Find SchoolsSearch
X

Online Degrees


Full Program Lists


Criminal Justice Careers

Follow Us

Find SchoolsSearch

DEA Agent
(found programs from 800 schools)


Welcome to the mostss complete directory on the Web of DEA Agent programs. It contains all the nationally accredited programs, from 800 schools across the country.

show all schools

Overview of a DEA Agent

In the nation's war on drugs, DEA agents are at the forefront of every major bust across the country. Drug Enforcement Administration agents tend to play a major role in the breakup of drug trafficking cartels, major drug deal trades, and other significant offenses against the country's stringent drug laws. DEA Special Agents work for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, a branch of the federal government that is responsible for eradicating the use and sale of drugs in the U.S. If you want to learn what it takes to pursue a career as a DEA Agent, or work in a career fighting drug crimes, contact the schools featured here to learn more!

This job may require quite a bit of travel and personal sacrifice, since DEA Special Agents are some of the top law enforcement officials in the United States. The role you take on may depend on the needs of the agency, your special skills and education, and the current drug issues in your region. For example, some special agents may research new drugs growing in popularity in different areas or collect evidence needed to arrest a major dealer. You may also be required to go undercover to gather evidence and information on suspected leaders in the drug industry. Agents typically carry out arrests and transport dangerous suspects.

Since DEA agents have such a huge responsibility to the Drug Enforcement Administration, there are rigorous educational standards in place. If you're planning on becoming a DEA Special Agent, you'll need to earn at least a Bachelor's degree.

Requirements for Becoming a DEA Agent

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, applicants for this position must meet a long list of requirements. At minimum, you must have a Bachelor's degree. Technically, this degree can be in any field. However, those who are considered "best qualified" often have degrees in criminal justice, finance, foreign language, computer science, or engineering. Not only must you have a Bachelor's degree, you must perform well in school. All DEA Special Agents must have a GPA of 2.95 or higher. Many hired agents have near-perfect GPAs.

A Master's degree or postgraduate law degree may also qualify you for a role as a DEA agent. If you opt to earn a Master's degree, you may want to choose a field that gives you experience in a special skill. Per the DEA, special skills include piloting, accounting and auditing, information systems, and fluency in an in-demand foreign language.

If you meet the rigorous background check, special clearance, and education requirements of the hiring process, you may be selected for a Special Agent position. At this point, you must receive additional training. The DEA Training Academy is located at the Marine Corps Base in Virginia. The Basic Agent Training program lasts 18 weeks. You must attend classes full-time and live on-site while completing your education. As a Basic Agent Training student, you complete an 84-hour fitness and defense program that gives you the skills needed to stay safe and take down non-compliant suspects. In addition, your curriculum includes 122 hours of firearms training. This part of your training includes quite a bit of practical experience; not only do you learn how to safely use guns, you learn how to use your newly gained knowledge to respond appropriately to dangerous scenarios. Given how prestigious this role is, it's no surprise that students must keep an 80% average on all coursework to graduate.

Career Outlook and Salary Potential for DEA Agent

DEA salaries fall under the general services (GS) pay schedule. Salary ranges are determined by the level that you're hired at and what level you progress to with experience. The beginning salary for a new DEA graduate at the GS-7 level is about $35,854. Those who begin at the GS-9 level can have a starting salary of $43,857.

On top of the prescribed general services base pay, DEA agents earn more for a "locality payment". The amount of additional pay you receive depends on where you are assigned and the cost of living in that area. For example, those in Sacramento area may start out at $47,060. Agents in the Dallas area start out at $46,471. The beginning salary for Chicago-area agents is $48,177.

Regardless of location, all DEA agents receive an additional 25% on top of their starting rate of $36k for the "Law Enforcement Availability Pay". Once you've completed four years of work as an agent, your base salary may increase. The DEA outlines their salary plan here.

Working as a DEA Agent

As a DEA Special Agent, you may work a variety of shifts and schedules. Depending on the cases that are currently on your workload and the type of work you're doing, you may need to work around the clock to bring down drug rings or dealers. In particular, agents that are working undercover may need to work many hours per day. You may work late at night or whenever you are able to establish contact with suspects.

It's crucial for DEA agents to be able to make quick, accurate decisions during stressful situations. This job may bring you face-to-face with many dangerous, armed people, and you must act rapidly to ensure the safety of any given situation.

The focus for drug enforcement agents is starting to change with the growing prescription drug epidemic in America. The DEA has been involved in several recent operations and programs designed to curb the usage of opioids and other heavily abused drugs. For example, on April 28, 2018, DEA agents and local law enforcement across the country are hosting National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. On that day, people with unused/unwanted prescription drugs can take their pills to a number of drop locations and dispose of them. The DEA is also fighting for legislation that allows them to limit drug manufacturing levels. According to a Stat News article, one aspect of their proposed legislation aims to set quotas for manufacturers it suspects of creating drugs that are being misused.

Find out how you can be part of the DEA's mission to keep drugs off the streets! Contact the schools in our directory to find out more!

Featured Schools Accepting Students from Across the US:

Online programs may not be available in all areas

Traditional On Campus Programs:

Top >

Alabama

Top >

Alaska

Top >

Arizona

Top >

Arkansas

Top >

California

Top >

Colorado

Top >

Connecticut

Top >

Delaware

Top >

District Of Columbia

Top >

Florida

Top >

Georgia

Top >

Hawaii

Top >

Idaho

Top >

Illinois

Top >

Indiana

Top >

Iowa

Top >

Kansas

Top >

Kentucky

Top >

Louisiana

Top >

Maine

Top >

Maryland

Top >

Massachusetts

Top >

Michigan

Top >

Minnesota

Top >

Mississippi

Top >

Missouri

Top >

Montana

Top >

Nebraska

Top >

Nevada

Top >

New Hampshire

Top >

New Jersey

Top >

New Mexico

Top >

New York

Top >

North Carolina

Top >

North Dakota

Top >

Ohio

Top >

Oklahoma

Top >

Oregon

Top >

Pennsylvania

Top >

Puerto Rico

Top >

Rhode Island

Top >

South Carolina

Top >

South Dakota

Top >

Tennessee

Top >

Texas

Top >

Utah

Top >

Vermont

Top >

Virginia

Top >

Washington

Top >

West Virginia

Top >

Wisconsin

Top >

Wyoming


© 2010-2018 CriminalJusticePrograms.com All rights reserved.