’ve always wanted to go to college and get my master’s degree in Criminal Justice, Criminology, C.I.A, A Private Investigator, and an F.B.I agent. my dad’s side of the family is in the law enforcement my great aunt works with the government and my cousin went from being in the swat team to a FBI agent n then FBI undercover and now he is in the CIA… I really want to become something in the law enforcement i really love the shows like Criminal Minds, Flashpoint, Leverage, Cold Case, & the Closer. I really love pushing myself in life, I don’t believe in quitting.. I hope to achieve my goals i have set in life :)

  • Fiord

    Hi, I’m 17 years old and currently in my Junior year in high school. I would like to work for the CIA like a CSI detective. I’m fluent in both spanish and english and I was born in Puerto Rico, but now live in Pennsylvania for 9 years. Does me being born in Puerto Rico not get me a job in the CIA?

  • curtis

    can you join the cia before applying for college? im thinking about joining and then doing college at the same time.

  • Syeera

    Hello,i am 21 this year n doing my degree in law. I am interested in joining the cia due to its internationally recognized reputation plus i want to put my skills to something useful. Currently, i am well trained in taekwando, aikido and krav maga. I am planning on taking wing chun soon. I am fluent in english, malaysian malay, indonesian malay, tamil, hindi, urdu. I am planning to learn mandarin and russian soon. I am good when it comes to analysing and acting fast. I dont mind taking any positions in the cia but i dont have a citizenship. However i have heard cases where if you are an asset, you will be considered. Is that true?

    • Current JSOC

      In almost all the cases of non-american citizen exceptions, people who prove valuable assets are put on contract by the CIA. They are not actually part of the CIA, they just work for them. So they get no real security clearance or protection from the CIA. I would suggest you get your U.S citizenship.

  • cathy

    My name is Cathy. I was a prior military but my job in the military doesn’t really count for CIA experience. I’m a sophomore college student and majoring in business administration specially for human resource. I was hoping to get a job as a human resource in the CIA. I also speak english, spanish and learning korean. My question is how competitive administrative job in the CIA and can you please tell me if its better to apply to have a BA degree or higher?

  • Edward

    Hey, I am really interested in CIA or maybe even FBI, but mostly CIA. I tried searching on their website if there is a height requirement for the Clandestine Services, but had no luck in finding it. So, I’m seeing if you have any clue at all if there is a requirement in height. Well, I’m 15 now and 5 foot 3. I hope you can answer.

    • Current JSOC

      There is no height requirement in the CIA. Unless your physical condition prohibits you from being able to complete the physical requirements of CIA qualification. Hope this helps.

  • Cam

    I’m 15 can speak English and Spanish learning Russian and plan to learn Arabic, I want to be in the cia, but not really as a spy. I was wondering if anyone knew of a cia Job where I would carry a gun, MAYBE have a desk and go in the field every once in a while?? Or a job in the cia that might come close to that description, or one that might sound like its for me.

  • John

    The CIA website specifically says that it requires prior residency abroad. Does it matter where? And for how long?

  • Damaris

    I am 18 years old and I am wondering if I should major in Economics, Political Science or Philosophy, will minoring in Eco or PoliSci while majoring in Philosophy be useful, I am also very fluent in Spanish is this a language that the CIA find as an asset? Thank you for your time

  • John Preston


    I was wondering what types of medical exams the CIA does on you while you go through their rounds. I have a certain medical issue, that although wouldn’t hinder my work in any way, I fear they will rule me out because of this. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • william

    does the CIA take people from other countries such as South Africa

  • Amanda

    so i mean…. is this a good career choice for women?

  • Carol

    Im 17 and very interested in different cultures and human behavior, I want a fulfilling career.
    What job would fit this criteria?
    I also really would like to travel the world.
    Does the CIA have traveling opportunities?

  • Ayvy Martinez

    Hello im 14 years old and I’m looking to join the clandestine service when i graduate college. Its been my dream to be a “spy” it might look like hard work to go to the CIA but I know anything is possible as long as its locked in your mind. I’m taking classes to learn Mandarin Chinese this year. Im looking to learn Russian, German and Urdu and hopefully many more languages. Im fluent in English and I’m Hispanic so i know spanish also. please give me some advice to start knowing what to do when i get there and how to even get there. Thanks!

  • Michelle Richee

    I found this link while searching for college grants. I have always had a special interest in the CIA. Always. I feel like I was born with special and unique skills. I am starting school this summer. I am free to travel, as my children have been grown a long time. I am 60. I did read there are special instances when you use older people. I am so excited about this opportunity. My Father was in the CIA. Thank you for your consideration.

  • Zeken

    Hello I have one question I cant seem to find an answer to it to be a protective agent for the cia does gender matter?

  • Alex

    I am 26 years old and speak 5 languages fluently, oral and written with a native accent . English, Italian, Albanian, Macedonian and Spanish. I also have a Bachelors in Music.

    I have lived abroad for many years and now I am back in the US. What career can I apply for and what are my chances of getting hired by the CIA?

  • Naveed Mian

    Hi I am 16 years old and i want to be in the CIA or the FBI. I am in JROTC and i am a really hard worker in school (that’s what my teachers say) i am in Wrestling and Track, i speak 4 languages 1. (English) 2.(Punjabi) 3.(Urdu) 4.(Hindi). I am currently learning Spanish and hopefully i will be fluent in a year or 2. I am in the Junior police explores in my county in Maryland. I have never gotten suspended or in any kind of trouble with my school or the law. Me and my family are clean (no criminal records at all) no drugs or anything. I would like to know how my chances are of getting into the CIA or the FBI if i keep trying my best…..i plan on going to West Point to pursue my education after high school. Please tell me its been my dream to work for the CIA or the FBI……….And if i go in the military and am a second lieutenant would that greatly increase my chances of getting in??????

  • Jesus Lopez

    I don’t see why most of the comments are intergrated with them wanting to be a spy. Yes, it’s all great to be a spy like in the movies or be inspired by the people who were or are in the CIA database considered as a spy. Most of the CIA positions do not involve being a spy, as the CIA is an agency that intergrates special intelligence and records into the system. Most of which is confidental and not many people know about the disclosed information. I for one would be interested in a CIA position or an FBI position in that line of duty. I’m less than a month of turning 19 year’s old. I currently work as a Private Security Guard under the state of Texas. I have yet to discover my full potential in entering the line of work we call Law Enforcement. It wouldn’t be a bad idea following the line of work i’m currently in. It would be great if I can pursue this line of work and rank up on my yet to be future in Law Enforcement. Thanks for taking the time to read my comment, went a little bit out of topic. I hope you get some more information in the later future.

  • Pavel

    Hello, my name is Pavel Petrukhin I was born in Voronezh, Russia and moved to the U.S at the age of 5. I am currently debating how I could contribute to the CIA program and a couple things concern me. So I have a few questions and I am looking for some insides on how I can manage to get into the program. I speak Russian and English both, I’m extremely physically compatible for this job as well as mentally prepared. Unfortunately, I am lacking some degrees and qualifications (due to age) to be able to compete for a position. I would like to know what would be some first steps I can do to earn a way into the program. Would it be through military service or more of education. Will I also be able to acquire the necessary skills in the military to succeed in a career such as the CIA. I’m interested in maintaining security through either technology or physical action. Please get back to me as soon as you can, thank you! – Pavel

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