Diplomatic Security Agent Degrees and Careers
If you're looking for a criminal justice career that can take you all over the world, look into a career as a Diplomatic Security special agent. These special agents are part of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, an agency that offers protective services to members of the government, leads worldwide investigations into crimes, and ensures that Americans abroad are safe. This is just one of many careers in the field of criminal justice you can pursue with the right education. Explore our site to learn more about similar careers, then contact the schools in your area to compare their programs. We make it simple to contact multiple schools at once, so you can gather all the right information before you make a decision to enroll.
Gather all the right information before you make a decision to enroll. As a Diplomatic Security special agent, you may travel abroad, especially to countries that have American embassies or consulates. Special agents often confer with ambassadors of different countries to ensure that people here and in other countries are kept safe during security threats. Some special agents work in the United States. Domestic agents may offer protective services to visiting leaders and the Secretary of State. Other agents may look into serious immigration crimes, like passport and visa fraud.
Education is an important part of this career. You should have at least a Bachelor's degree to begin at the FP-6 level. Any Bachelor's degree can permit you to start at this level. Having a related degree, such as a criminal justice degree, can help you start out at a higher salary. You must also have work experience that's relevant to this field.
Requirements for Becoming a Diplomatic Security Special Agent
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security requires applicants to have a Bachelor's degree. If you are still working towards your degree, you can apply for this position when you are within nine months of graduating.
You may wish to earn your degree in a field related to this career. Examples include international policy, criminal justice, and law enforcement. A related degree may count as experience, so you may be able to start at a higher salary than those who have unrelated Bachelor's degrees.
In addition to educational requirements, you must have a certain amount of work experience to qualify for a Diplomatic Security special agent job. The Bureau requires at least one year of work experience that demonstrates your ability to take on increasing amounts of responsibility, use information to make informed choices, and communicate well with other people. The Bureau may investigate your work experience to determine if it is eligible. Further education may take the place of this work experience requirement. You need at least 18 credits of post-Bachelor's degree study. A Master's degree can fulfill this requirement and make you a more well-rounded job applicant.
After you are selected for a Diplomatic Security special agent job, you must complete additional training to prepare for your new career. The necessary training for this position is fairly extensive. You can expect to spend about seven months in training and employee orientation. First, you must go to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers in Brunswick, Georgia. This initial training period lasts for about three months. As a trainee, you may learn about how to protect people abroad and in the United States, investigate crimes, and handle those who would threaten you or the people you are protecting. This training program is very physical in nature. Upon the completion of this training program, you can go to Washington D.C. for the remainder of your orientation.
Career and Salary Potential for Diplomatic Security Special Agent
The career outlook may be promising for those with a lot of experience and relevant education. Diplomatic Security special agents receive the highest level of security clearance, so only a small percentage of those who apply can make it through the hiring process. If you want to have a better chance of getting a special agent job, you may wish to tailor your work experience and educational endeavors to this career. Getting experience in international affairs or learning a second language may be beneficial. Of course, there are several types of security-focused careers in the field of criminal justice you can pursue that have lower security requirements. Speak to each school about their graduates' success in finding positions in this area.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security reports that the 2017 base salary for Diplomatic Security special agents is between $43,226 and $58,092. You may get an increased salary if you have military experience or law enforcement experience. Your salary may increase by one step for each year of experience in these fields.
On top of your base pay, you receive locality pay. If you are stationed overseas, this is equal to 16.52% of your base pay. In the United States, locality pay is dependent upon the cost of living where you are stationed.
What it's like to work as a Diplomatic Security Special Agent
Upon completing your training, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security can assign you to your first location. While they may take your preferences into account, you should plan on being sent wherever you are most needed. According to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the vast majority of Special Agents are first given a domestic assignment. This is due to the fact that international assignments tend to require more experience. While working domestically, you may investigate visa fraud, protect foreign dignitaries and leaders, work on security assignments for the Secretary of State, and take part in other investigations as you are needed.
After proving yourself in your position, you may be assigned overseas. Special Agents are often stationed at U.S. embassies, where they run and manage security programs that protect embassy workers, American visitors, and sensitive information. You may come into contact with dangerous individuals as part of this job, as you may need to investigate terrorists and those who commit crimes against Americans.
If you look into the accomplishments of Diplomatic Security Special Agents, you'll realize that they play a major role in solving serious crimes. For example, in May of 2018, diplomatic agents were able to track down and catch a man who had been stealing people's identities for over a decade.
Find out more about the security-focused positions in the field of criminal justice that you can pursue. Contact the schools in our directory to find out more and compare programs today!
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