Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

The Secret Life of a Secret Service Agent

Operating under the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Secret Service has two purposes: to investigate and to protect. The agency works to safeguard national financial systems and provides protective services to important people, and at national special security events. It also works to investigate fraudulent crimes as well as threats concerning the President of the United States.

Secret service agents carry out assignments concerning both investigation and protection, and over the course of their careers they may encounter different roles. Agents in treasury roles work with missions involving the investigation and prevention of counterfeit money. They also conduct investigations into crimes involving major fraud and identity theft. Agents in protective roles ensure the safety of important political figures, such as foreign embassies, and presidential candidates and their families. Most importantly, they provide protection for the President and Vice-President and their families, as well as protective services to past presidents and their families.

If you want to live the life of a secret service agent, you are going to have to work hard to meet the requirements. To be considered one, you must be a U.S. Citizen, have a valid driver’s license, and be between the ages of 21 and 37. Applicants have to be in good physical condition and pass a medical examination that includes hearing, cardiovascular, and mobility of extremities. Vision is also very important and agents must have a visual acuity that when uncorrected is no worse than 20/60 and correctable to 20/20 vision in each eye. Authorized government physicians must determine the applicant to be physically fit enough to perform duties that are strenuous and physically demanding.

To be a secret service agent, you also have to have satisfactory education and work experience. Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. While the agency does not specify a preferred degree, those who want to be agents should consider studying criminal justice, as it relates to areas like law and criminal theory that are important within the Secret Service. The agency also requires that applicants have a history of superior academic achievement, such as being in the upper third of one’s graduating class, possessing a high GPA, or membership in a national scholastic honor society. Experience is also very important and applicants are required to have a minimum of one year experience in a line of work that is directly related to the position. This type of specialized experience includes work in criminal investigations, surveillance and undercover operations, making arrests, and preparing evidence to present to prosecutions.

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