Becoming an ATF Agent: How to become an ATF Agent
ATF agents are federally employed officers who monitor alcohol, tobacco and firearms laws and cases. This law enforcement branch is officially supported by the U.S. Department of Treasury and is, in a broader sense, committed to protecting American citizens from criminal behavior and even terrorism. In order to become an ATF agent, you will need to complete at least a four-year college degree, be at least 21 years old and undergo a physical exam and drug screening. If you are selected to become an agent, you will also participate in a much more specific law enforcement training program.
Top Schools Offering ATF Agent Degree Programs:
The links below will allow you to request free enrollment information directly from top national schools that offer a ATF Agent degree program:
Degree Requirements to become an ATF Agent:
ATF agents do need to graduate with a four-year degree from a college or university. Though there is not a specific degree required to apply for these positions, a degree in criminal justice or legal studies is generally preferred and shows interest in the field. Some training programs may ask for at least one year in a graduate program, depending on the specific position. Degrees in criminal justice may include courses in criminology, research, a history of the U.S. justice system, criminal justice technology, social psychology, juvenile justice, corrections criminal law, and other topics, depending on your interests and/or concentration.
Duties of an ATF Agent: What are the duties / traits of a successful ATF Agent?
Active ATF agents are responsible for monitoring and even regulating the possession of alcohol, firearms and tobacco products and uncovering illegal transactions or usage of these products. Agents can expect to raid homes or businesses, conduct surveillance, apply for search warrants and conduct searches, manage suspects and witnesses, and work with other law enforcement officials, including lawyers and local police officers. In order to perform these duties, ATF agents need to be level-headed, critical thinkers.
ATF Agent Salary: How much does an ATF Agent make?
Salary levels range for ATF agents, depending on their rank and experience. New agents may start at $25,000 but can progress to the nearly $50,000 range in a few years.