How Do You Become a US Marshal?

United States Marshals arrest an average of 273 fugitives every day. In addition to arresting federal fugitives, US Marshals protect federal judges and assist other federal agencies in apprehending criminals. The US Marshal Service operates the Asset Forfeiture Program that handles all assets that were seized in federal criminal activities.


There are a select combination of skills and education that are required in the process to become a US Marshal, according to You must be a US citizen. You must be over 21 years old, but appointed before your 37th birthday. A bachelor’s degree in a related field, or a combination of one year of specialized experience and education equivalent to the GL-07 level, is required.

There are specific medical requirements necessary to become a US Marshal. The medical requirements include 20/20 vision with corrected lenses and 20/200 uncorrected vision in each eye. Surgery to correct vision may disqualify you from being a US Marshal. You cannot be color-blind, and you must have hearing that is better that 30dB or better in each ear at 500, 1000, and 2000 hertz, and 40dB or better at 3000Hz.

There are medical conditions that can disqualify you from being a US Marshal. Those conditions include diabetes, hernias, any convulsive disorders, hypertension, heart disease, and any orthopedic conditions that affect mobility, stability, flexibility, or strength.

Higher Education and Hiring

Bachelor’s degrees in law, criminal justice, and sociology are the most common degrees held by US Marshal candidates. It is recommended to have a 3.0 grade point average overall, and a 3.5 GPA in courses within your major. Membership in the national honor society and ranking in the top 1/3 of your class are traits desired by the agency. Without the bachelor’s degree, applicants are required to have 3 years of experience in law enforcement, specifically dealing with applying and removing restraints and transporting prisoners.

The hiring process to become a US Marshal can take from 9-12 months depending on the assessment phases. There are regularly scheduled information sessions to learn about and apply for US Marshal positions. Those sessions are listed on the US Marshal website.


Once you have been hired as a US Marshal, you have to be available to attend the training academy within 160 days of applying for the position. At the training academy, 21 weeks of courses and activities will be offered in subjects including legal training, driver training, search and seizure, first aid, computer training, defensive tactics, officer survival, building entry and search, courtroom evidence and procedure, and prisoner search and restraint. Surveillance and physical conditioning courses are also part of the training academy courses.

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There are 94 districts throughout the United States that US Marshals are assigned. Each US Marshal is required to stay at their home district, the district where they were hired into, for three years. Employees sign a mobility agreement and memorandum of understanding in the hiring process. US Marshals are dedicated to protecting the United States and its citizens.