DEA Education

DEA Agent trining is a rigorous process that starts with obtaining a bachelors degree in a related field, the most common being a criminal justice degree or law enforcement degree. Having a masters degree in criminal justice or related field will make you a more competitive candidate; however, it is not required. Once you have completed your degree, you can begin the application process which can take up to 12 months to complete.

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According to the Department of Justice website, the hiring process includes drug testing, medical examination, a physical task exam, polygraph, psychological assessment, and a full background investigation. Any past issues with illegal substances or unstable behavior can greatly reduce your chances of being a qualified applicant. You can learn more by visiting your local DEA agent’s web site and find out when their next informational session for applicants will be held.

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The job of a DEA Agent is both physically and psychologically demanding and applicants over the age of 36 are generally not accepted. As a DEA agent, you will be responsible for investigating drug dealers, distributors, and producers. The primary objective is to enforce drug laws and to seek out the illegal use and distribution of drugs in your assigned territory. The job can be dangerous as you will be conducting surveillance and under cover operations in high crime neighborhoods and dealing with dangerous individuals. Although it is sometimes dangerous, the job is both highly stimulating and rewarding.

DEA Agent Salary

DEA Special Agent jobs come with the many great federal benefits offered to most government employees. Federal retirement, life insurance, health coverage, educational benefits, are important aspects of the overall package that you should consider as “part” of your salary. Along with these benefits of course DEA Agents can expect salaries that are on par with most federal law enforcement agencies. DEA Agents are part of the Federal Wage System (FWS). This system was started to make the pay of Federal blue-collar workers comparable to those wages within the private sector, and on par with each local wage area. You can find full details by contacting the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management

1900 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20415

(202) 606-1800 | TTY (202) 606-2532

LocationGS-10 Law Enforcement 2009 Annual Salary
Washington DC$57,400
Baltimore, MD$57,400
Northern Virginia$57,400
Seattle, WA$56,400
Dallas, TX$55,800
Denver, CO$56,800
Los Angles, CA$58,900
San Diego, CA$57,500
Miami, FL$56,000
New York/ New Jersey$59,600
Boston, MA$57,700
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DEA Careers

In addition to a DEA Agent the organization has many other career opportunities and divisions. Below are some additional DEA jobs and career areas, some of which may require a college education or criminal justice degree.

  • Accounting Interns
  • Diversion Investigator
  • Fingerprint Specialist
  • Forensic Specialist
  • Information Technology
  • Intelligence Research Specialist
  • Professional and Administrative Career Opportunities
  • Student Programs

DEA Organizational Chart

DEA Organizational Chart

DEA Regional Offices

  • Atlanta Division (404) 893-7000
  • Boston Division (617) 557-2100
  • Caribbean Division (787) 277-4700
  • Chicago Division (312) 353-7875
  • Dallas Division (214) 366-6900
  • Denver Division (720) 895-4040
  • Detroit Division (313) 234-4000
  • El Paso Division (915) 832-6000
  • Houston Division (713) 693-3000
  • Los Angeles Division (213) 621-6700
  • Miami Division (954) 660-4500
  • New Jersey Division (973) 776-1100
  • New Orleans Division (504) 840-1100
  • New York Division (212) 337-3900
  • Philadelphia Division (215) 861-3474
  • Phoenix Division (602) 664-5600
  • San Diego Division (858) 616-4100
  • San Francisco Division (415) 436-7900
  • Seattle Division (206) 553-5443
  • St. Louis Division (314) 538-4600
  • Washington, DC Division (202) 305-8500
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Drug Enforcement Administration Contact Information

For Special Agent employment opportunities:

Drug Enforcement Administration

Office of Personnel

8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, VA 22152

(800) DEA-4288

For all other employment opportunities:

Drug Enforcement Administration

Office of Personnel

8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, VA 22152

Additional contact information can be found on the Department of Justice website:

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