How to Become a CIA Agent

The prospect of a job as a CIA agent might fill you up with a sense of adventure, intrigue and mystery. However, you should take the decision of becoming a CIA agent without being affected by what you might have heard or seen on mainstream media.

If you have a desire to serve your country and do not have problems with performing clandestine operations, then you should consider becoming a CIA agent. Remember that you must be a US citizen and should qualify through all the background checks and other requirements for it. Also, the process is highly competitive and the CIA has numerous reasons for rejecting a candidate. Here are a few things that will help you to get started on the right track.

Really Understand what it means to be a CIA Agent

When the term CIA is mentioned, the first thing that might come to your mind is a spy. You need to understand that the Directorate of Operations (the department where spies are located) is only a small part of the CIA. Most of the employees of CIA work as analysts or in positions related to languages, engineering, and science. After your skills and aptitude are tested, it is possible that you might not get through to the clandestine operations department. So, be prepared for that outcome.

Are you good enough for CIA?

Many people fail to understand the stringency behind the CIA selection process. The background check is thorough and if there are any skeletons in your closet (like a seemingly insignificant criminal record), then you should not even bother applying. Before going ahead, it would help if you did a background check yourself. The CIA uses the CIS database for accessing the information, so you should use the CIS database website to check your record and prepare accordingly. Some of the things that might help you in getting through the background check are listed below

  • Not having a criminal record is very important.
  • It has been stated by the CIA that a candidate must not have taken illegal drugs within 12 months of applying. However, prior drug use can also hurt your chances.
  • Being financially sound will also help you and this includes, not over indulging in gambling or in investments, not having a poor credit record, or a bankruptcy in the past.
  • Family members or friends with a shady record can be detrimental to your chances.
  • Giving your best in the jobs you have done and having sound ethical behavior will help you

Educational requirements

The CIA goes for the brightest students of the country and it is a must for a candidate to have a bachelor’s degree. For a lot of positions, an advanced degree can be helpful, and in certain cases, it is mandatory. The CIA also offers its own under-graduate program. To ensure that you can compete against the numerous applicants, you need to have abilities, skills, and academic record that help you stand out amongst the others. You need to have top grades through your school and college and need to have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4 point scale.

You also need to have good communication skills so that you can get information out of other people. Physical fitness is another important factor as you will need to clear a strenuous physical test. As you can see, becoming a CIA agent is not very easy, but when you do become one, you will find it to be a highly rewarding experience.

CIA Salary Info

Exact salaries for CIA agents are somewhat secret but you can expect an annual salary in the range of $30,000-$60,000 depending on your education, work experience, and job performance. People don’t go in the CIA to get rich; still, CIA agents earn a respectable living.

Becoming a CIA Agent Resources

  • CIA Website – Fantastic resource for everything CIA and some really interesting information such as country profiles.
  • Criminal justice blog’s take on what it takes to become a CIA agent.

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