Deputy U.S. Marshal Career, Salary and Training Info

The U.S. Marshals Service is the oldest federal law enforcement agency and the most versatile. The Marshals Service is the enforcement arm of U.S. Federal courts and since 1789 has occupied a central position in the justice system and thus is involved in almost every federal law enforcement initiative.

U.S. Marshals are appointed by the President to direct efforts in 94 federal judicial districts. Over 3300 Deputy U.S. Marshals and Criminal Investigators form the body of the agency.

Deputy U.S. Marshals Requirements

You must be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 21 and 36 with a bachelor’s degree or three years of experience that qualifies you for service or a combination of education and experience.

There are fitness standards for men and women that must be met. A valid driver’s license and good driving record are required. In addition, you must meet medical qualifications, be able to pass a background investigation and participate in a structured interview process.

All applicants must sign a relocation agreement. New hires are placed initially in the judicial district where their application was filed.

Deputy US Marshal Education and Training

If you join the U.S. Marshals Service you will go through a 17 and a 1/2 week basic training program in Glynco, GA at the U.S. Marshal Service Training Academy. The training provided is varied, covering a wide range of activities that may be part of U.S. Marshals duties.

U.S. Marshal CareerSome of the subjects included are legal training, firearms training, courtroom evidence and procedure, prisoner restraint, court security, search and seizure, computer training, surveillance and more.

U.S. Marshals Salary

All new positions are filled at the GL-7 level.

GL-7 salaries currently range between $38,511 and $48,708. Requirements for this level include education – a B.A./B.S. degree – or a minimum of three years of volunteer or paid experience. The qualification of experience might be met by time served in law enforcement or correctional facility.

The experience can be in variety of areas such as classroom instructor, interviewing experience that required decision making in a service agency, or volunteer teaching and counseling. Any work that demonstrates an ability to take charge, make decisions or apply rules and regulations may be considered as a qualifying work experience.

At the GL-7 level salaries are based on your specialized experience or superior academic achievement. The specialized experience is often met by working in law enforcement or in the military and a demonstrated ability to deal with the public, prisoners and associates.

To qualify for superior academic levels you must rank in the top one-third of your college or university undergraduate class, be a member of a recognized national scholastic honor society or have completed one full year of graduate study (18 semester hours) in law, or a field related to law enforcement, such as criminal justice.

New Deputy Marshals fall under the Federal Employees Retirement System and are eligible for retirement after 25 years or at age 50 with 20 years of service. There is a mandatory retirement age of 57.

U.S. Marshal Career Opportunities

You may not realize the variety of responsibilities involved for those working in the U.S.Marshals Service. Your duties may be escorting a Federal judge or providing court security during a high profile trial. You may be charged with transporting prisoners by road or air or be part of a task force seizing truck containers.

Witness protection and asset forfeiture fall under the purview of the U.S. Marshals Service. You might qualify for the elite Tactical Operations Division (TOD) conducting security missions, responding to national emergencies and to crises that involve Homeland Security.

Salary Source:

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.

44 comments… add one
  • hershal brown

    I have been volunteering in policing for about 15 years and would like to see if there are volunteering positions in the U.S Marshall Operations. I am qualified with experience and education. My age is 64 years old but still physically able to assist in any policing position. I am not in this for pay but I do this for my country. Please if possible provide information if available to me if there are volunteer positions. It was stated that you are equal opportunity

    • Radek M. Gadek

      I am sure that the U.S. Marshal Service has volunteer opportunities, but I don’t think it has many. I saw something on “Fugitive Safe Surrender” on the Marshal website. I would contact your local Marshal’s office to find out about ALL opportunities available to you.

    • sam gonzales

      Hershal, I’m a retired Sr. Deputy US Marshal. I’m confident of your honesty but they will not hire you, due to your age. The minimum age is 37 and the forced retirement age is 57. The reason being you could retire with 20 years and that’s the bottom line.

  • Martin Lopez

    Does anyone know what constitutes a good driving record? For example, two moving violations within the last 3 years is disqualifying, 5 infractions within the last 7 years, or any traffic citations i.e., speeding tickets, vehicle accidents etc., within the last __years? Any knowledge on this matter would greatly be appreciated.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      Each department, or U.S. Marshals in this case, has a separate criteria on how many motor vehicle infractions are allowed. DUIs are usually automatic disqualifies, excessive speeding 90 – 100 mph are a no no. And chronic infractions – lead foot, California stops, etc. Usually the older and non-severe the violations the better. If you got 3 speeding tickets in the last three months, well you’re either unlucky or too often in a hurry. In summary, there’s no magic number. It’s the whole picture that counts. Just to help you gauge here’s an example: 5 miles over the speed limit will be less scrutinized then 25 miles over. Each agency must determine if the new employee will pose a risk to the public, the Department / Agency, and of course himself or herself.

  • marianne

    I have been trying for three years to get into the federal air/us marshal position. I am a college graduate, and have been on the police force for only seven months. Any advice would be great. thx!

    • sam gonzales

      Marianne, I retired in 1998, as a DUSM. What a lot of people don’t realize is, we are a “very” small agency, so our turn over rate is also small. I helped two friends of mine get on with the FBI, by reminding them, they have a degree and the FBI, DEA, et, hire far more people than we do. They were tired of waiting for us, applied with the FBI and got on. I don’t mean to imply I pulled strings, I just directed them in another direction.

  • Best Far

    Sounds like an awesome career with many opportunities to have adventure and experience things no one really gets the chance to in their lifetimes.

    • sam gonzales

      Best Far, I am a retired DUSM of 30 years (5 years added for military time).
      LOL, you better like to travel. Between court security, fugitive investigations and witness protection, home was like a hotel, due to all the travel; not to mention, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, been there, done that. If you have a strong military background, they would love to hear about it. I was a sergeant (68-72) in the Marines, for 4 years, so I met the 4 year general experience requirement. Semper Fi!

  • dennis


  • John

    Hi Folks!

    I see a lot of great questions on this site! I have been with the Marshals Service for 7 years now and maybe I can answer some of the more popular ones I have read. First, thanks to Mr. Gadek for the great information and advice he has been able to supply. Mr. Gadek has been right about the majority of his information. Most importantly, as Mr. Gadek stated, check with your local Marshals Service recruiter if you can not find answers to your specific questions. Each district has at least one. Also, I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL SPOKESMAN. I am just trying to help some new folks out. OK, here goes…..

    First: You do not need a 4 year degree to become a Deputy US Marshal. It is preferred, however, it is NOT necessary. A combination of education and experience is acceptable (although you will likely get hired on as a GS-5 rather than a GS-7).

    Second: You will find out your initial duty station BEFORE you go to the academy. Although the Marshals Service reserves the right to change that at their convenience, I have never heard of it happening. Some of you will even get a choice of duty station ( I had 13 choices).

    Third: You must be hired BEFORE your 37th birthday(unless you are previously enrolled in the FERS system). This is due to Federal retirement guidelines.

    Fourth: To my military brothers and sisters. YES, you will get veteran preference points in the hiring process. I recommend that ALL OF YOU try to get into a Federal Career Intern Program if you are in college.

    Fifth: Minor criminal offenses will not necessarily keep you from becoming a Deputy US Marshal. However, and I can not stress this enough, tell them everything!!!! They will find out during the background check, and if they believe that you lied or with held pertinent information on your application, kiss it goodbye.

    Sixth: Run, Run, Run…. And when you get tired of running, do a lot of push-up, sit-ups, and then run some more!! If you have a positive mental outlook and can put up with the toughest, most physically demanding Federal Law Enforcement Academy training, then you will love your new career!

    Finally: Sorry for being long winded, I just get excited talking about my job. I have done so many cool things as a Deputy US Marshal. As part of the Fugitive Task Force in my district, I get to go after the “worst of the worst”. It sounds cliche’ but it is true. There are parts of every job that are less than ideal, including with the Marshals Service, but overall, I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I hope I answered some of your questions, if you have anything else, just reply and I will try to help you out. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!!

    • Radek M. Gadek


      Thanks for such great input!
      I’m sure this will help out a lot of people.

      * the detailed comment above was originally posted on How Much Do U.S. Marshals Make? – Deputy Pay Rate blog post. It’s been added here as it will be of great value to the community.

    • Kerrie

      Hi, I’m curently looking at colleges and want to study criminal justice. The Marshals service seems like a job i am entirely into; however, i just have a few questions if you wouldn’t mind answering them. For starters, when the job says 3 years experience what type of experience are they looking for exactly? Also what type of college courses would best suit someone looking to go into this profession?

    • Jessica Adkins

      I am seriously becoming a U.S. Marshal when I graduate from the University of Cincinnati next year. We have an awesome internship program with the Marshals Service that allows this to be a pretty realistic goal for me. However, I have a infant son and a husband and I was wondering how much time I will be spending away from them in this career path? I am trying to avoid a military-type lifestyle. I am aware of the 17 week training program, but once you arrive at your duty station is it any more stable??

    • Alina

      Can you tell me if the U.S. Marshal’s send Marshal’s out of the country, for example: to Mexico, Russia, or anywhere for months at a time?

      • fernando

        Yes, I’ve seen them in Afghanistan and Iraq. I’m sure they go anywhere they need to in order to bring a fugitive back.

    • Angel

      John thanks for the info. I just wanted to ask if a D.U.I. was really an automatic disqualify. I am currently 24 working on my bachelors in Criminal Justice. I got a non aggravated DUI back on my 21st b-day but have been found compliant and have put that behind. Do I have even the most remote chance to join the US Marshals?

    • lisa

      I was wondering how the interview process works. I read that it is 3 hrs long. Why is that??

    • zack

      Hi I am a solider in the army and I’ve been thinking about a career as a US marshal but I’m unsure on the steps I need to take or is there anything I can do since I’m still in the army

  • Andrew

    I was wondering if anyone had an answer for my question…

    I am a freshmen in college pursuing a criminal justice degree looking to go into some sort of higher law enforcement position.

    I just recently got an MIP but i had the charge dismissed and it is essentially off my record from everyone besides the military and FBI to see. I was wondering what this charge does to my chances of getting into the US Marshals or any other law enforcement position for that matter. Is this charge an automatic DQ?

    I am in the Army National Guard so I do have military experience.

  • Julie

    Hey all,

    A lot of good information on this forum. I have tossed the idea around of going into the US Marshals for the last couple of years. Here’s what my resume will look like when I submit it:

    I have 350 or so hours with my local police department in the VIPS program (Volunteers In Police Service). From there, I became an intern in the Detective’s Bureau with the same police department and have been there for a year and a half. I have participated in SWAT training scenarios, tagged along on warrant searches and gang enforcement. I have been on more ride-alongs than I can remember. During the time I became an intern, I completed a background investigation and was hired on at a county Juvenile Hall facility as a Correctional Officer. Recently, I took on a second job as CSO (Community Service Officer) with my college that I attend. I generally hold a 3.2-3.5 GPA.

    I train 5-6 days a week and run 4 out of those days. Pull-ups, sprints, and a lot of kettlebell work. I hold a state record in women’s dead lift and recently set a world record through the WABDL powerlifting federation for deadlifting 304lbs. I am 23 years old and will be 24 in January. I attained a CCW last September and I grew up around firearm due to my Dad’s influence and his interest in them.

    I am 2 semesters away from graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice. I was tempted to move 100 miles away to the closest college that offered the CSCEP program. However, with my two jobs, internship, and lack of funds, I am not confident in that move being successful.

    Any advice as to how far out I should apply? Without the CSCEP program, how am I competitively? I would greatly appreciate some feedback! Thank you!

  • Eric

    I have been researching the requirements to be a U.S. Marshall and I wanted to say to Julie that you appear to be a great candidate. Call your local Marshall recruiting office, you might need to enroll in soe education programs before training, but I bet if you set your mind to it you can no doubt be want you want to be as a US Marshall.

  • Jason Davalt

    I am interested in U.S. Marshal career path and was wondering if it is something that I can pursue when I finish my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology next summer. I am 26 and am a 4 year Navy veteran and spent a year working with the Master at Arms while in the service. Any information is greatly appreciated.

    -Jason Davalt

    • Julie

      Thanks Jason. I sure do hope I am in today’s competitive job market. I have attempted to contact the recruiter at the Sacramento Office but he wasn’t in. I left two messages with no call-back. I plan to call again soon, especially with the recent hiring announcement on the USMS website under Career Opportunities.

    • jk

      You qualify at the bare minimum….there’s currently a glut of overly qualified applicants looking into this position.

  • Gabe M

    what’s the minimum education required to be considered? the closest college to where i live only offers two years of criminal justice, but i live close to glynco and could do an internship. would i have to work with the police department in town for some time before being able to apply?

  • Abiral

    Hi, my name is Abiral and i am about to get my associates degree in criminal justice. Just wondering if a naturalized citizen can become a US Marshal.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      Yes, a naturalized US citizen can become a US Marshal.

  • Julie Handke

    Does anyone know what months the training starts? I am assuming its every four months, but does anyone know for sure? Thanks!

  • Bryan

    I am contacting here to ask a question. I am not currently in Law enforcement, but deal with Law enforcement quite a bit. I am CPS investigator, and deal with law all the time. I am used to odd hours, and having to think on the run. I am in extreme physical condition, and train with a Instructor who teaches federal agents on a day to day basis. I am trained in hand to hand combat, and Mixed Martial arts, as well as weapons. I am getting My masters in Forensics and Criminal Justice Administration. I do not have any DUI’s but i do have a couple speeding tickets, not reckless, just 1 that is over the speed of 10 miles per hour. Will this hold me back?? I appreciate your advice in advance.

  • M. Thornberg

    Do dietary restrictions (celiac disease – not able to eat foods with gluten) disqualify a candidate from the 17 week academy?

  • Courtney Hails

    My name is Courtney Hails and I will soon be the age of 20 years old and I was looking to major in Criminal Justice. When I graduate I want to find a job in the U.S. Marshall division. Can you give me some tips that I can make that dream come true? Also, if I have some military experience can you tell me how I can use that on the job. Thanks.

  • Matthew McElroy

    I’m a infantry Marine and I will have five years of experience when I get out in a few years I was wondering if that would be enough or would I need more? Because I have prisoner transportation / security training expert in a rifle and pistol have a secret security clearance and can pass any test mental or otherwise so any input would be helpful

  • Rallhp

    John or anybody can you apply for us marshals after college or do i need to be in law enforcement first? Bachelors degree, internship with a federal law, joined several college clubs, awesome grades, awesome driving record, no criminal record, no drugs except for smoking pot when i was 16 (five times) and great body physique. Will this get me in?

  • Casey Dannon


    I was just wondering if I still have a chance of getting my dream job of become a U.S. Marshal if I have an ovi (dui) charge on my record. I made a dumb decision a couple months after my 21st birthday. I have never been in trouble before. I am a good student and run college track and cross country. I am going to be graduating with my bachelors in criminal justice in the spring, have a 3.2 GPA, and an amazing letter of recommendation. Do I still have a shot?

  • Robert

    Just had my interview last month hopefully I should hear so, etching back soon! Current federal Leo (FAM) with a B.S and a M.S degree. Good luck to every who applied!

  • Darrin

    FCIS (Federal Career Intern Program) has been shut down……………………………………

    “By Executive Order 13562, December 30, 2010, President Obama revoked E.O. 13162, Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP) effective March 1, 2011. All current FCIP employees should have been converted to permanent competitive service positions effective March 1, 2011. Additionally, no new appointments may be made under the FCIP authority (5 CFR 213.3202(o)) as of March 1, 2011.”

  • Kiko

    I am joining the Marines, and I am planning on enlisting for four years; my question is, can I become a US Marshal once I am done with my service, or will I still need a bachelor’s degree to become a US marshal?

  • Carley

    I am a 16 year old girl and it is my absolute dream job to become a U.S. Marshal. I understand i have 5 years to wait but i would like to prepare early. For the last few weeks i have been on the official us Marshal website, (in case anyone is interested that is, i recommend it it is interesting) learning as much as possible of the qualifications of the field as i could possibly find. But what I couldn’t find was a good workout schedule. I know that to be in this field you need to be in tip top shape, I am in average shape. I do a simple workout routine every night that consists of 25 push ups, 10 pull ups, planks and 100 situps. I unsatisfied with the result, could some one please respond with a workout that will give results that will help me with a future towards this field of work? The work out will also help me with my sports i believe, because i am trying out for cross country in the fall and i play softball.
    P.S. Once positioned do you always stay at the Judicial Security or can you move to fugitive and tactical operations? One again thank you for your time.

  • Brandon

    Hi, I’ve always wanted to be a U.S Marshal since 13. Am i eligible to become a U.S. Marshal if i am allergic to peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil, and everything peanuts?

  • melanie

    I want to apply for a position but I will be 37 when I complete my time in the military I have a b.s. in criminal justice and a certificate in forensics. I am currently a 1LT. Will I even be considered due to my age?

  • Joe

    Hello my name is Joe and like many of the people here, I would like to become a deputy US Marshal. I graduated a couple years ago with a bachelors from Louisiana State University and am currently enrolled in my masters program. I must be honest I am 27 years old and have been arrested for alcohol related charges when I was younger in college and am not proud of it. I am currently a safety coordinator in the shipyard industry and my job is to keep people safe. What are my chances of being accepted as a US Marshal?

  • Δαλτον

    I have just over a year left in my contract with the military, and am planning on doing whatever i need to to become a Marshal. The only “qual” experience i have is a 6 months deployment where i escorted and monitored third country nationals on and off base. Regradless, i remember EVERY detail about that brief time period. The radio codes and lingo, procedures for building clearing vehicle challenging, searching, frisking, etc…. I know the website says you NEED 3 years of qual experience and/or a degree, so should i wait until i have more experience and possibly a degree to even try, or do i have even a small chance of getting in once i’m out of here?

  • Willie B

    I’m going to enroll in classes for criminal justice looking to become a Marshal but I will turn 36 in few days… Is there anything else I can do to reach my goal.. Is it to late for me …any info would be greatly appreciated thanks

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