The largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has over 19,000 employees working in 400 locations worldwide.
ICE Special Agent Requirements
To apply for a position as a special agent with ICE you must be less than 37 years of age, be a U.S. citizen and must have resided in the United States for three of the past five years.
ICE Special Agents are authorized to carry firearms. A person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cannot possess a firearm or ammunition and cannot apply to become an ICE special agent.
Six to twelve weeks after an initial written examination, you will be scheduled for a day of testing which will include a structured oral interview, a writing sample assessment and a personal interview.
The oral interview is used to assess the applicant’s judgment/decision making abilities, interpersonal skills, emotional maturity and sensitivity to the needs of others. Candidates must receive a “pass” in all areas to move forward in the hiring process.
For the writing analysis test, you will write a narrative report based on a provided photograph and your writing will be evaluated based on organization, ideas, grammar, spelling and punctuation.
In addition to the tests above, applicants must meet medical and physical requirements with specific eyesight and hearing limits required.
ICE Special Agent Education and Training
As a new ICE Special Agent, you will attend 22 weeks of training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Georgia. Further mandatory training may be required for specialized assignments.
You will be required to carry a firearm and maintain your shooting proficiency. Also you must sustain your health and physical fitness levels after basic training. A mobility agreement is required of new agents and you must be willing to accept employment at any location offered to you.
You will remain at the location of your first duty station for a minimum of three years and may be reassigned to a new location with little advance notice.
ICE Special Agent Salary
The salary range for an ICE Special Agent is $40,000 – $68,000. There is an added Law Enforcement Availability Pay and ICE agents qualify for Federal benefits. Retirement is at age 50 or after 20 years of service.
Relocation fees may be covered when special agents are reassigned to new locations but moving expenses are not paid for newly hired agents reporting to their first posted assignment.
ICE Career Opportunities
ICE special agents face a variety of challenging tasks involving national security threats, terrorism, drug smuggling, human trafficking, financial crimes, illegal arms exports and more.
ICE Special Agent vacancies are not posted on the OPM’s jobs website. To learn how to become an ICE special agent, contact the nearest Special Agent in Charge office and ask to speak to the special agent recruiter.
Once you have met all requirements, passed the required tests, interviews and background check, you will be placed on a waiting list. When an opening occurs a firm offer will be made to you and you will be advised of your duty location and give a date to report to work. This offer may come 6-9 months or even longer after you receive clearance.
Take a look at other great Criminal Justice Careers.