How To Become a CIA Agent

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Do you want to learn how to start a career with the Central Intelligence Agency? Specifically, are you interested in becoming a CIA Agent with the Clandestine Services unit? You should first be aware that the Clandestine Services unit of the CIA only makes up a very small percentage of the jobs and careers available through the agency.

It is an understatement to claim that becoming a CIA agent is a highly competitive job to land. One must possess a highly advanced psychological and physical disposition and be highly educated in the science and art of intelligence. We recommend a homeland security program , criminal justice, law enforcement, or cybersecurity program.

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What many find is that they must start on a path that could lead them to an ultimate goal of working as a CIA agent. Begin by asking yourself what aspect of your perception of the career appeals to you. This is a good way to determine the best entry point into intelligence careers and criminal justice in general. Are you interested in disseminating intelligence gathered or is it the thrill and heroic nature of the job that motivates you? Perhaps an entry point in homeland security or law enforcement would be a good start on the path towards an ultimate goal of becoming a CIA agent.

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CIA Agent Requirements

To become a CIA agent, you must have an impeccable record and should have no issues with the law in your past. Because you will need a high level of security clearance, your past must be clean of any criminal or drug related activity. In addition to a clean legal record, you must have earned high grades throughout your entire education due to the highly competitive nature of the field. Those who can speak a foreign language are highly sought after due to the international exposure in the job.

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If becoming a CIA agent seems out of reach right now, you can begin to gain an understanding of the many other options with related skills, job duties, and work environments by navigating through this web site. Remember, James Bond didn’t get into the CIA off his good looks alone; there was a path of education and experience he took to become a CIA Agent.


Suggested Degrees To Become a CIA Agent

  • Associate’s in Criminal Justice
  • Associate’s in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security
  • Associate’s in Corrections, Law Enforcement, Private Security
  • Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor’s – Crime Scene Investigation
  • Bachelor’s – Cyber Crime
  • Bachelor’s – Homeland Security
  • Bachelor’s – Law Enforcement
  • Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Administration
  • Bachelor’s in CJ: Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice: Homeland Security Technology & Cyber Warfare
  • Bachelor’s in Public Safety – Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor’s in Public Safety – Emergency Management
  • Bachelor’s in Public Safety – Homeland Security
  • Bachelor’s in Public Safety – Security Management
  • Master’s in Criminal Justice
  • Master’s in Administration of Justice and Security
  • Information Systems Security Certificate
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Career Categories & Departments Within The CIA

  • Analysis
  • Clandestine Service
  • Engineering
  • Facilities Services
  • Geography/Cartography
  • Graphics/Multimedia/Publications/Photography
  • Information Management
  • Information Technology
  • Legal Services
  • Library Services
  • Logistics Services
  • Medical Services
  • Science, Technology & Weapons
  • Security
  • Student Opportunities
  • Support Services

Careers At The Central Intelligence Agency

When many people think about the CIA they think of the secret agent, but the CIA offers many other career opportunities. Some of the positions are known to the public, and others are less known support positions that work behind the scenes. Below are is a partial list of some of these careers.

  • NCS Language Officer
  • Paramilitary Operations Officer/Specialized Skills Officer
  • Professional Trainee Program
  • Specialized Skills – Targeting Officer
  • Staff Operations Officer
  • Computer Engineer – Developmental
  • Computer Engineer – Full Performance
  • Computer Forensics Engineer
  • Enterprise Systems Engineer
  • Network Engineer – Developmental
  • Network Engineer – Full Performance
  • Program Management Engineer
  • Security Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Analytic Methodologist
  • Economic Analyst
  • Intelligence Collection Analyst
  • Leadership Analyst
  • Military Analyst
  • Open Source Officer (Foreign Media Analyst)
  • Political Analyst
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Environmental Safety Officer
  • Medical Officer
  • Medical Technologist
  • Occupational Health Nurse
  • Operational Psychologist
  • Physician Assistant/Midlevel Care Provider
  • Psychological/Psychiatric Analyst
  • Research Psychologist
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CIA Inspector General – Special Agent/Investigator Salaries

The pay for most CIA Inspector General – Special Agents/Investigators ranges from $74,872 to $155,500, but this figure can vary based on location of service, level of experience, education, and background. See also, the GS scale for Federal Law Enforcement positions, which the government uses to determine compensation.

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CIA Contact Information

By e-mail: Use CIA contact form on the CIA website:

By postal mail:

Central Intelligence Agency

Office of Public Affairs

Washington, D.C. 20505

By phone:

(703) 482-0623

Open during normal business hours.