How to Become a DEA Agent

If you want to become a DEA agent, there are so many things that you need to consider. Firstly, you should be aware that this kind o job involves a lot of challenges and risks.

You need to undertake rigorous training for about 16 weeks. To qualify, you should be younger than 36 years and US citizen. Most of all, you need to have a bachelor’s degree.

The Responsibilities

Being a DEA agent entails a huge responsibility. DEA stands for Drug Enforcement Administration and as an agent you will be fighting smuggling and abuse of narcotics in the US. You will usually work together with the Customs, FBI, Border Patrol, and fellow agents. Your job responsibility includes dismantling organizations that are into drug trafficking. Infiltrating such organizations is not easy and it can also put you in danger. Aside from this, you will also pursue drug suspects even they have already crossed international lines. The DEA agents will also be responsible for monitoring terrorist activities and prevent the production, harvest, and the distribution of illegal substances. So you see, such career involves a lot of challenges and risks. Because of this, agents are required to undertake extensive training. The trainings are given whether you will be handling administrative positions or in the field.

Education Required to Become a DEA Agent

In order to qualify as a DEA agent, you need to have a bachelor’s degree. If you’re able to take up your masters or doctorate, the better; the good thing about this career is that there is no required discipline. However, if you’re determined to become an agent, you can be at an advantage if you finished a degree in criminal justice, police science, accounting, foreign languages, and economics. The training will usually take about 16 weeks wherein you will be trained on legal studies, drug recognition, leadership skills, report writing, and ethics. The newly recruited ones will be given training on marksmanship weapons safety, tactical shooting, and how to use deadly force.

Aside from the educational requirements, you also need to be less than 36 years old and a US citizen. You should have no criminal records and should be prepared for traveling locally or internationally, and most of all, physically fit. Not all agents are assigned in the field work. If you’re able to prove your strong ability in computer science, forensic accounting, decoding, and other vital disciplines, you can hold an administrative position. There are times when you will be assigned to regional headquarters where you will provide analysis and support services to those who are working in the field.

Prepare yourself for more training when you are already accepted. You will undergo fitness training; learn arrest techniques and surveillance, firearms training, defensive tactics, and other related things. You can earn as much as $49,000 to over $55,000 annually. You will also get benefits such as health, retirement, life insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, and savings plan.


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