How Do You Become a Secret Service Agent?

If you want to become a Secret Service agent, be prepared for a long application process that will end in your rise to an elite squad that is tasked with, among other things, protecting the President of the United States. But make no mistake: this application is 34 pages long and takes months to complete, will test every aspect of your mind and body, and only ten percent of all applicants actually get the job. So what do you need in order to become a part of the Secret Service team?

Minimum Requirements

There are some minimum requirements you need to meet before becoming a Secret Service agent. These include being a US citizen, having a valid driver’s licenses, have 20/20 vision, be between the ages of 21 and 37, and be registered with the Selective Service System, a system that requires eligible citizens to become members of the military if a draft is enacted. Applicants must also agree to a background check, including work and financial investigations, a polygraph test, and three interviews, one which is taken at home. These are the minimum requirements, and as you’ll soon see, these aren’t the only requirements needed to even get to the academy, which is the last step in the process.

Educational and Career Credentials

The Secret Service takes great interest in your education and work experience; applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants who graduated in the top third of their class or were members of a national academic honors society are preferred at this stage, as are agents who speak different languages or have a degree in criminal justice or a related field. However, if you didn’t do well in school, you can still make it up with a graduate degree or relevant work experiences, such as working as a detective or an investigator. Military experience is also accepted.

Physical and Medical Requirements

If you make it past the minimum and education requirements plus the three interviews and the polygraph needed, you will move onto the physical and medical requirements necessary to become a Secret Service agent. This includes a comprehensive physical where everything from your eyesight and medical history to your ability to run a mile and do push-ups is tested. Applicants who do not meet these requirements are no longer eligible. This is because Secret Service agents are required to be in top physical condition at all times, even when they’re off-duty; this is one of the caveats that comes with being the most important line of defense for the President.

The Academy

Following a successful interview and application process, which also includes a background investigation, you will be sent to the Secret Service Academy. This is a 17-week program that takes place at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. It is the most grueling and taxing training programs in federal law enforcement and is designed to test you to your limit; it’s so demanding that applicants have been known to hide broken bones in fear of getting kicked out, according to The Washington Post. If you pass, you will be on your way to another training center that is located outside of Washington, D.C. and then you will become a Secret Service agent with top security clearance and the confidence of the government behind you.

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While the application process is difficult, if you truly care about protecting the country and its leader, then try your hand with the agency. Your dream is to become a secret service agent; don’t let obstacles put in your way to make you better stop you from achieving that dream.